Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.)


As Dickinson Law's most advanced law degree, the Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) degree is designed for both domestic and foreign lawyers seeking specialized knowledge in a particular area of law; a career in academic law or other scholarly, research, policy, or professional endeavors; or career advancement through the acquisition of an academic doctorate in law. The course of study required for the S.J.D. degree will offer students an opportunity to work under the supervision of a faculty advisor to pursue sustained, supervised research and writing leading to the production of a dissertation that makes an original and valuable contribution to legal scholarship.

Admission Requirements

Applicants will have already earned an LL.B., B.A., or J.D. degree from a duly accredited or recognized national or international institution of higher education, as well as either an LL.M. degree from Dickinson Law or another American Bar Association-accredited law school in the U.S. or a duly accredited or recognized foreign law faculty, or another degree equivalent to at least a Ph.D. degree.

Applicants will demonstrate professional objectives and submit a proposed course of study that aligns with the expertise and capacity of a Dickinson Law faculty member who is willing to serve as an S.J.D. faculty advisor. Applicants will also demonstrate English language proficiency sufficient for the advanced study of law in English.

Learn more about the admissions requirements for the S.J.D. degree, including the required application materials.

Program Requirements

As a rule, students in the S.J.D. program spend their first year in residence at Dickinson Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, during which time they will enroll in the Research Methods Seminar and any other course that their Faculty Advisors deem appropriate, all on a Pass-Fail basis. They will also work on research and writing toward their Candidacy Submissions.

By the end of the individuals’ first academic year in residence but no later than the second semester of the second academic year in residence, students in the program will submit their "Candidacy Submissions," which shall include a chapter of their dissertation proposals, or equivalent papers, along with detailed bibliographies and outlines of their entire dissertations and orally present those to their respective Candidacy Committees.

Learn more information about the S.J.D. degree requirements, including the timelines for those requirements.

Professional Licensure/Certification

Many U.S. states and territories require professional licensure/certification to be employed. If you plan to pursue employment in a licensed profession after completing this program, please visit the Professional Licensure/Certification Disclosures by State interactive map.