PhD in Taxation Law
Ph.D. programs in taxation law are not generally available. However, Juris Doctor (J.D.), Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation and Doctor of Philosophy in Law programs are available and may include specializations in tax law. Learn about these degree programs as well as admission requirements and career information.
What's the Closest Thing to a Ph.D. in Taxation Law?
Rather than looking for a Ph.D. in Taxation Law, you can enroll in a Ph.D. program focused on law in general. If you're looking for a law degree, Juris Doctor or Master of Laws programs are available that offer concentrations in taxation. If you want a Ph.D. and don't yet have your J.D., you can enroll in a joint Ph.D./J.D. program. Programs designed to prepare you for legal practice aren't available online.
|Degree Options||Ph.D. with law concentration, J.D. or LL.M. with taxation concentration|
|Law Program Prerequisites||Bachelor's degree, LSAT scores|
|Common J.D. Courses||Court procedures, investment analysis, accounting, taxation law, financial reports|
|Common LL.M. Courses||International tax policy, employee benefit plans, business planning, limited licensing corporations, corporate taxation|
|Ph.D. in Law Overview||Attendance at legal clinics, training in areas where law overlaps with sociology, economics or other areas|
|Job Outlook||8% increase between 2016-2026 (for lawyers)*|
*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
How Do I Enroll in a Law Program?
Before enrolling in a J.D. program, you'll need to earn a bachelor's degree and submit scores from the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). While there isn't a single type of 4-year degree that is a stepping stone to a J.D., most colleges recommend that you complete an undergraduate program focused on the liberal arts. Prerequisites for Master of Laws in Taxation programs include a Juris Doctor.
Unless you're enrolling in a joint law program to earn a doctorate that awards a J.D., you'll need to complete requirements for your Juris Doctor before you complete doctoral study. In a joint Ph.D./J.D. program, you'll begin graduate study with J.D. requirements.
What Will I Learn in a Juris Doctor Program?
You can enroll in a general Juris Doctor program with a concentration in taxation or a joint program that also awards a Master of Taxation. Both programs prepare you for a career in legal practice. While earning a J.D. in a joint program or one with a concentration in taxation, you can expect to learn about the following topics:
- Taxation law
- Court procedures
- Estate planning
- Financial reports
- Investment analysis
Why Should I Earn a Master of Laws in Taxation?
Master of Laws in Taxation programs provide more specialized legal training to build on your J.D. degree. While earning your LL.M., you'll learn about corporations, partnerships, nonprofits and other organizations for the purpose of tax assessment. You can also enroll in schools that provide tutoring from internal revenue agents, legislative aides, tax lawyers or business professionals.
Not only will you learn about the tax compliance requirements for different organizations, you'll also learn how to represent clients in tax court while applying comparative law. Coursework in support of this outcome will explore:
- Employee benefit plans
- Corporate taxation
- International tax policy
- Business planning
- Limited Licensing Corporations
- Excise and direct taxation
What Does a Ph.D. in Law Program Cover?
You can enroll in a Ph.D. program to complete interdisciplinary research where law overlaps with sociology, economics or other fields. Ph.D. programs provide you the skills to teach law students. Depending on the type of program you choose, you may also be required to complete a certain amount of legal clinics representing clients under the supervision of practicing attorneys. You can also pursue a Ph.D./J.D. to complete the academic requirements for practicing law while you earn a doctorate.
How Can I Use My Law Degree?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), lawyers had median salaries of $120,910 in May of 2018 (www.bls.gov). One in five lawyers were self-employed in 2018, reports the BLS.
You'll have to earn a Juris Doctor from a program accredited by the American Bar Association before you can practice law. You'll also have to pass the bar exam in the state where you plan to practice. Overall, the BLS expects that the number of jobs for lawyers will increase by 8% between 2016 and 2026, which is about average.