Doctor of Juridical Science

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Doctor of Juridical Science, Doctor of the Science of Law, (in Latin) Scientiae Juridicae Doctor (S.J.D.) or Juridicae Scientiae Doctor (J.S.D.), is a research doctorate in law[1] equivalent to the more commonly awarded research doctorate, the Ph.D.[2][3]


The S.J.D. is offered by the Australian National University,[4] Bond University,[5] La Trobe University,[6] the University of Canberra,[7] the University of New South Wales,[8] the University of Sydney,[9] the University of Technology Sydney,[10] and the University of Western Australia.[11] It was once offered by the Queensland University of Technology.[12]


In Canada, the J.S.D. or S.J.D. is only offered at the University of Toronto. The University of Toronto's Faculty of Law is the leading institution from which Canadian law professors may earn a Doctorate of Juridical Science. Other law schools in Canada still offer a Ph.D. in law as the terminal degree.

United States[edit]

The J.S.D., or S.J.D. is a research doctorate, and as such it is equivalent to the more commonly awarded research doctorate, the Ph.D.[13] It is considered the "most advanced law degree" by Cornell University,[14] Harvard Law School,[15] Columbia Law School,[16] Yale Law School,[17] NYU Law,[18] Penn Law,[19] Stanford Law,[20] UVA Law,[21] Duke Law School,[22] Berkeley Law,[23] UCLA School of Law,[24] Washington University School of Law,[25] George Washington University Law School,[26] University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law,[27] and University of Illinois College of Law.[28] According to Indiana University[29] it is the "terminal degree in law designed for individuals interested in academia." The National Association of Legal Professionals states that the J.S.D./S.J.D. is "the most advanced (or terminal) law degree that would follow the earning of the J.D. and LL.M. degrees".[30]

Applicants for the program must have outstanding academic credentials.[31] A first degree in law (such as a J.D. or LL.B.) is required, as well as an LL.M.[32] Exceptions as to the latter condition (i.e. holding an LL.M.) are seldom—if ever—granted.[33]

The J.S.D./S.J.D. typically requires three to five years to complete.[33][34] The program begins with a combination of required and elective coursework. Then, upon passage of the oral exam, the student advances to doctoral candidacy. Completion of the program requires a dissertation, which serves as an original contribution to the scholarly field of law.[35]

Despite its terminal status, the J.S.D./S.J.D. is rarely earned by American scholars. The American Bar Association considers the first-level JD (or LLB) a sufficient academic credential for the instruction of the law. This has been adopted by virtually all American law schools, though outstanding academic performance and an extensive record of legal publications are usually required for tenure-track employment at most universities. Most scholars who complete the J.S.D./S.J.D. at American universities are either international students seeking academic employment in their home countries (where a research doctorate may be required) or American scholars already employed, and who wish to further their legal education at the highest level.

Notable recipients of the degree of Doctor of Juridical Science include:

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Doctor of Juridical Science – Legal Definition". 20 August 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  2. ^ "Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.)". Archived from the original on 11 February 2008. Retrieved 11 February 2008.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  3. ^ "LL.M. and S.J.D. Programs, Graduate Studies in Law". Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  4. ^ "Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.), ANU College of Law - ANU". Canberra, Australia: Australian National University. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  5. ^ "Doctor of Legal Science (Research)". Gold Coast, Australia: Bond University. 5 November 2019. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  6. ^ "Doctor of Juridical Science". Melbourne, Australia: La Trobe University. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  7. ^ "Course - University of Canberra". Canberra, Australia: University of Canberra. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  8. ^ "Juridical Science (PrDoc)". Sydney, Australia: University of New South Wales. 9 March 2017. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  9. ^ Sydney Law School. "Doctor of Juridical Studies - Sydney Law School - The University of Sydney". Sydney, Australia: University of Sydney. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  10. ^ "C02027v5 Doctor of Juridical Science". Sydney, Australia: University of Technology Sydney. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  11. ^ "Doctor of Juridical Science". Perth, Australia: University of Western Australia. 7 November 2019. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  12. ^ "Admissions – Page 6 – Agent Newsbites". Brisbane, Australia: Queensland University of Technology. 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  13. ^ Doctorate document[dead link] at US Dept. of Education
  14. ^ "J.S.D. Program". Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  15. ^ "S.J.D. Courses & Academics". Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  16. ^ "J.S.D. Admissions". Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  17. ^ "Yale Law School | Contact the Graduate Programs Office". Archived from the original on 28 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  18. ^ "NYU Law – LL.M. & J.S.D.: J.S.D. Program". Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  19. ^ Street, The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School3501 Sansom; Philadelphia; Pennsylvania, PA 19104 map 215 898 7483 University of. "SJD Program". Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  20. ^ Stanford Law School. "Doctor of Science of Law (J.S.D.) | Stanford Law School". Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  21. ^ "S.J.D. Program". Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  22. ^ "S.J.D. Program". Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  23. ^ "J.S.D. Program". Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  24. ^ Studies, Office of Graduate. "Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) at UCLA Law | UCLA Law".
  25. ^ "Programs for International Lawyers/Juridicae Scientiae Doctor (J.S.D.) Program". WashULaw.
  26. ^ The George Washington University Law School. "Doctor of Juridical Science | GW Law | The George Washington University". Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  27. ^ The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. "Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.); The University of Arizona". Retrieved 8 December 2020.
  28. ^ "J.S.D. Application – University of Illinois College of Law".
  29. ^ "S.J.D. Degree". Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  30. ^ "NALP - National Association for Law Placement | Working Glossary". Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  31. ^ "S.J.D. Degree". Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  32. ^ "Doctor of Juridical Science Degree". Archived from the original on 5 November 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  33. ^ a b "Georgetown Law – Doctor of Juridical Science (Admissions)". 21 September 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  34. ^ "Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) Requirements". Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  35. ^ "Tulane Law School Prospective Students". Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  36. ^ "Press Release Archives #417-97 Leg. creating Harvey L. Strelzin Street". Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  37. ^ "Charles Hamilton Houston legal definition of Charles Hamilton Houston. Charles Hamilton Houston synonyms by the Free Online Law Dictionary". 22 April 1950. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  38. ^ "Lowell Turrentine, retired Stanford law school professor, dead at 96". 26 January 1988. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  39. ^ "Justice Jefferson Remembered as Soft-Spoken Legal Giant". 29 June 1910. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  40. ^ Yardley, Jonathan (7 May 1987). "A Woman's Triumphs in a Fight for Justice". Newsday. Retrieved 30 March 2010.
  41. ^ "Login | Columbia Law School". Archived from the original on 21 June 2016. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  42. ^ "Katherine Franke | Faculty | Columbia Law School". Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  43. ^ "W. Michael Reisman - Yale Law School". Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  44. ^ Harvard Law School. "Lucian A. Bebchuk | Harvard Law School". Retrieved 2 September 2016.