Due to the demand for researchers and policymakers with interdisciplinary training in both law and environmental science, we now offer a joint degree program that enables students to earn a J.D. from the School of Law and a Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Policy (ECS) from the Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy.
Who Should Consider this Joint Program?
This program enables students with strong interests in both environmental policy and law to prepare for careers in either the private or public sector in a shorter amount of time than if pursuing both degrees separately.
As an intensive program, it provides high-level knowledge and research experience and is especially suited to those seeking to:
- Implement and impact environmental policy and regulation at the state or national levels
- Engage in cutting-edge research related to environmental policy in an academic setting
- Serve as environmental legal consultants or litigators
- Work with international agencies, governments, or organizations
- Gain expertise in environmental science for those with the desire to go into environmental law
- Understand legal fundamentals in order to work on marine conservation and coastal conservation issues, and need to understand some legal fundamentals in order to formulate policy recommendations for these regimes.
Snapshot: Timing, Credits Saved, Scholarship
Begin Taking Graduate Courses
Depends which program begins first
Shortest Completion Time
J.D. Credits Required
Graduate PGM Credits Required
Number of Credits Saved
21 (9 J.D., 12 Ph.D.)
Ph.D. Fellowship and
Schedule & Credits
The joint program enables students to obtain both a J.D. and a Ph.D. in 6 years. Students fulfill all requirements of the current J.D. and ECS Ph.D. programs, including completing and defending a doctoral dissertation. One full year of the six will be spent taking courses in the School of Law, and the additional five years are spent taking both Law and ECS courses. Click here to see schedule and credit specifics about entering the program through the School of Law and for information about entering through the PhD program.
Scholarships and Tuition
Students will receive 4 years worth of stipends and tuition waivers from the ECS program for their PhD work, with the obligation to serve as a Teaching Assistant for 1 year out of the 4. The Law School will provide a $25,000 tuition scholarship for the first year in Law School, and then, assuming the student is in the top half of his/her class, a comparable scholarship ($25,000) pro-rated for subsequent years depending on the number of law school credits by semester.
Students wishing to pursue the J.D./Ph.D. program must be admitted to both the J.D. and ECS Ph.D. programs separately. J.D. students wishing to pursue the J.D./Ph.D. program must apply to the ECS Ph.D. program for admission no later than Fall semester of their second year of law school. Enrolled law students who are subsequently accepted into the joint program must notify the law school registrar before taking their first ECS credits.
In order to be accepted to the Law School, students must take the LSAT and complete the online Law School application. In order to be accepted to the Ph.D. program, students must take the GRE and complete the ECS Ph.D. application.
Acceptance by one program does not in any way indicate or guarantee acceptance by the other degree program.
For more information
Director, Professional and Intellectual Life Programming
University of Miami School of Law