Law SJD

BEASLEY SCHOOL OF LAW

About the Program

The Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) degree program is designed for law school graduates who demonstrated excellent law school academic performance and writing skills, which indicate potential to conduct legal research and scholarship in the English language. This highly selective program accepts no more than two SJD candidates in a given academic year. Admitted SJD students are expected to complete their dissertation research within three years.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 4 years

Campus Location: Main

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: The degree program is completed on a full-time basis. In Year 1, SJD students study in residence in Philadelphia. In Years 2 and 3, students may register for 2 credits of dissertation research without being physically present on Main campus.

Job Prospects: SJD graduates usually teach law at the university level outside of the United States.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Students must be matriculated in the program to take courses.

Financing Opportunities: All incoming SJD candidates are charged a one-time SJD program fee of $12,000. The SJD program does not have a scholarship program, but students may explore financial aid opportunities commonly available to JD students. Tuition and cost information is available at https://law.temple.edu/about/tuition/. For financial aid information, visit https://law.temple.edu/resources/financial-aid/graduate-international/.

Temple LLM graduates enrolled in the SJD program pay a per-credit tuition charge, set by the Temple University Board of Trustees, each semester of enrollment.

Non-Temple LLM graduates enrolled in the SJD program who are required to enroll for a second semester of classes are required to pay the full-time tuition rate for those second-semester courses. When approved to begin work on their dissertation, these students will thereafter register for two credits of dissertation research every semester of SJD program enrollment and pay a per-credit hour tuition charge, set by the Temple University Board of Trustees, each semester of enrollment.

SJD students are also charged any mandatory Temple University student non-tuition fees, including international student fees assessed to all F-1 visa holders and university service fees assessed to all enrolled Temple University students.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: May 15

Application Procedures:

Procedures for applying to the SJD degree program vary depending on where the applicants earned their LLM degree:

Apply as a Temple LLM Graduate

  • Take courses for grades while enrolled in Temple's LLM program.
  • Earn a final cumulative Temple Law School GPA of 3.33 or higher.
  • Earn a grade of B+ (3.33) or higher in JUDO 0414 Legal Research & Writing or JUDO J414 Legal Research & Writing.
  • Earn a grade of B (3.00) or higher in an upper division research writing seminar.
  • Demonstrate, if relevant, a TOEFL IBT score of 100 or IELTS score of at least 7.0 with no individual scores below 6.5 points.
  • Complete and submit an online Temple Law SJD application.
  • Provide two letters of recommendation from two Temple law professors that endorse the applicant's English writing ability, recommend the applicant's admission into the program, and endorse the subject matter of the proposed dissertation.
  • Submit a detailed dissertation topic proposal.
  • Provide a current resume or CV.
  • Submit a personal statement describing your goals and motivation to earn the SJD degree.

SJD applicants should not solicit Temple law professors regarding SJD dissertation supervision in advance. A Temple Law faculty SJD Committee reviews each SJD applicant’s file. The SJD Committee decides if an applicant’s SJD file is suitable for presentation to a tenured Temple law professor that the Committee has identified as a potential SJD research advisor and dissertation committee chairperson. The SJD Committee, not an individual law professor, makes all final decisions regarding SJD admission and dissertation advisor assignments.

OR Apply as a Non-Temple LLM Graduate

  1. Complete and submit an online Temple Law SJD application.
  2. Submit official transcripts from all law schools and universities previously attended.
  3. Demonstrate, with submission of an official score report, a TOEFL IBT score of at least 100 or IELTS overall score of at least 7.0 with no individual scores below 6.5 points, if relevant.
  4. Provide two letters of recommendation from professors or workplace superiors who are able to certify the applicant's legal research and writing skills.
  5. Submit a detailed dissertation topic proposal.
  6. Provide a current resume or CV.
  7. Submit a personal statement describing your goals and motivation to earn the SJD degree.

SJD applicants should not solicit Temple law professors regarding SJD dissertation supervision in advance. The applicant must meet the requirements for admission into our program. In addition, a Temple Law faculty SJD Committee reviews each SJD applicant’s file and decides if an applicant’s proposal will be passed on to a tenured law professor who might be willing to serve as an advisor and dissertation committee chairperson. If a professor is identified and amenable, the candidate may be admitted into the SJD program. The SJD Committee makes all final decisions regarding SJD admission and dissertation advisor assignments. Individual professors cannot independently make SJD admission offers.

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Coursework Required of Temple LLM Graduates: Register for 2 credits of JUSI D899 Dissertation Research every semester of enrollment in the SJD program. At least one year in residence at Beasley School of Law on Main campus in Philadelphia is required to allow the student to meet regularly with the dissertation advisor.

Coursework Required of Non-Temple LLM Graduates: Enroll in graded Temple Law classes in the Fall semester. SJD First-Year classes are individually selected from the JD curriculum to ensure they relate to the student’s research topic. At least one law writing class is required. Students must earn a cumulative GPA of 3.33 or higher. For the writing class, a grade of "B" or higher is required of domestic students and a minimum grade of "B+" is required of international students. If a student fails to satisfy the grade requirement after one semester, the advisor and Office of Graduate and International Programs determine whether to allow the student to enroll in Spring semester classes to achieve compliance.

When students have satisfactorily completed their coursework and are approved to begin work on their dissertation, they thereafter register every semester for 2 credits of JUSI D899 Dissertation Research while enrolled in the SJD program. When the dissertation phase begins, students must spend at least the next year in residence at Beasley School of Law on Main campus in Philadelphia to allow regular meetings with their dissertation advisor.

Additional Requirement: At the end of each academic year of enrollment, the dissertation advisor must certify to the SJD Committee that the student has made satisfactory progress. If satisfactory progress has not been made at the end of any academic year, the student receives a written warning that satisfactory progress must be attained by the end of the following semester to continue in the program.

Culminating Events:
Dissertation Committee:
After making satisfactory progress during the first year of dissertation work, the advisor forms a dissertation committee consisting of a minimum of two other faculty members, including at least one of whom is tenured or tenure track. Non-tenure track faculty may serve on a committee only if they have a five-year contract. The advisor also has the discretion to form the committee before the end of the first dissertation year.

Annual Public Presentation of SJD Dissertation Work-in-Progress:
SJD students who have begun work on their dissertation must give a public presentation of their research each academic year. This could be a student organization event or a student panel organized by the Office of Graduate and International Programs.

Attendance at Faculty Colloquia:
SJD students are invited to attend faculty colloquia. This aids students in understanding what is expected of legal academic researchers and demonstrates how to present legal research in an academic setting.

Law Professor Mentor and Classroom Observation:
Law professors may offer to mentor SJD students by allowing them to observe one of their classes and provide information about pedagogical issues related to teaching law students.

Oral Dissertation Defense:
When an advisor, in consultation with the student’s dissertation committee, has determined that the candidate is ready to defend the dissertation, the advisor coordinates scheduling of the oral dissertation defense with the Office of Graduate and International Programs. Candidates who pass the defense work with the Office of Graduate and International Programs to ensure that their dissertation is properly submitted to the University. If the candidate conditionally passes the defense, the advisor gives the candidate a deadline, which may not exceed one semester, to satisfy any deficiencies in the dissertation. If the candidate fails the defense, the candidate is dismissed from the program.

Dissertation Honors:
At the discretion of the advisor, the candidate may be awarded an “honors” designation on the transcript for an outstanding dissertation.

Contacts

Program Web Address:

https://law.temple.edu/academics/degrees/sjd/

Department Information:

Office of Graduate and International Programs

Temple University Beasley School of Law

1719 N. Broad Street, 710 Klein Hall

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6002

intllaw@temple.edu

215-204-1448

Submission Address for Application Materials:

intllaw@temple.edu

Department Contacts:

Director of International Law Programs:

Karen McMichael

karen.mcmichael@temple.edu

215-204-1448