Jurisprudence and Social Policy

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Berkeley Law is unique among major US law schools in housing its own interdisciplinary graduate program in the study of law, leading to MA and PhD degrees in Jurisprudence and Social Policy (JSP). The JSP Program promotes the study of law and legal institutions through the perspectives of several disciplines, including history, economics, philosophy, sociology, and political science. The first law and society program of its kind in North America, the JSP Program remains the clear leader of a vibrant and growing body of such programs, because of its deep curricular resources and its scholarly accomplishment.

Members of the Berkeley Law faculty with primary responsibility for the JSP Program are trained in a variety of academic disciplines, and also are affiliated with other Berkeley departments and research centers.

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Admission to the University

Along with the UC Berkeley Graduate Division application materials noted below, applicants are asked to submit:

  •  transcripts of grades
  •  three letters of recommendation
    • three letters must be submitted for your application to be considered complete
    • additional letters will not be reviewed
  •  a statement of purpose (2-3 pages, double-spaced)
  • a personal statement (2-3 pages, double-spaced)
  • a sample of past written work (25-50 pages)
  • NOTE: Beginning with the 2022-2023 application cycle (entry in Fall 2023), the GRE requirement is no longer required

Please note that the M.A. degree in Jurisprudence and Social Policy  is only available to current Berkeley Law J.D. students or JSP Ph.D. students.


Applying for Graduate Admission

Thank you for considering UC Berkeley for graduate study! UC Berkeley offers more than 120 graduate programs representing the breadth and depth of interdisciplinary scholarship. The Graduate Division hosts a complete list of graduate academic programs, departments, degrees offered, and application deadlines can be found on the Graduate Division website.

Prospective students must submit an online application to be considered for admission, in addition to any supplemental materials specific to the program for which they are applying. The online application and steps to take to apply can be found on the Graduate Division website.

Admission Requirements

The minimum graduate admission requirements are:

  1. A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;

  2. A satisfactory scholastic average, usually a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) on a 4.0 scale; and

  3. Enough undergraduate training to do graduate work in your chosen field.

For a list of requirements to complete your graduate application, please see the Graduate Division’s Admissions Requirements page. It is also important to check with the program or department of interest, as they may have additional requirements specific to their program of study and degree. Department contact information can be found here.

Where to apply?

Visit the Berkeley Graduate Division application page.

Doctoral Degree Requirements

JSP Orientation Seminar

    LAW 209 JSP Orientation Seminar

Select *three* of the following Foundation Seminars

LAW 208.8 Foundation Seminar in the Sociology of Law

LAW 214.2 Law & Classical Social Theory

LAW 215.4 Foundations of Moral Philosophy

LAW 215.42 Foundations of Legal Philosophy

LAW 215.5 Foundations of Political Philosophy

LAW 217.12 Law and Economics Foundation Seminar

LAW 225.1 Law and Politics Foundation Seminar

LAW 267.4 Law & History Foundation Seminar

Select *two* Graduate Elective JSP Seminars per approved study list in area of specialization

We will accept any 3+ unit course taught by JSP faculty

LAW 375P, LAW 300, LAW 602-603, and LAW 297-299 units would not fulfill this requirement

JSP Statistics Course

LAW 209.3 Quantitative Approaches to Law & Social Science

JSP Research Methods Course

LAW 209.5 Research Design

Select *one* law doctrinal course

A number of courses in the JD curriculum can be used to fulfill the requirement, including but not limited to:

  • Administrative Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Business Organizations
  • The 1L curriculum

Contact Information

Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program (School of Law)

2240 Piedmont Ave.

Berkeley, CA 94720-2150

Phone: 510-642-3771


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