The UCLA School of Law and the UCLA Department of Philosophy offer a joint JD/PhD program for exceptionally talented and especially committed students who hope to dedicate their careers to research and teaching in law and philosophy. Admission is extremely competitive, and very few students are admitted. It would be highly unusual for more than one candidate to be admitted in a year, and it is possible for no candidates to be admitted in an admission cycle.

Steps for Admission
  1. Apply and be admitted to law school (Law School Admission Information). In the section of the application asking about interest in Joint Degree Programs, select “J.D./Ph.D. Philosophy.”
  2. Apply and be admitted to the Philosophy Ph.D. program (Philosophy Department Graduate Admission Information). On the “Plans for Graduate Study” page of the application, select “Philosophy PhD – Law JD” as your major.
  3. Submit with each application an essay of between two and five pages explaining your interest in law and philosophy and in the joint degree program.

Students already admitted to either the JD program or the PhD program who wish to pursue the joint degree may apply by completing the application steps listed above. The funding for students is generous and is aimed to ensure that graduates may choose to enter a full time teaching career in either a law school or a philosophy department without the encumbrance of a large debt.


The J.D. normally takes three years and the Ph.D. normally takes six to seven years. Candidates for the joint program must complete all requirements for both degrees. A limited number of philosophy courses will be counted toward the J.D. requirements, and a limited number of law courses will be counted toward the Ph.D.

The standard program could follow one of many paths. In the typical case, the student would be expected to focus solely on philosophy for the first year of the philosophy graduate program and solely on law for the first year of the law program. Thereafter, the student could take courses in both schools during the same academic year. There are, however, various ways in which the program could be structured, depending on the student

For more information about the Law & Philosophy Program please refer to the Law School’s website.