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JD/PhD Philosophy: Department of Philosophy

The JD/PhD Program is designed to train the next generation of legal philosophers, who will teach legal and political philosophy in law schools, philosophy departments, departments of government, specialized graduate and undergraduate jurisprudence programs, and legal studies departments.

Students in this program have the opportunity to earn a combined JD/PhD in a condensed time frame while complementing their studies in each field with knowledge and research in the other.

Students can earn both degrees in six years. Penn Law gives credit for up to four approved courses in the Department of Philosophy toward the JD (more if the courses are cross-listed with Law School courses). The Philosophy Department requires that students complete all PhD coursework, which may include several courses from the Law School curriculum.

Students must apply and gain admission separately to each department. Applications to the Department of Philosophy are welcomed contemporaneously with the Law School application and vice versa.

Most often, students spend their first two years in the Department of Philosophy and their third year at the Law School completing the traditional 1L curriculum. The next two years are spent in combined coursework in the two departments, followed by dissertation writing. On occasion, for the exceptional candidate, some other arrangement of coursework may be possible.


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