The Law and Philosophy Program

The Law and Philosophy Program (LPP) is a joint endeavor of the School of Law and Department of Philosophy at The University of Texas at Austin. The university established LPP in 1998-99 as a combined J.D. and Ph.D. degree program. The program makes it possible to complete both degrees in seven years.  Students in LPP may count two law courses towards the Ph.D. requirements and four philosophy courses towards the J.D. requirements, and by doing so, they can save roughly a year’s worth of work towards the two degrees.  To be eligible for the program you must apply separately to the law school and the Philosophy Department’s Ph.D. program and be admitted to both.

LPP has an internationally distinguished faculty in law and philosophy and offers extensive coverage of topics overlapping the two fields. The faculty is particularly well known for its work in the philosophy of criminal law; the philosophical foundations of constitutional law and constitutional interpretation; jurisprudence; law and justice, philosophical issues in private law, and the intersection of legal theory with political theory, meta-ethics, and moral psychology.

The Law School and the Philosophy Department work closely together to maintain a coherent program of study. The director of the LPP has appointments in both units and actively advises students in the program as they progress toward their degrees. The Philosophy Department offers competitive financial aid for the Ph.D. program. The law school offers a limited number of fellowships each year to students at the dissertation stage as well as in-state tuition waivers qualifying non-residents for in-state tuition during the first year of law school. Tuition at the law school continues to be the lowest of any of the nation’s leading law schools.  After the first year, out-of-state students qualify for in-state law school tuition if they also hold a TA appointment in philosophy.

Students who have earned a J.D. or Ph.D. elsewhere and who are pursuing the other degree in the Philosophy Department or the Law School are welcome to participate in the seminars and workshops that the LPP sponsors.