Joint CS PhD/ Law

Graduate students interested in pursuing a joint graduate program in Computer Science and Law can apply to a joint degree program between the two academic units.   The program is designed for students interested in obtaining both a JD and a PhD.  In addition to being admitted to both programs, students must apply to the joint program by contacting the supervising faculty in each department.

Students interested in the joint degree program must apply and gain entrance separately to the School of Law and to the PhD program in Computer Science and as an additional step, must secure permission from both academic units to pursue degrees in those units as part of the joint degree program.  Interest in either joint degree program should be noted on the student’s admissions applications and may be considered by the admissions committee of each program.   Alternatively, an enrolled student in either program may apply for admission to the other program and for joint degree status in both academic units after commencing study in either program.

Faculty advisors from each academic unit will participate in the planning and supervising of the student’s joint program.

The Law School shall approve courses from the Computer Science student’s program of study that may count toward the J.D. degree, and the Computer Science Department shall approve Law School courses that may count toward the PhD degree in Computer Science.   In either case, approval may consist of a list of applicable to all joint degree students or may be tailored to each individual student’s program.

The total minimum residency requirement for the joint degree program is 190 units.  No more than 54 units can be counted toward both degrees.

Joint degree students may elect to begin their course of study in either the School of Law or the Department of Computer Science.   Faculty advisors from each academic unit will participate in planning and supervising each student’s joint program.  Students will be enrolled full time in the Law School for the first year of that program and may be required to be enrolled full time in the Department of Computer Science for one or more quarters as specified by the Computer Science Department.   At all other times, enrollment may be in either academic unit, and students may choose courses from either program regardless of where enrolled.   Students must satisfy the requirements for both the J.D and the PhD degrees as specified in the Stanford Bulletin or elsewhere.  The sequencing and scheduling for individual joint degree students may vary substantially depending on background, interests, and the guidance of faculty advisors from both academic units.

Joint degree students shall be eligible for the same funding arrangements in both academic units, including scholarships and grants, as students who are not pursuing a joint degree.   Because Computer Science provides tuition at the TGR rate in the final year of funding, students should plan carefully to ensure that they have completed 190 units by the end of the fifth year of study.   Any additional tuition expense beyond the level is the responsibility of the student.