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There are a number of groups of students which are considered special populations for financial aid purposes as their application and/or aid processing may be different from the standard student. This includes married students, students with dependents, international students, joint/concurrent degree students, students in other programs where they are studying away from HLS, and students who take a leave of absence. This section of the web is designed to help you understand the financial aid process and program details for each of the following special student populations.

Berkeley Exchange

During the second semester of the 2L year, students can petition the Administrative Board, through the Dean of Students Office, to study at Berkeley for the 3L year.

Cambridge LL.M.

2L students can apply to the JD/LLM program through the Graduate Program. Admitted students spend their 3L year in Cambridge, England, working towards an LLM. At the end of the year, students receive an LLM and a semester’s worth of credit toward their HLS JD. Students then spend one additional semester at Harvard to finish their JD degree.

Canadian Student Loans

Student Financial Services allows Canadian students to use Canadian government, provincial, and territorial loans and grants, as well as education lines of credit through Canadian banks in order to finance their HLS education. This section will give you some helpful links as well as information regarding the guidelines through which these funds may be obtained.


This program allows students to receive both their JD and MBA from Harvard in four years, reducing the total time from five years to four years. Students spend one year at each the law school and business school and are enrolled at both schools for the final two years.


The JD/MPH joint degree program offers students the opportunity to receive two degrees in three academic years and one summer. Student are enrolled full-time at the Law School for the first year and the following July and August in summer session at the School of Public Health. The second and third years are spent jointly at both schools.


The JD/MPP and JD/MPA/ID joint degree programs offer students the opportunity to receive two degrees in four academic years. Students in these programs are enrolled for one full year at the Law School and one full year at the Kennedy School; either can come first. In the third and fourth years, they are enrolled jointly at both schools.


The JD/MUP joint degree program provides students with the opportunity to earn a JD from the Law School and a Master in Urban Planning (MUP) from the Graduate School of Design (GSD) in four years. Once you are admitted to one of these programs, you will be enrolled for one full year at the Law School and one full year at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in the first two years; either can come first. In the third and fourth years you will be enrolled jointly at both schools.


The JD/PhD joint degree program allows students to integrate the study of law with their doctoral studies and receive two degrees. Financial Aid is available for the five semesters of enrollment while at HLS and students may graduate from HLS before completing the PhD.

Leave of Absence

When you leave or withdraw from the Law School, you are required to meet with Student Financial Services to discuss your potential revised award amounts, bill revisions and their implications as well as receive information regarding the required exit interview, lender contact and future application deadlines.  You should contact Student Financial Services to set up an appointment as soon as you file your paperwork with the Registrar’s Office.

Married Students and Students (Both Married & Single) with Dependent Children

Harvard Law School, as required by federal student aid rules, does not have a separate, fixed budget for married students or for students (both married and single) with dependent children. Instead, allowances are given in the calculation of the student contribution to account for these expenses. This section explains this process in detail.

Semester in Washington

The Semester in Washington D. C. gives HLS students the opportunity to work as legal interns in a variety of federal offices while taking a government lawyering class in the spring of their 2L or 3L year.  This section explains the financial aid process and procedures in detail.

Study Abroad

Each year a small  number of students are granted approval to study at a foreign institution for one semester. Students may study abroad during their second year (fall or spring semester) or during the fall semester of their third year. This section explains financial aid policies related to this program.

The Program for Third Year Visits

The Program for Third Year Visits is available for third year students who need to study out of residence at another ABA accredited law school due to personal hardship or for academic enhancement. In order to participate in this program, students must petition the HLS Administrative Board, through the Dean of Students Office.

VA Yellow Ribbon Program

Harvard Law School will provide qualifying post-9/11 veterans the maximum assistance available under the federal government’s Yellow Ribbon Program.