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J.S.D. Program

The Doctor of the Science of Law (J.S.D.) program is a select program open only to graduates of the LL.M. program at Yale Law School.

Successful candidates for Yale Law School’s J.S.D. program have achieved high standing in taking the LL.M. degree at Yale Law School and demonstrate strong aptitude for performing advanced scholarly research. Admission to candidacy for the J.S.D. is highly selective; it does not follow automatically from the award of Yale’s LL.M. degree, but rests entirely on the graduate committee's independent judgment of the applicant's qualifications.

Requirements
To qualify for the J.S.D. Degree, students must:

  • submit a dissertation that is a substantial contribution to legal scholarship;
  • spend at least two terms of work in residence at the School (this requirement may be satisfied by residence as an LL.M. candidate).
  • spend at least one additional year, not necessarily in residence, devoted to the preparation and revision of the dissertation.

Students from abroad should visit the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) for information about international students at Yale.

Profiles of current J.S.D. candidates