Frequently Asked Questions

Students in the Moot Court room on campus

What is an S.J.D.?

The Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) is a doctorate in law.  The S.J.D. at Georgetown Law is designed to offer advanced training to legal scholars from outside the United States who wish to enhance or embark on a career in the legal academy.

How long does it take to complete the S.J.D?

The S.J.D. requires a minimum of two years of full-time study under the supervision of a full-time faculty member, during which the candidate is expected to be in residence in the Washington, D.C. area.  Many candidates take additional time to complete the dissertation, which may be done away from the Washington, D.C. area with the permission of the faculty supervisor and the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs.

What are the requirements for admission?

Applicants to the S.J.D. degree must have strong academic credentials from their first degree in law, and from an LL.M. program in the United States (in certain cases, an LL.M. degree from the U.K., Canada or Australia may substitute for a U.S. LL.M. degree).  Applicants must present strong TOEFL scores that meet or exceed our minimum requirement (see below).

Do I need a Georgetown LL.M. to be admitted to the S.J.D.?

No. Georgetown's S.J.D. program is very small (usually admitting fewer than 10 students per year), and while a number of the students admitted to the S.J.D. program each year have received their LL.M. degrees from Georgetown Law, applications are welcome from graduates of other LL.M. programs.

Do you require the test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)?

If your native language is not English, you must take the TOEFL and achieve a score of at least 100 points on the internet-based TOEFL with minimum scores of 25 in each section or at least 600 points on the paper-based TOEFL with minimum scores of 60 in each of the three sections to be admitted to Georgetown Law.

May I request a waiver of the TOEFL?

In appropriate circumstances (normally the completion of an undergraduate or first law degree from an English-speaking country at a school where all courses were taught in English), the Graduate Admissions Committee will consider requests for a waiver of the TOEFL requirement. Any requests for a waiver of the TOEFL requirement must be made in writing and submitted along with your application.

Please note that a one-year LL.M. program in the U.S. is not a sufficient basis for a TOEFL waiver, and applicants who are not native English speakers are still expected to provide a valid TOEFL score with their S.J.D. application even if they have just completed LL.M. studies in the United States.

Is there career placement assistance for S.J.D. students?

S.J.D. students are welcome to use the Graduate Career and Professional Development resources, but most S.J.D. students are more interested in teaching than in law practice.

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