How to Apply
Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.)
Visit the tabs below to learn about the application requirements for the S.J.D. program:
Submit a completed application by April 15, 2014
KU Law uses the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS) to process S.J.D. applications. CAS will compile all your documents and verify foreign transcripts. This is a great convenience for both the applicant and KU Law. You can find out complete information on how to open a LSAC account at www.lsac.org.
To find our application, you will choose the KU Law LL.M. application. Be sure to check the “SJD” box on the LL.M. application.
Among the documents you will need:
- Official transcripts from all undergraduate and law school programs attended
- Include at least two letters of recommendation attesting to your ability to complete the S.J.D. program
- $55 application fee
Separately, please complete the Supplemental KU Law application for international students, which is used to help prepare your I-20. You can download the form and e-mail it directly to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every candidate must submit a dissertation proposal. The proposal should include a title, table of contents, explanation and sample bibliography. This is the most important component of the application and should reveal why the candidate wants to study the dissertation topic and what arguments are likely to be raised in defense of the proposal.
Dissertation proposals can be submitted directly to the Office of Admissions at email@example.com.
Each S.J.D. candidate pursues the degree under the supervision of an overall faculty supervisor known as the dissertation chair, who must be a full-time member of the KU Law faculty. To match candidates with an appropriate chair, KU Law has instituted the following process:
- After a candidate has submitted a complete application and a dissertation proposal, the Admissions Office will forward the proposal to three faculty members with relevant academic expertise.
- Although candidates may suggest potential dissertation chairs, they are discouraged from contacting KU Law faculty on their own.
- Once a professor has expressed an interest in serving as chair, the candidate and the professor are encouraged to conference either by phone or Skype. The Admissions Office will facilitate such a conference.
Dissertation chair information can be submitted directly to the Office of Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A minimum residency period of one year at KU is required. During this time, the candidate completes KU Law courses necessary for dissertation research. The successful completion of 16 credit hours of coursework is required in the first year.
Following the residency period, some candidates obtain or return to prominent jobs in the U.S. or their home countries and write their dissertation remotely. However, all students remain continuously enrolled – whether or not in residence at KU – until the degree is completed.
After the candidate has earned 16 credits of coursework during the residence period, he or she will need 6 more credits (22 total) to complete the S.J.D. degree. The final 6 credits are obtained through dissertation research and preparation.
Proof of English Proficiency
Applicants must establish English proficiency as evidenced by TOEFL exam scores or successful completion of a basic law degree, or master’s degree, from a program conducted in English. KU Law may require the submission of a TOEFL score or request a personal interview for a candidate who holds an LL.M.
Dissertation Passage Requirements
- Successful completion of all required courses with a grade of C or better.
- Production of a dissertation of no less than 200 single-spaced pages, including front material, footnotes, and bibliography. Paper type, font, margins, and other format and style matters must conform to KU's Graduate School Instructions to Candidates for Doctoral Degrees in order for the dissertation to be deposited in the KU Libraries.
- Evidence that the candidate has identified a legal issue of relevance; constructed an original argument about that legal issue; defended that argument in a manner that is clear, organized, well-written and well-reasoned; and produced a work that would be publishable as a book, extended law review article, or linked series of law review articles.
- Successful, public defense of the dissertation to committee.
Tuition & Fees
All S.J.D. students are required to take 16 credits during their one-year residency. In addition, students are assessed a $1,000 per semester S.J.D. fee for two semesters each year. Below is an example of a typical tuition schedule for an S.J.D. student. Note that tuition rates are subject to change.
|Estimated Annual Expenses - First Year||S.J.D. Students|
|Tuition for 1st year
(16 credit hours)
|S.J.D. Semester Fees ($1,000 per semester)||$2,000|
|Total for Tuition/Fees||$19,763.20|
|Room and Board||$10,474|
|Estimated Annual Expenses - Subsequent Years||S.J.D. Students|
|Tuition (1 credit per fall, spring, summer)||$3,164.10|
|S.J.D. Fee ($1,000 per fall, spring semester)||$2,000|
|Total for Tuition/Fees||$5,164.10|
*Costs for room and board, personal expenses, transportation and books are estimates determined by the KU Office of Student Financial Aid.