Joint JD/PhD Law-Psychology Program

Major: Law and Psychology
Degree Awarded: Juris Doctor (JD) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Calendar Type: Semester and Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 85.0 Semester (JD) and 91.0 Quarter (PhD)
Co-op Option: None
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 22.0208
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 11-9199; 23-1011

About the Program

The Kline School of Law and the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences offer a joint and integrated JD/PhD Program in Law and Psychology. The program melds two already ongoing successful endeavors, the JD degree in the School of Law and the PhD in clinical psychology in the Department of Psychology. See the JD-PhD Program webpage for more information.

Students in the program complete all 85.0 semester credits required for graduation from the law school and all 91.0 quarter credits required to complete the doctorate. The program allows those students who wish to pursue professional degrees in both law and psychology a more efficient plan of study. The program is designed to be completed in seven (7) years, including required psychology practica, a year’s internship in an American Psychological Association accredited predoctoral mental health/forensic setting, a master's thesis, a doctoral dissertation, and 20 hours per week of cooperative training and 50 hours of pro bono service in law.

Students who are accepted into the JD/PhD program will receive full tuition remission for all psychology coursework, plus a guaranteed annual stipend that is currently at least $17,000 per year for all six years they are at the university prior to completing the clinical internship. Students with outstanding LSAT scores are eligible for full tuition remission from the School of Law.

For information on the Admissions process, visit the JD/PhD Application Instructions page.

Philosophy

The program bridges the gap between legal and psychological training. By and large, lawyers and social scientists come from different cultures, with different interests, different cognitive approaches to solving problems, different research methodologies, and different attitudes toward confrontation and argument. Each profession arrives at the “truth” in different ways, and its members are exposed to different styles of education during their post-baccalaureate training. Legal education develops an understanding of case analysis, statutory interpretation, the evolution of legal traditions, and methods for resolving disputes. Education in psychology develops research and clinical skills and understanding of behavioral theories, techniques, and statistical methods. Law, which has special rules concerning evidence and proof, relies heavily on precedent and the application of legal principles to specific facts toward the goal of settling conflicts that need immediate resolution. By contrast, psychology looks at problems through an empirical lens, using psychometrically-based tools and techniques to systematically evaluate questions, but rarely reaching a “final verdict.” Because the limits of evidence and the meaning of “proof” in psychological research may differ sharply from the limits of evidence and proof in law, conflict may result when the two disciplines interact.

Goals

Within the broad framework of the program’s philosophy, the JD/PhD Program in Law & Psychology has three specific goals:

  • Develop scientist-practitioners who will produce legally sophisticated social science research to aid the legal system to make better empirically-based decisions;
  • Produce lawyer-psychologists who will participate in the development of more empirically and theoretically sophisticated mental health policy by legislatures, administrative tribunals, and the courts; and
  • Educate highly trained clinicians who can contribute to the advancement of forensic psychology in such areas as criminal law, domestic relations, and civil commitment.

In fulfilling these goals, the program trains students in an integrated and conceptually unified curriculum so they acquire a mature understanding of the interaction between the two disciplines.

Degree Requirements

Students attend the School of Law and the Department of Psychology simultaneously for six years, integrating course work in both disciplines each year. Students maintain continuous contact with the faculties of both schools and the developments in both disciplines over the course of each year.

In the seventh year, after obtaining the JD, students undertake a year-long supervised internship and complete their doctoral dissertation. They are awarded the PhD at the end of their seventh year.

Training consists of seven elements:

  • The required existing core program in law and psychology at both schools;
  • Interdisciplinary courses; e.g., Mental Health Law, Behavioral Sciences and the Law, Expert Witnesses, Law and the Mind Sciences;
  • Supervised psycholegal research experience on teams of students’ faculty mentors;
  • Legal clinics and psychology practica and internships that combine knowledge from both fields in a practical setting;
  • Electives in both fields, e.g., bioethics, education law, health law, health psychology, employment discrimination, neuropsychology;
  • Cooperative experience and pro bono service in legal settings; and
  • Employment for at least one summer in a legal setting, e.g., public interest law firm, governmental agency, private law firm, nonprofit association.

Program Requirements

LAW 550STorts4.0
LAW 552SContracts4.0
LAW 554SCivil Procedure4.0
LAW 555SLegislation and Regulation3.0
LAW 556SProperty4.0
LAW 558SCriminal Law4.0
LAW 560SConstitutional Law4.0
LAW 565SLegal Methods I3.0
LAW 566SLegal Methods II3.0
LAW 793SMental Health Law3.0
LAW 812SBehavioral Science Applications to the Law3.0
LAW 811SExpert Witnesses2.0
LAW 830SProfessional Responsibility3.0
LAW Electives41.0
PSY 510Research Methods I3.0
PSY 515Clinical Case Conceptualization3.0
PSY 516Developmental Psychology3.0
PSY 518Social Psychology3.0
PSY 520Psychopathology3.0
PSY 522Psychological and Intellectual Assessment3.0
PSY 524Professional Issues and Ethics3.0
PSY 530Neuroanatomy and Behavior3.0
PSY 550Multicultural Perspectives in Psychology3.0
PSY 560Teaching, Consultation and Supervision in Psychology1.0-2.0
PSY 610Data Analysis in Psychology3.0
PSY 620Personality Assessment3.0
PSY 630Biological Basis of Behavior and Treatment3.0
PSY 710Data Analysis II3.0
PSY 711Data Analysis III: Advanced Topics3.0
PSY 712History and Systems3.0
PSY 721Principles of Psychotherapy3.0
PSY 722Theories of Intervention3.0
PSY 812Cognitive Neuroscience3.0
PSY 820Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy3.0
PSY 897Clinical Psychology Practicum Seminar3.0
PSY 898Master's Thesis in Psychology0.0-3.0
PSY 998Ph.D. Dissertation in Psychology1.0-12.0
PSY 999Internship1.0-12.0
PSY Electives18.0
Total Credits166.0-192.0

Please note that the credits for the LAW courses are shown in semester credits, and the PSY courses are shown in quarter credits. The JD/PhD joint program requires the completion of 85.0 semester credits in Law and 91.0 quarter credits in Psychology for graduation. 

Sample Plan of Study

First Year
FallCredits
LAW 550STorts4.0
LAW 552SContracts4.0
LAW 554SCivil Procedure4.0
LAW 565SLegal Methods I3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Spring
LAW 558SCriminal Law4.0
LAW 566SLegal Methods II3.0
LAW 555SLegislation and Regulation3.0
LAW 556SProperty4.0
 Term Credits14.0
Second Year
Fall
LAW 793S
or 812S
Mental Health Law
Behavioral Science Applications to the Law
3.0
LAW 560SConstitutional Law4.0
PSY 560Teaching, Consultation and Supervision in Psychology1.0
PSY 610Data Analysis in Psychology3.0
PSY 721Principles of Psychotherapy3.0
LAW 920SDrexel Law Review1.0
 Term Credits15.0
Winter
PSY 522Psychological and Intellectual Assessment3.0
PSY 710Data Analysis II3.0
 Term Credits6.0
Spring
PSY 510Research Methods I3.0
PSY 711Data Analysis III: Advanced Topics3.0
LAW 811S
or 642S
Expert Witnesses
Special Education Law
3.0
LAW 670SCriminal Procedure: Investigations3.0
LAW 920SDrexel Law Review1.0
 Term Credits13.0
Third Year
Fall
LAW 830SProfessional Responsibility3.0
LAW 812S
or 643S
Behavioral Science Applications to the Law
Children and the Law
3.0
LAW 920SDrexel Law Review1.0
PSY 515Clinical Case Conceptualization3.0
PSY 898Master's Thesis in Psychology3.0
Clinical Psychology Practicum Seminar 
 Term Credits13.0
Winter
PSY 520Psychopathology3.0
PSY 620Personality Assessment3.0
 Term Credits6.0
Spring
LAW 920SDrexel Law Review1.0
PSY 722Theories of Intervention3.0
PSY 648Forensic Assessment I3.0
LAW Electives6.0
 Term Credits13.0
Fourth Year
Fall
LAW 812S
or 643S
Behavioral Science Applications to the Law
Children and the Law
3.0
LAW 622SEmployment Discrimination3.0
PSY 820Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy3.0
PSY 649Forensic Assessment II3.0
PSY 560 - Teaching and Consultation2.0
 Term Credits14.0
Winter
PSY 524Professional Issues and Ethics3.0
PSY 712History and Systems3.0
 Term Credits6.0
Spring
LAW 842SLaw and Mind Sciences2.0
LAW 634SEvidence4.0
PSY 516Developmental Psychology3.0
PSY Elective3.0
 Term Credits12.0
Fifth Year
Fall
PSY 812Cognitive Neuroscience3.0
PSY 630Biological Basis of Behavior and Treatment3.0
LAW 931SLaw Co-op7.0
LAW 654SLawyering Practice Seminar2.0
 Term Credits15.0
Winter
PSY Independent Study/Research3.0
 Term Credits3.0
Spring
LAW 678SJuvenile Justice Law3.0
LAW 644SFamily Law3.0
PSY 550Multicultural Perspectives in Psychology3.0
 Term Credits9.0
Sixth Year
Fall
PSY 530Neuroanatomy and Behavior3.0
 Term Credits3.0
Winter
PSY Independent Study/Research3.0
 Term Credits3.0
Spring
PSY 518Social Psychology3.0
 Term Credits3.0
Seventh Year
Spring
PSY 999Internship4.0
PSY 998Ph.D. Dissertation in Psychology9.0
 Term Credits13.0
Total Credit: 176.0

Plan of study is subject to change based on course offering cycles.

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