Dual Degree: Doctor of Philosophy - Educational Psychology & Juris Doctor

The dual Doctor of Philosophy - Educational Psychology and Juris Doctor (Ph.D. and J.D.) program prepares participants to meaningfully combine legal and psychological approaches to education and advocacy. Prospective students must apply for and be accepted to each program individually. To graduate, students must earn between 134-143 credit hours and complete a doctoral dissertation.

Learning Objectives

Students who successfully complete a program at BSL will be able to demonstrate:

Legal and Law-Related Knowledge
Knowledge of specific areas or aspects of substantive law, legal theory, or legal procedure
Example: Acquiring knowledge of domestic / comparative / international / transnational legal doctrine and processes, jurisprudence, knowledge of legal theory, and statutory / regulatory law and processes.
Analysis and Decision-Making
Understand and develop solutions to legal problems
Example: Analyzing, being creative or innovative, exercising practical judgment, problem solving, and reasoning.
Policy Evaluation
Draw connections between specific legal issues and policy contexts or values
Example: Understanding or evaluating specific situations in light of fundamental principles and values such as equality, fairness, liberty, justice, or analytical orientations such as economics, public safety, or public policy.
Professional Identity
Responsibilities of lawyers to their profession and society
Example: Demonstrating awareness of professional commitments to continued learning, community involvement and service, diligence, engagement, ethics, honesty, integrity, and dedication.
Written professional communication for a variety of professional purposes
Example: Creating written texts for different audiences and purposes, advocating, negotiating, analyzing, memorializing transactions, or disseminating knowledge.
Oral Communication
Using oral communication for a variety of professional purposes
Example: Advising, advocating, counseling clients, influencing, listening, presenting information, speaking for professional purposes.
Information Gathering and Processing
Obtaining and assessing information about facts, law, procedure, and people
Example: Fact finding, interviewing, researching, and sorting known information so as to identify what is important for particular purposes.
Interpersonal Perspectives
Emotionally intelligent engagement, team building, collaboration, cooperation, and leadership
Example: Seeing the world through the eyes of others, resolving conflicts, empathizing, evaluating, mentoring, organizing and managing others.
Client and Practice Management
Skills required to ethically and effectively manage ethical, professional and business aspects of the legal profession
Example: Building relationships with clients, members of the legal profession, and others, handling stress, identifying client or community needs, organizing one's own work, using technology and electronic media.

Ph.D. Program in Educational Psychology

Learning Theory
Understand and be able to analyze key theories related to learning, cognition, and development.
Literature Critique
Be able to critically evaluate research studies based on each study’s (a) methodology, (b) literature support, & (c) significance.
Research Design & Methods: Quantitative
(a) Understand and use advanced statistical research methods (including computertechnology for the analysis of data); (b) understand the role of causation in science and the threats to causal inference posed by invalid research design and methodology.
Research Design & Methods: Qualitative & Mixed
Understand (a) qualitative approaches to exploring phenomena related to educational and other social contexts, (b) the theoretical and practical considerations of conducting and interpreting case studies, ethnographies, participant observations, narrative reports, and design-based research, and (c) criteria for establishing goodness of qualitative studies.
Human Measurement
Be able to develop plans for test construction, item and test specification, item writing and selection, test preparation and administration, test and item analysis, item and test revision to enhance reliability and validity, and various methods for validating tests, such as factor analysis, item response theory, and current issues in measurement.
Professional Research Skills
Be able to serve as independent scholars who (a) can design, (b) implement, (c) and prepare reports of research studies, and (b) make significant contributions to the discipline of educational psychology.
Professional Identity and Community
(a) Develop a professional identity consistent with the specialization strand, (b) actively contribute to the profession, and (c) understand aspects of ethical and professional functioning in the chosen domain.
Specialization Strand Theory
Understand and be able to analyze key theories related to the selected specialization strand.
Specialization Strand Application
Understand how to implement evidence-based intervention strategies and/or design and modify learning environments to promote more effective learning.


Graduates of the law school typically work as attorneys. A law degree is a prerequisite for admission to the bar in most states, and bar admission is required to engage in the practice of law. Law school graduates work in private law firms, business, government, nonprofit, and academic settings.

Graduate Catalog

The graduate catalog is the official repository of the graduate program requirements, and Graduate College policies.

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Representative Syllabi