Joint Degree Program
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 six approved courses in the Department of Philosophy toward the JD. 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.
Graduates who obtain academic positions following their completion of both degrees receive full funding for their work at the University. The Philosophy Department offers accepted candidates support through teaching fellowships and other support, and the Law School provides a loan to students for Law tuition, forgivable upon the acceptance of qualifying academic employment.