The JD/PhD Program is designed to train the next generation of legal historians, who will teach American legal history in law schools, history departments, specialized graduate programs, and undergraduate legal studies programs. 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 seven years. Penn Law gives credit for up to four pre-approved courses in the Department of History toward the JD degree. The Department of History requires that the student complete the full 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 History are welcomed contemporaneously with the Law School application and vice versa.
Most often, students spend their first year in the Department of History and their second 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.
Current and former students
Seaman Family University Professor
- Department of History
- History Department’s Graduate Admissions
- Penn Law Admissions
- Penn Law’s legal history offerings
- Penn Law’s joint JD/PhD programs set graduates on the path to careers in academia
Contact: Sarah Barringer Gordon, Arlin M. Adams Professor of Constitutional Law and Professor of History