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.


The Ph.D. program requires a minimum of three years’ study, at least two years of which are comprised of coursework taken while in residence at the UW. Ph.D. candidates must complete 90 credits. A minimum of 60 credits must be taken at the UW including a minimum of 27 dissertation credits. Some of the credits earned in an LL.M. program may be counted among the 60 credits.

Doctoral dissertation committees are led by faculty experts from UW Law and include members with deep knowledge and expertise from across the university. Students can customize their studies with interdisciplinary coursework, independent study, field research, global internships and externships.

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