Handbook Menu

1.6 Dual Degrees

Some law students have or are currently pursuing dual degrees in Business, Economics, International Relations, Linguistics, Public Policy, and Religious Studies. Please note that, per the ABA, no coursework completed prior to matriculation at the Law School may be counted toward the J.D. degree. Students interested in applying to another program in the University should speak with the Dean of Students about the application process and the transfer of credits.

Dual Degree Programs

The Law School participates with several other areas of the University in established dual degree programs. These programs have specific admission requirements and candidates are able to count coursework in each area toward the academic requirements in the other area, thus reducing the time and expense involved in earning both degrees. The Law School has established dual degree programs with the Booth School of Business (both M.B.A. and Ph.D. degrees), the Harris School of Public Policy Studies (M.P.P.), and the Divinity School (M.Div.). In addition to the established dual degree programs, a number of law students have or are currently pursuing dual Masters’ degrees in other areas such as International Relations and Linguistics.

Students pursuing dual J.D. and Masters’ degrees may, with the approval of the Law School Dean of Students, count up to 12 credits of coursework outside the Law School toward the J.D. degree and towards the quarterly residency requirement. Dual degree students also must pay tuition at the Law School for eight quarters. In addition, they must be in residence as full-time students at the Law School for nine quarters, in each of which they must earn at least nine credits towards the J.D. degree in either LAWS-prefixed classes or classes that earn credit toward the J.D. degree. The tuition and residency requirement cannot be waived.  For each quarter considered in residence at the Law School, a student must be enrolled in at least one LAWS-prefixed class. This requirement cannot be waived.

J.D./Ph.D. Programs

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.

Students who are enrolled in concurrent J.D. and Ph.D. programs at the University of Chicago can count up to 25 credits earned outside the Law School towards their J.D. degrees. This credit is only awarded for: (1) graduate coursework undertaken in a Ph.D. program at the University of Chicago; (2) only for coursework undertaken after a student has matriculated at the Law School; and (3) only for coursework approved by the Deputy Dean in consultation with the Dean of Students. Students permitted to count up to 25 credits toward their J.D. degrees also must pay tuition to the Law School for six quarters and be in residence at the Law School for six quarters. Students who have not advanced to candidacy in their Ph.D. program by the time they receive their J.D. may apply no more than 12 credits earned outside the Law School towards their J.D. degrees, must pay tuition at the Law School for at least eight quarters, and must be in residence at the Law School for nine quarters.  In the event a student’s Ph.D. program does not have a formal “advanced to candidacy” status, the equivalent is that the student has finished all the required coursework and is primarily engaged in the writing of the dissertation.

Students in J.D./Ph.D. programs who began their law studies at the Law School need to complete at least 80 credits of coursework at the Law School to obtain their J.D.s.  The 80 credits may be earned during two years of intensive study at the Law School.  Of these 80 credits, a minimum of 30 must be designated as meeting the Law School’s core requirement.  All J.D./Ph.D. students who transferred to the Law School from another school must discuss their specific graduation requirements with the Dean of Students and the Deputy Dean upon matriculation. Students who wish to transfer 25 non-law credits towards their J.D. should consult with the Dean of Students, as it can impact the number of credits that may be earned through co-curricular activities and field placements.

J.D./Ph.D. students planning to apply for admission to a bar should research the current rules of the state bar to which they are hoping to be admitted to determine whether their jurisdiction has any additional curricular requirements.  In addition, any student wishing to pursue a J.D./Ph.D. must keep in mind that American Bar Association rules require all J.D. degrees to be completed within 84 months of a student’s matriculation to law school.

The Law School is flexible in giving students leaves of absence so that they may register full-time in other areas of the University, so long as such a leave will not prevent the student from finishing the J.D. within the ABA’s 84-month time limit.

Graduate Program in Health Administration and Policy

The Law School has joined several other professional schools on campus (Booth, Crown Family School, and Public Policy) and offers law students an opportunity to earn a Certificate in Health Administration and Policy (GPHAP) while simultaneously obtaining a J.D.

The GPHAP is a certificate program designed to train and prepare future leaders in health care, and it draws together students and faculty from various fields for the purpose of providing students with deep interdisciplinary training in policy, management, finance, and social service delivery.  Health lawyers play an important role in many aspects of the health care field, including: health law practices in firms, serving as in-house lawyers in health care organizations, addressing issues related to health care reform in all settings, pharmaceutical policy and administration, medical device policy and administration, medical innovation, public health, health care regulation and accreditation, and much more.  GPHAP also has a global health track for students interested in international law and health.

Students admitted to the program must take four classes (two required and two elective), complete a supervised practicum, and attend three health-related workshops, seminars, lectures, or GPHAP special events offered on campus each quarter. Students must provide a short synopsis of each event attended.  Regarding the practicum, this may be fulfilled by a law student’s summer internship if related to health care.  In addition, GPHAP offers paid health related internships that count toward the practicum requirement. There is no extra charge to participate in GPHAP. 

Any law student interested in the program is encouraged to apply before the beginning of their second year of law school.  A special fellowship, the Ray E. Brown Fellowship, is awarded to one Law student each year and provides the recipient a $500 award.  For additional information on the GPHAP program and the Ray E. Brown Fellowship, please see https://gphap.uchicago.edu/.