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JD-PhD in Law and Psychology Program

Our JD-PhD in Law and Psychology Program represents the only fully integrated merger of these two professional degrees currently offered at a single university in the U.S.

Students earn their professional degrees in law and psychology in a total of seven years. The program combines coursework with a year-long internship in a mental health/forensic setting, a master’s thesis, a dissertation, a co-op placement in a legal setting and 50 hours of pro bono service in the law.

The curriculum includes core program requirements in law and psychology as well as interdisciplinary courses such as Law and Mental Health, Social Science Applications to the Law, Seminar in Advanced Problems in Mental Health Law and Research in Law and Psychology.

The program aims to bridge the gap between law, which relies on special rules concerning evidence, proof and precedent in order to settle conflicts that require immediate resolution, and psychology, which views problems through an empirical lens, evaluating questions but rarely ending in a final verdict.

Students gain an appreciation and competency in both traditions, mastering the methods, languages and epistemologies of each.

Graduates will possess a broader understanding of social problems than those trained solely in law or behavioral sciences, enabling them to analyze existing policy and potential changes from a psycholegal perspective.

Students must apply to the law and psychology programs separately before entering.

Professor David DeMatteo

David DeMatteo

Director of the J.D./PhD Program in Law and Psychology

Professor DeMatteo's research interests include psychopathy, forensic mental health assessment, drug policy and offender diversion. His research has been funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Pennsylvania Department of Health, Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and the American Psychology-Law Society.

Contact

Phone: 215.571.4707
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