Each year, 2-5 students are accepted into the Ph.D. in Law program. Entry is very competitive and depends on both the candidate's ability as well as the institutional capacity to supervise the candidate's proposed project.


Degree Requirement

Entry to the Ph.D. program requires an LL.M. degree in law. Most of our Ph.D. applicants have completed an LL.M. degree at the University of Washington School of Law. However, we do welcome applications from individuals with equivalent academic standing and a demonstrated capacity for advanced research and writing. The LL.M. degree may be counted toward the credit necessary for the Ph.D. program.

Language Ability


International and foreign-educated applicants are expected to have a high level of ability in reading, writing, and delivering presentations in English.
The following minimum score is required, although a higher score is desired:

  • 92 TOEFLiBT
  • 7.0 IELTS Note: The UW is phasing out the usage of IELTS and will not accept scores with a test session date after May 31, 2017.

Students whose first language is not English must be proficient in English and must have, or plan to acquire, proficiency in the language(s) needed to undertake their research project.

Research Interest

Applicants must have a clear research interest that is current that builds on their existing knowledge and skills.

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