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JD/PHD in Law & Psychology

The Thomas R. Kline School of Law and the Department of Psychology in the Drexel's 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 at the Thomas R. Kline School of Law and the PhD in Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychology, thus further enhancing Drexel University’s leadership in multidisciplinary education.

Students in the program complete all 85 semester credits required for graduation from the law school and all 91 quarter credits required to complete the doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology.  The program provides those students who wish to pursue professional degrees in both law and psychology with a more efficient plan of study. The program is designed to be completed in seven years.

The Thomas R. Kline School of Law is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and the Clinical Psychology program is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association. Although a few other universities may offer degrees in law and psychology, these are often on an ad hoc, nonintegrated basis. Thus, the Drexel program is a unique interdisciplinary endeavor.

Program Goals

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

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

Key Elements

  • Required core curriculums in law and psychology
  • Interdisciplinary courses, e.g., Mental Health Law, Behavioral Sciences and the Law, Expert Witnesses, Law and the Mind Sciences
  • Supervised psycho-legal research experience under the guidance of a faculty member
  • 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, Death Penalty Law, Juvenile Justice
  • Pro bono service in legal settings
  • Employment in a legal setting, e.g., public interest law firm, governmental agency, private law firm, nonprofit association

Teaching Fellow Policy

The College of Arts and Sciences regards training in pedagogy and instruction to be core to the mission of doctoral education. Therefore, all PhD students in the College are required to perform significant teaching duties (defined over multiple terms) during their pursuit of their degree. These activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Supervising teaching labs
  • Running course recitations
  • Teaching as the primary instructor
  • Running student seminars
  • Training junior researchers in core research methods
  • Running or actively participating in pedagogical seminars or conferences

Alternate fulfillment of this requirement is at the discretion of the program director and the head of the student's home department.

Learn more about the degree in the Course Catalog