Joint Degree in Law and History (J.D./Ph.D)

Overview

Stanford History Department offers two joint degree programs in law and history: J.D./Ph.D. program, and J.D./M.A. program. Both program provide interested students with top-level training in each discipline as well as in the complex intersections between the two.  They also provide substantial savings in time and money when compared to the separate pursuit of each degree. 

Joint J.D./Ph.D in Law & History

  • Course of Study 
    Students are encouraged to begin their course of study by spending the first year in the Law School, followed by a full year in the History Department, and then by taking courses from either entity. This sequencing will best enable the completion of the required Ph.D. colloquia. If students prefer following a different sequence, they should discuss their plans in advance with their advisors both in the Law School and in the History Department.  Joint J.D./Ph.D. students are expected to take their Ph.D. oral examinations no later than the Spring of their fourth year. 

    Regardless of how students begin the joint program, they must be enrolled full-time
    in the Law School during the first year of J.D. studies and full-time in the History Department during the first-year of the Ph.D. program. If students begin their coursework in the History Department, they should complete the required Law School matriculation paperwork at the beginning of their first year. Otherwise, they may not be able to cross-credit their first-year History coursework toward their J.D. degree

  • Cross-Crediting of Courses
    The Stanford Law School requires students to earn 111 units in order to obtain the J.D. The History Department requires students to earn 135 units to obtain the Ph.D. This is a combined total of 246 units. Students may save about a year of coursework (or more) through cross-crediting some of these units. 

    The Law School cross-credits toward the J.D. up to 31 units earned in the History Department. The History Department has the flexibility to cross-credit toward the Ph.D. up to 23 units earned in the Law School. The Department makes case-by-case decisions about which Law School courses can be credited toward the Ph.D. Students should discuss with their History doctoral advisor which Law School courses may be relevant to their doctoral work in History.
  • Tuition and Financial Aid
    Joint J.D. / Ph.D. students are eligible to obtain substantial savings in the  tuition costs.  Stanford History Department guarantees five years of financial support to Ph.D. students. As concerns the law degree, a year of tuition may be saved through the cross-crediting of units.  Students are eligible for the full range of Law School financial assistance. Students may also apply for the University funding to cover some or all the law school tuition fees

J.D. / M.A. Program in Law & History

  • Course of Study
    J.D. / M.A. students spend their first year by taking classes only at the Stanford Law School. In their second year, they take courses both in the  Stanford History Department and the Law School. They are expected to complete their joint degree by the end of the third year. 
  • Cross-Crediting of Courses
    The Stanford Law School requires students to earn 111 units in order to obtain the J.D. The History Department requires students to earn 45 units to obtain the M.A. This is a combined total of 156 units. 

    The Law School cross-credits toward the J.D, up to 31 units earned in the History Department. The History Department has the flexibility to cross-credit toward the M.A. up to 10 units earned in the Law School. The History  Department makes case-by-case decisions about which Law School courses can be credited toward the M.A. Students should discuss with their History Department advisor which Law School courses may be relevant to their M.A. study  in History.

  • Tuition and Financial Aid
    Joint J.D./M.A. students are responsible to cover for the tuition cost for the joint J.D./M.A program. If the joint program is completed in three years through the cross-crediting of units noted above, the student pays law tuition for three years, and that is all. Students who take more than three years to complete the two degrees will be charged History-Department tuition for any quarters exceeding three years.  Joint J.D./M.A. students are eligible for the full range of Law School financial assistance.  They are not eligible for fellowships or other research-related funds offered by the History Department. 

How and When to Apply

Applicants must separately apply and obtain admission to the Stanford Law School and the Stanford History Department. We encourage applicants to apply to the Law School and the History Department at the same time in order to facilitate a truly integrated, joint program. However, Stanford students, who are already enrolled in either in the Stanford Law School or the History Department, may apply for admission to the other program and for joint degree status.

Applications to the Law School's J.D. program are accepted on a rolling basis, usually between September 1 and February 1. By contrast, applications for the Ph.D. program in History are typically due in early December. To ensure that you will be considered as a joint applicant, please submit your law-school application around the same time as your Ph.D. application (and definitely no later than the December deadline for graduate school applications). 

In completing the online Law School Admission Council [LSAC] application form, applicants are asked whether they apply to Other Stanford Programs. On this question, please select "History” from the drop down menu.  The History Department application form does not include a separate section, so applicants should clearly indicate in their Statement of Purpose that  they are also applying  to the Stanford Law School's J.D. program or that they are already in enrolled in the Stanford J.D. program and are seeking to pursue a joint M.A. or Ph.D. degree in History. 

Joint J.D./Ph.D. degree applicants are encouraged to consider applying to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program, which provides very generous funding for graduate training and research at Stanford. Please note that the Knight-Hennessy application deadline is earlier. Please review the details  at this link.

Further Information

Students have access to the full range of resources on campus, ranging from courses and conferences to lectures and workshops. For an overview of many law-and-history-related activities on campus, please visit the Stanford Center for Law and History website.

For degree program details, please review Stanford Joint Degree Programs in Law and History (J.D./Ph.D).

Questions?

Please contact Arthur Palmon  (History Department Student Services Manager).