Stanford Law School and the Department of Sociology share more than a common interest in sociolegal scholarship: Both are ranked among the top academic departments in their respective fields. The high quality of both institutions distinguishes Stanford's JD/PhD program from those offered by other universities. Stanford is also the only university where a commitment to fostering sociolegal scholarship has been translated into a truly joint JD/PhD program.
Upon admission, students may begin study in either the law school or the department of sociology. Students must complete their first full year of graduate study in one program and their second full year in the other. Thereafter, students may divide their time between programs to suit their individual course of research and graduate training. Students must satisfy the requirements for both the JD and the PhD degrees. Up to 81 quarter (54 semester) hours of approved coursework may be counted towards both degrees, but no more than 36 quarter (24 semester) hours of courses that originate outside the Law school may count towards the Law degree. The Law degree may be conferred upon completion of applicable law school requirements; it is not necessary to have both degrees conferred simultaneously. Students participating in the joint degree program are not eligible to transfer and receive credit for a masters or other degree towards the Ph.D. Students must complete the equivalent of 183 quarter units to complete both degrees.These provisions dramatically reduce requirements, increase flexibility, and make Stanford's a true joint degree program.
In addition to coursework, Students must complete additional requirements for each program. Sociology PhD requirements are listed here and include at least three quarters of Teaching Assistantship, three quarters of Research Assistantship, and successful completion of a doctoral dissertation. For additional requirements for the JD degree, see the Stanford Law School website.
Stanford is committed to creating a true joint program, where students receive full academic and financial support for both degrees. Students who are accepted into the JD/PhD Program in Law and Sociology will typically pay for only two semesters of law school tuition – a savings of approximately $50,000 (compared, for example, to programs at other top-ranked law schools that require students to pay for five semesters of law school tuition), and will receive nearly a full year of credit toward the law degree from approved sociology coursework. Through a combination of fellowships, research, and teaching assistantships; the Department of Sociology currently provides full tuition, stipends, and funds to support research for five academic years of graduate-level study in sociology to each student admitted to the PhD program. Thus, students admitted to the joint program will generally pay no tuition beyond the first year of law school, and will receive a stipend for five additional years of study in the law school and the sociology department.