Law and Philosophy Dual Degree (JD/MA or JD/PhD)

Enrolling in a dual degree program can be a great way to combine two areas of interest and expand your career opportunities. Most programs also shorten the overall timeline to obtain your degrees. The Philosophy Department at Boston College offers two dual degree options with the Boston College Law School: a JD in Law and MA in Philosophy, and a JD in Law and PhD in Philosophy.

Law and philosophy have always been inextricably linked, employing similar styles of argument and analysis. These dual degrees provide frameworks for examining issues of globalization, bioethics, modern technology, professional responsibility, and social justice—designed for students looking to leverage interests in legal theory and jurisprudence.

Boston College’s strength in both fields makes it an ideal place to study these disciplines. Among the BC Law faculty, many conduct advanced research in jurisprudence, and others have dual degrees in law and philosophy. Philosophy Department faculty includes experts in ethics, natural law, philosophy of law, social-political philosophy, and continental philosophy.

The JD/MA program offers a foundation for examining a range of topics, allowing students to put theory into practice. The JD/PhD program investigates the intersection of law and philosophy, preparing students for academic careers. It is important to remember that being admitted into one graduate program does not guarantee admission into the other. A student must apply to both schools and admission decisions are made independently.


BC Law: April 1

Philosophy: January 2 (PhD) and February 1 (Master's)

Admission Requirements

Students must separately be admitted to each program.

The Philosophy Department requires:

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
  • GRE General Test
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • Writing sample
  • TOEFL/IELTS for international applicants

The Law School requires:

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
  • LSAT (taken within the past five years)
  • Registration with the LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service

Degree Requirements

Students must meet both degrees’ individual requirements, but the following provisions can reduce students’ course load and time to degree:

  • Students can apply up to 12 credit hours of BC Law classes toward the requirements for the MA or PhD.
  • Students can apply up to 12 credit hours of philosophy classes toward the JD.  
  • Students can apply one semester of study in the Graduate School of the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences toward the JD.
  • Dual degree students must take a one-semester, three-credit integrative seminar offered jointly by both schools.

The JD/MA program may be completed in as few as three years, but it must be completed within six years of enrollment. The JD/PhD program may be completed in as few as six years, but it must be completed within ten years of enrollment.

Law School Requirements