In collaboration with the Graduate School, Duke Law School offers the opportunity to pursue a JD/PhD dual degree. Formal JD/PhD programs are in place with the departments of Political Science and Philosophy, and arrangements with other departments may be available on an ad hoc basis. Candidates apply separately to the Law School and the Graduate School and receive independent admission decisions.
In most cases, the JD/PhD can be completed in six years. However, the timeline is flexible, varying most significantly with the amount of time it takes to complete the doctoral dissertation. Students must complete 72 law credits (rather than the 84 required for JD-only candidates), including the full first-year curriculum, and satisfy all other Law School graduation requirements.
PhD in Political Science
Since its inception, the Department of Political Science has aimed to integrate normative, empirical, theoretical, and policy concerns. The department offers training in five broad sub-fields: Behavior and Identities; Political Institutions; Political Economy; Security, Peace & Conflict; Political Methodology; and Normative Political Theory. Students can also integrate courses of study around a common theme, such as Race, Ethnicity, and Politics; or Religion and Politics.
PhD in Philosophy
The Department of Philosophy has a faculty with expertise in the philosophy of law, political philosophy, science policy studies, bioethics, normative ethics and metaethics, and moral psychology. Students may specialize in the philosophy of mind, psychology, biology, or science; the history of philosophy; epistemology, logic, metaphysics, ethics, political philosophy, and philosophy of law.
Candidates for the JD/PhD dual degree apply separately to Duke Law School and the Graduate School. Each school will complete its normal application review process, and you will receive a separate decision for each degree.
Many JD/PhD candidates apply simultaneously to the Law School and the Graduate School. It is also possible to apply to one program during the first year of study in the other, although admission to the dual degree is not guaranteed at any time.
If you are admitted to the Law School, but will not begin your legal studies that year, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can manage our class appropriately.
The LSAT is required for all Law School dual degree applicants. The GRE is required for all PhD applicants.