The dual program in Law and Economics enables a small number of highly qualified students to pursue simultaneous work in both disciplines. The program is designed to enable students to substantially reduce the time usually required to earn the two degrees separately and to encourage meaningful integration of work in both fields. All requirements for both the JD and the PhD in Economics can be completed in six to seven years; some students may require a greater amount of time. Timely completion of the program will ordinarily require at least two summers in residence.

Students in the dual program receive superb training in legal and economic analysis, as well as informed insight into some of the most complex and difficult problems confronting government leaders, business executives, and scholars today. Graduates of the program are particularly well prepared for university teaching and research in both fields. Recent graduates of the program have also chosen to work as practicing economists, either in government or in private consulting firms. Those graduates who choose to practice law are uniquely well prepared to handle cases in administrative, antitrust, corporate, securities, commercial, labor, and environmental law.

The program provides a framework of basic requirements for each degree to encourage competence in both disciplines. Apart from these requirements, the program is flexible and permits students to shape individual courses of study in accordance with their particular interests and goals. Each student’s program is reviewed and approved by a dual committee composed of both Law and Economics faculty.

Information contained herein is valid as of 2/26/19 and is subject to change.

Contact the applicable admissions office or dual degree resource for more information.


  • Admissions

    Applicants should have exceptional undergraduate records that include substantial work in Economics, as well as courses in statistics and mathematics, including calculus and linear algebra.

    Applicants must gain separate and independent admission to both the graduate program in Economics in the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies and to the Law School. Applicants should indicate their interest in the dual program on both the Law and Graduate School applications. If you are enrolled in a graduate program in another school or department at the University, the Law School will accept a valid GRE, GMAT, or MCAT score in lieu of an LSAT score; otherwise, a valid LSAT score is required. *

  • JD Requirements

    Students entering the Law School must complete the required first-year law curriculum. Students must take one elective course of three or four credit hours during their second semester. All students must complete the following before graduation: at least one international or comparative law course of two or more credit hours, at least one upper-level course with a rigorous writing component, one statutory or regulatory course of three or more credit hours, one course in professional responsibility of two or more credit hours, and two credit hours of experiential learning. Separate courses must be taken to fulfill the upper-level course with a rigorous writing component, the professional responsibility course, and the experiential learning course Students admitted to the Law School must earn a minimum of 83 credits toward the JD, at least 71 of which must be earned in Law School courses.

    Twelve (12) credit hours from Economics courses may be counted toward requirements for the JD. If you are admitted to the Rackham School of Graduate Studies and choose to pursue the JD/PHD program, you must notify the Law School’s Office of Student Records and Office of Student Life.

  • PhD Requirements
    • Two terms of economic theory courses. One term of mathematics and two terms of econometrics, or the equivalent level of competence as demonstrated by passing written examinations.
    • Four courses in specialized fields in Economics, two of which must form a sequence in a major field.
    • One course concentrating on advanced theoretical or empirical techniques. This course may be counted as one of the four required field courses or, alternately in special circumstances and with the approval of the student’s adviser, may be taken in the Law School.
    • Successful completion of three written preliminary examinations; one in microeconomics, one in macroeconomics, and one in the student’s major field.
    • Advanced research paper, to be satisfied in concurrence with the Law School seminar requirement. Ordinarily, this paper will form the basis of the student’s dissertation.
    • Doctoral dissertation; a research project on a significant topic of the student’s choosing. A dissertation proposal must be approved by a faculty committee, which also hears the student’s oral defense at the completion of the dissertation.
  • Additional Requirements

    Students must satisfy the degree requirements of each school, and should consult with advisers in each school for the precise graduation requirements for each degree and for information about course offerings. Law School courses are not offered in the summer term. Students will not receive credit toward the JD for non-law coursework taken prior to matriculation at the Law School. Students should consult with the adviser at the companion school concerning credit toward the PhD for Law course work.

    Tuition will be assessed at either the Law School or the Graduate School rate, whichever is higher, when courses toward both degrees are taken in one term. The combined degree is not open to those who have already earned one of the two degrees.

    At the beginning of their final year of study in the combined program, students should consult with their Rackham academic adviser and the Law School’s Office of Student Records regarding forms that need to be completed prior to graduation. Also at this time, students should submit a Dual/Joint Degree Election Form (…) for approval from both the Law School and the Department of Economics.

  • Please Note

    Any JD who enrolls concurrently in another degree program will be awarded the JD degree after completing all of the requirements for the dual, joint, or combined degrees. (As a practical matter, this means that the student will receive the JD degree either after or at the same time as they receive the degree(s) in the other program(s).) This policy will not affect the student’s class year for purposes of the Law School’s commencement ceremony or alumni events, and it will not apply if a student discontinues the other degree program(s). A law student who believes that they will experience some hardship as a result of this policy may petition the Associate Dean for Academic Programming for an exception.

    JD courses traditionally have a later grading deadline than other degree programs. On some occasions, this later JD grading deadline may affect a student in their final term if another degree program desires all of the student’s grades prior to the JD grading deadline.

Contact Information

Law School Admissions Office
University of Michigan Law School
Jeffries Hall, Suite 2200
701 S. State St.
Ann Arbor, MI  48109-1215

Phone: 734.764.0537

Office of Student Life (dual degree programs)
University of Michigan Law School
316 Hutchins Hall
625 S. State St.
Ann Arbor, MI  48109-1215

Phone: 734.764.0516

Office of Student Records
University of Michigan Law School
416 Hutchins Hall 
625 S. State Street 
Ann Arbor, MI  48109-1215

Phone: 734.763.6499

Department of Economics Doctoral Admissions
Department of Economics
University of Michigan
250 Lorch Hall
611 Tappan Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1220

Phone: 734.764.2360

Rackham Graduate School Admissions 
0120 Rackham Building
915 E. Washington St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070

Phone: 734.764.8129