The JD/PhD program generally consists of eleven semesters of coursework: five at the Law School and six at GSAS, followed by the writing and defense of the dissertation. Please note that the required number of semesters of coursework conducted at GSAS is determined by the department.
Students admitted to the JD/PhD program usually begin their studies at the Law School. After two semesters of study at the Law School, the student then enrolls in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences to complete the MA degree, according to the requirements set by the GSAS department.
Upon receiving the MA degree, the student then returns to the Law School to complete the JD requirements. The student is granted advanced standing at the Law School for the conferred MA, reducing the time to complete the JD by one semester. (Note: Advanced standing is granted only to students who earn the MA at Columbia as part of the sequential MA, MPhil, PhD program; advanced standing will not be granted for a master’s degree completed elsewhere or through a standalone Columbia MA program.)
Upon completion of the JD requirements, the student then returns to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and receives two Residence Units (equivalent to two semesters) of advanced standing toward the MPhil degree requirements. The JD and MPhil degrees are conferred simultaneously upon the completion of all requirements for both degrees. The student then completes the requirements for the PhD according to the departmental guidelines, which include the preparation and successful defense of a dissertation.
In certain cases, students may be permitted to vary the sequence of enrollment described above. This will only be granted with the prior approval of the respective advisors at the Law School and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.