The J.D./Government program awards the Juris Doctor and a Doctorate in Government (with an M.A. en passant). The program allows students to specialize in American Government, International Relations, Comparative Government, or Political Theory. Students may enroll in the joint degree program on a full-time or part-time basis. Students in the joint degree program are required to take the first year of law school as an intact block. This first year at the Law Center may be taken prior to or after completing one year of Government coursework, but no earlier or later.

J.D./Ph.D. students must satisfactorily complete graduation requirements for both the J.D. degree and the Ph.D. degree. Separate diplomas will be awarded, and upon satisfactory completion of the program, a Joint Degree Certificate will be awarded as well. An M.A. degree is awarded en passant to students enrolled in the Ph.D. program upon completion of 48 academic credits and course distribution requirements in the Government program and at least 6 credits of upperclass J.D. coursework. A student in this joint degree program may receive his or her J.D. degree before the completion of the program, provided that the coursework for the J.D. degree has been completed and the student has completed 48 credits of Government coursework.

J.D./Government students must complete all required courses and the total number of academic credits for graduation (76 credits of Law Center courses and 48 credits in Government for the M.A. degree). Students must complete an additional 15 credits of Government coursework for a Ph.D. degree in the fields of Comparative Government, International Relations, or Political Theory. Alternatively, students interested in earning a Ph.D. degree in American Government must complete an additional 18 credits of Government coursework.

Nine credits of Government coursework will count towards the J.D. degree requirements, and approximately 21 credits of J.D. coursework will count towards the Ph.D. degree requirements. The program also requires a J.D./Government student to:

  1. perform satisfactorily on a written foreign language examination;
  2. submit a dissertation proposal;
  3. successfully complete and defend a dissertation in Government;
  4. successfully complete all degree requirements for the J.D. degree; and
  5. and maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00/4.00 in their Government program and the required minimum cumulative grade point average for the J.D. program (see the Juris Doctor Program chapter of the Georgetown Law Student Handbook of Academic Policies).

Note: The Government program will waive the minor comprehensive exam requirement for J.D. students who earn a B+ or better in three law courses.