JD/PhD Class Planning and Advising

Although there currently are no formal dual J.D./Ph.D. degree programs with other areas of the University (with the exception of the J.D./Ph.D. in Business), candidates who wish to concurrently pursue the J.D. in the Law School and a Ph.D. in another area of the University have been able to facilitate and expedite a dual course of study.

The Law School encourages JD/PhD dual-degree students to begin their studies at the Law School for a number of reasons: 

  1. No credits will count towards the JD until you matriculate into the Law School 
  2. Students cannot apply non-LAWS credits towards the JD until after they have matriculated to the Law School
  3. The 1L experience, which is made up of a series of uniform registrations across the 1L class, will give you a sense of community through programs such as Orientation, Kapnick, and your Bigelow sections. 

Learn more about the prescribed 1L curriculum

Breakdown of traditional JD Degree Requirements:

  • Total of 105 credits to graduate
  • 39 credits for your 1L year entirely at Law School
  • 40 law core credits in your 2L and 3L year
  • Two Upper Level Writing Project Requirements: WP & SRP 
  • A class designated as meeting the professional responsibility requirement
  • 8 credit hours of coursework designated as meeting the experiential learning requirement pursuant to ABA Standard 303.*

Benefits to a JD/PhD Dual Degree

Please review the JD/PhD section of the Student Handbook for full details. 

  • JD/PhD students need a total of 30 core credits for their JD degree. Traditional JD students need a total of 40 core credits. 
    • Core credits are determined by faculty type. 
  • JD/PhD students may count 25 non-LAWS credits towards the JD after they have matriculated at the Law School and after they have advanced to candidacy in their PhD program. 
    • Cross-listed courses can count towards the LAW degree. Students need to be sure to register for the LAWS section if they do not want the course to count towards their non-LAWS credits. 

Read More about the JD/PhD in the Student Handbook

Do I have to complete the JD within a certain amount of time? 

According to ABA guidelines, students must complete the JD within 84 months (7 years). 

Am I required to earn both degrees in the same quarter?

Yes. In the dual programs students must meet the requirements for both programs in the same quarter.

Can I count non-LAWS classes towards the JD degree? 

Students may count 25 non-law credits towards the JD (after they have matriculated at Law School and after have advanced to candidacy in their PhD program)

Cross-listed classes can count towards the Law degree. Students need to be sure to register for the LAWS section if you don’t want it to count towards your non-LAW credits.

What is the minimum number of quarters I must be in residence at Law?

JD/PhD students must pay tuition and be in residence at LAW for at least 6 quarters. 

What is the credit conversion between The Law School courses and courses across the Midway? 

  • 50 units = 1 credit
  • 75 units = 2 credits
  • 100 units = 3 credits

Where can I track my JD degree requirements?

Each student has access to their individualized Degree Progress Report 24/7.

Can I take less than 9 credits or more than 14 credits during a quarter that is counting towards my JD residency?

No. According to ABA guidelines, students must remain between 9 and 14 credits during all quarters counting towards the JD degree or in a quarter taking a non-LAWS course that will be applied toward the JD. Please visit the Student Handbook for more information.

Where can I find more information on the JD curriculum?

Please visit the Student Handbook and JD Advising webpage.

Who should I contact...

If I have questions about the JD degree?

Please contact Lana Ammari, Associate Director of Student Affairs at the Law School.

If I have questions about JD/PhD Admissions? 

Please contact Meg Bingle Krishnan, Senior Associate Director of Admissions (mbingle@uchicago.edu). Please note the admissions process for the JD degree and the PhD degree are entirely separate. We also encourage you to reach out directly to the Admissions Department of the PhD program you are interested in to discuss their requirements, deadlines and applications.

If I have questions about Financial Aid? 

Please contact Zach Weber, Director of Financial aid and our Financial Aid Office at financialaid@law.uchicago.edu