The Ph.D. in Law prepares graduates for global leadership in the judiciary, academia, business and government. Since 1966, the program has offered a select number of diverse students the opportunity to attain their highest professional aspirations and career goals. A preeminent center for interdisciplinary legal studies, UW Law offers a global focus and innovative approach to integrating legal scholarship within the humanities and social sciences, medicine and global health, business and technology, and environmental and public policy.

The Ph.D. program is designed to provide a rich and thorough foundation in research methodologies, jurisprudence, legal theory, policy, dissertation preparation and ready access to specialized elective coursework from within the law school and university-wide research centers, institutes and schools. Throughout the program, our graduate students receive individualized attention from exceptional faculty and staff.

With its long and respected history, the Ph.D. program provides students with a global alumni network. Alumni are committed supporters and mentors and lead in many sectors around the world.

Ph.D. Program Design Review

The UW Law School faculty recently voted to pause Ph.D. admissions for two years while the program goes through a reexamination and review. Our PhD program has a long and rich history. We take its prominence in the legal field and our commitment to preparing students very seriously. As with all of our programs, we must re-examine the curriculum periodically to determine if it meets students' needs and prepares them to advance legal practice, scholarship and education in communities locally and globally.

A committee led by a member of the greater university community has been convened to review the Ph.D. program. This work will include opportunities for input from UW Law faculty, current students, PhD graduates and our alumni community. We look forward to partnering with these stakeholders for a robust and fruitful discussion about the future of this program. If you would like to provide input on the Ph.D. program or are a student with questions, please email

The program will not accept new applicants for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 academic years.