Doctor of Juridical Science

Doctor of Juridical Science

Doctor of Juridical Science, Doctor of the Science of Law, (in Latin) Scientiae Juridicae Doctor (sometimes also referred to as a Doctor of Laws), abbreviated J.S.D. or S.J.D., is a research doctorate in law[1] and equivalent to the PhD[2][3] It is offered primarily in the United States, where it originated, and in Canada. As a research doctorate, it follows professional training in law (LL.B. or J.D.) and the first graduate-level training in law (LL.M.), and is primarily aimed at training professors, legal scientists, and other scholars in law.[4]



In Argentina the Doctor of Laws, or Doctor of Juridical Sciences, is the highest academic research qualification in the field of Jurisprudence.[5] To obtain the doctoral degree the applicant must have previously achieved, at least the undergraduate degree of Attorney[6] (Título de Abogado). The doctorates in Jurisprudence in Argentina might have different denomination as is described as follows:


The Australian National University,[7] Bond University,[8] the University of Sydney,[9] the University of Technology, Sydney,[10] the University of New South Wales,[11] LaTrobe University,[12] Queensland University of Technology[13] Monash University,[14] and the University of Western Australia[15] offer the S.J.D. degree. The Australian National University,[7] The University of Sydney[9] University of Technology, Sydney,[10] University of Western Australia[15] and LaTrobe University[16] describe their programs as a professional doctorate. The University of New South Wales calls its S.J.D. a research degree.[11] Monash University categorizes its S.J.D. as a research degree, but states that it is a professional doctorate in the degree description.[14] The course description by the Queensland University of Technology states that applicants are to have profound professional understanding of the practice of law, and that the research by the candidates is to make academic and professional contributions.[13]

The University of Melbourne offered a SJD program between 1994 and 2008, but stopped offering its SJD program in order to place a greater emphasis on delivering its PhD program.[17]


The Doctor of Juridical Science is offered by Dalhousie University[18] and the University of Toronto.[19]

Hong Kong

The City University of Hong Kong offers a Doctor of Juridical Science.[20]


Central European University, located in Budapest, offers a S.J.D. degree.[21]

New Zealand

The University of Waikato offers the S.J.D. degree.[22]

United States

The J.S.D., or S.J.D. is a research doctorate, and as such it is generally accepted as equivalent to the more commonly awarded research doctorate, the PhD[23] It is considered the "terminal degree in law" by Indiana University[24] and Harvard Law School[25] and as the "most advanced law degree" by Yale Law School (J.S.D. Handbook),[26] George Washington University,[27] New York University,[28] Stanford University, and Tulane University. The University of Kansas School of Law also offers the S.J.D.[29][30] The National Association of Legal Professionals states that the J.S.D./S.J.D. is "typically the most advanced (or terminal) law degree that would follow the earning of the LL.M. and J.D. degrees."[31] Some law schools, such as Widener University, offer the S.J.D. in Health Law.[32]

Applicants for the program normally must have a first degree in law (such as a J.D. or LL.B.) and an LL.M.,[33] but an LL.M. is not always required.[34] The S.J.D. typically requires three to five years to complete,[34][35] and requires an advanced study in law as a scientific discipline and a dissertation, which serves as an original contribution to the scholarly field of law.[36]

Notable recipients of the degree of Doctor of Juridical Science include: Harvey L. Strelzin (New York U., 1906) (New York State Assembly member and professor at New York U.);[37] Charles Hamilton Houston (Harvard, 1923) (prominent Civil Rights attorney);[38] Lowell Turrentine (Harvard, 1929) (prominent professor of law at Stanford University);[39] Justice Bernard Jefferson (Harvard, 1934);[40] Pauli Murray (Yale, 1965) (prominent civil rights advocate);[41] Ayala Procaccia (University of Pennsylvania, 1972) (Israel Supreme Court Justice); Christos Rozakis (University of Illinois, 1973) (President of the Administrative Tribunal of the Council of Europe and former vice-president of the European Court of Human Rights); Ma Ying-jeou (Harvard, 1980) (President of the Republic of China).

The U.S. institutions offering the S.J.D. include:

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ "Doctor of Juridical Science – Legal Definition". 20 August 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "LL.M. and S.J.D. Programs, Graduate Studies in Law". Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  4. ^ "S.J.D. Program". Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  5. ^ National Commission of University Accreditation: Doctorate Engine Seeker[dead link]
  6. ^ "National Law of Higher Education" (PDF). Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ "Doctor of Legal Science | Postgraduate Degrees | Bond University | Gold Coast, Australia". Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  9. ^ a b "Research Programs @ Sydney Law School – Future students – The University of Sydney". 6 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  10. ^ a b UTS: Handbook 2012 (30 October 2009). "UTS: C02027v4 Doctor of Juridical Science – Law, UTS Handbook". Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  11. ^ a b "Programs & courses – Taxation & Business Law – Schools – Australian School of Business – UNSW". Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  12. ^ [2][dead link]
  13. ^ a b "QUT | Courses | Course details not available". 12 February 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  14. ^ a b
  15. ^ a b "UWA Handbooks 2011 > Doctor of Juridical Science". 24 June 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  16. ^ "Research & Expertise". 28 September 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  17. ^ "Research & Expertise". 28 September 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  18. ^ "JSD_Programme – Schulich School of Law". 20 July 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  19. ^ [3][dead link]
  20. ^ [4][dead link]
  21. ^ "Doctor of Juridical Science | Central European University". Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  22. ^ UoW Calendar Team ( "Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)". Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  23. ^ [5][dead link]
  24. ^ "S.J.D. Degree". Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  25. ^ "S.J.D. Courses & Academics". Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  26. ^ "Yale Law School | Contact the Graduate Programs Office". Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  27. ^ The George Washington University. "SJD | Full List of Programs | Find a Graduate Program | Graduate & Professional | Learn | The George Washington University". Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  28. ^ "NYU Law – LL.M. & J.S.D.: J.S.D. Program". Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  29. ^ "Enrollment Options – School of Law". Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  30. ^ Stanford Law School. "Doctor of Science of Law (JSD) | Stanford Law School". Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  31. ^
  32. ^ "Widener Law – Doctor of Juridicial Science in Health Law". Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  33. ^ "Doctor of Juridical Science Degree". Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  34. ^ a b "Georgetown Law – Doctor of Juridical Science (Admissions)". 21 September 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  35. ^ "Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) Requirements". Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  36. ^ "Tulane Law School Prospective Students". Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  37. ^ "Press Release Archives #417-97 Leg. creating Harvey L. Strelzin Street". Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  38. ^ "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. 
  39. ^ "Lowell Turrentine, retired Stanford law school professor, dead at 96". 26 January 1988. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  40. ^ "Justice Jefferson Remembered as Soft-Spoken Legal Giant". 29 June 1910. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  41. ^ Yardley, Jonathan (1987-05-07). "A Woman's Triumphs In a Fight for Justice". Newsday.'s+Triumphs+In+a+Fight+for+Justice&pqatl=google. Retrieved 2010-03-30. 

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