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Program Description and Financial Aid Application Process

he JD/PhD joint degree program allows students to integrate the study of law with their doctoral studies and receive two degrees. Students will be expected to complete all requirements for the JD degree within seven years of the date they first enroll in either HLS or GSAS; they may graduate from HLS before completing the PhD. There are a number of possible academic schedules for students pursuing this joint degree. While the schedule is flexible, students will be expected to complete a total of five semesters including three winter terms in order to earn their JD.

Financial Aid is available for all 5 semesters of HLS enrollment. All forms of Financial Aid from Student Financial Services is available based on need to all JD students.  JD/PhD students may also be eligible to apply to the coordinated JD/PhD program for funding to cover some or all of their law school tuition and mandatory fees not otherwise paid for with need-based grants.

Student Bill

Students must pay five semesters of full tuition to HLS including three winter term tuitions. The first two years have standard first and second year charges like all HLS students. The final semester, for most JD/PhD students is comprised of a 5 month budget. Some students do their final HLS semester as fall/winter while other students come for winter/spring depending on the courses they want to take to finish their degree. Regardless of which semester a student chooses, tuition will be billed for the full 5 months at the beginning of the semester.

Your Student Budget

The standard student budget is made up of tuition, books, supplies, travel, room, board and personal as well as health insurance and dental insurance. Your budget will be the standard student budget for your first and second year. In your last semester your budget will be pro-rated to 5/9ths of the standard 9 month budget and all financial aid will be based on this budget.

*Please note that under Federal student aid regulations, an allowance for the Harvard Student Health Insurance Plan may be included in the student’s budget only for students who enroll in the plan. For students who waive this coverage, the allowance will not be given and the total student budget will be reduced by the amount of the plan fee. Student may request upon appeal to have the documented cost of an alternate health insurance plan for which the student pays added to the student’s budget.

Summer Work Requirement

For financial aid purposes, the 8 week minimum work requirement applies to JD/PhD students. However, students in the coordinated JD/PhD program may file an appeal to receive summer employment credit for up to 8 weeks of academic research and/or writing specifically related to the completion of their PhD requirements.

Deferring your loans after getting your JD and while finishing your PhD

You’ll want to think about the types of loans you borrow during law school in order to minimize the amount of monthly loan debt you will be required to pay while finishing your PhD. If you borrow loans that do not have in-school deferment benefits then you will be required to make payments on those loans after the grace period ends and while still finishing your PhD. Federal loans have a minimum of a six month grace period where no loan payment is required from you. They also have an in-school deferment benefit where you can defer the payment of your federal loans as long as you are enrolled more than part time in a degree seeking program. Private loans through private lenders will not likely grant an in-school deferment once you have finished the JD portion of your joint degree.

Cash Advances and Refunds

If you anticipate having credits that exceed your eBill charges you will be eligible for a cash advance or a refund. As a 1L you will receive it after you have registered and completed all of the orientation requirements. As a 2L and 3L you will receive the advance or refund in late August via direct deposit as long as you have completed the registration and check-in process with the law school registrar’s office.

Other Requirements

You will be required to attend an entrance and an exit interview with the Law School. The entrance interview will take place during your Law School orientation. Your exit interview will be held in the last semester at the Law School .