Admissions overview


The Ph.D. Program in Law and Economics is a dual-degree program, conferring both a J.D. and a Ph.D. in law and economics upon completion of program requirements. Applicants must complete separate applications to Vanderbilt Graduate School and Vanderbilt Law School. Each applicant's Law School and Graduate School applications will be considered together in a collaborative admissions process. The Program does not offer spring admission.

Degree Requirements

  • Characteristics of Successful Applicants

    Students admitted to the dual-degree program meet the standards for admission to Vanderbilt Law School as well as for admission to leading Ph.D. programs in economics. Successful applicants have strong undergraduate coursework in math. Highly recommended undergraduate courses are (1) two or three terms of calculus, (2) linear algebra, (3) real analysis, and (4) mathematical statistics. Successful applicants also have a clear interest and potential for conducting social science research in the program's fields of specialization.

  • Test Requirements

    Applicants to the J.D./Ph.D. Program in Law and Economics may be eligible to apply to the Law School with their GRE scores only in lieu of an LSAT score. Individuals must not have taken the LSAT in the last five years and must not take the LSAT in the current admission cycle in order to apply through the GRE-Only pathway. Other academic and score criteria must be met to be eligible to apply GRE-Only. Please read the Application Process instructions carefully for details.

  • Single Degree/Ph.D.-Only Track

    Applicants who already hold a Juris Doctor (J.D.) at the time of matriculation may pursue the Ph.D.-Only track. Students on this track should be able to satisfy all requirements for the Ph.D. in Law and Economics within four years. We do not admit students without a J.D. for the Ph.D.-only track.

    LL.M. or LL.B. degrees will not be considered as equivalent to a J.D. for admission to the Ph.D.-Only track. Applicants holding an LL.M. or LL.B. must apply to the J.D./Ph.D. dual-degree track.

Dates for Application

The Ph.D. Program in Law and Economics will begin accepting applications for fall 2025 in August 2024. Applications received by January 15, 2025 will receive priority consideration.

Have Questions?

Contact the Ph.D. in Law & Economics Program manager.