Jurisprudence and Social Policy

University of California, Berkeley


UC Berkeley Law School’s Jurisprudence and Social Policy (JSP) Program offers a unique interdisciplinary graduate program leading to PhD degrees for students interested in:

  • The scholarly study of legal ideas and institutions from the standpoint of one or more of the basic disciplines, such as history, economics, philosophy, sociology, or political science.
  • Policy analysis and applied research on law-related issues in such fields as criminal justice, poverty and discrimination, human rights, urban planning, and environmental protection.
  • Preparation for teaching legal studies in graduate and undergraduate curriculums.
  • Interdisciplinary preparation for teaching law.

Admission to the JSP Program does not require a juris doctor (JD) degree and does not lead to a JD degree. Students may apply to both the law school’s JD and JSP Programs; however, admission to one does not guarantee admission to the other.

Applicants have two options:

  • To seek admission to the JSP Program alone, leading to the PhD degree without a JD degree.
  • To seek admission to both programs, leading, if admitted to both, to the JD and PhD degrees. Completion of the first option normally takes about five years and completion of the second option includes an additional year or more.

A fundamental objective of the JSP Program is to focus the knowledge and perspectives of the social sciences and humanities on the analysis of law, legal discourses, legal institutions, and law-related policies. To this end, JSP’s faculty includes scholars from economics, history, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology.

Graduate Program

Jurisprudence and Social Policy: PhD

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Contact Information

Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program

2240 Piedmont Ave.

Berkeley, CA 94720-2150

Phone: 510-642-3771


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