Doctor of Juridical Science Degree (JSD)

Loyola Law School professors are top legal scholars in many areas of specialization, and the Law School fosters legal research among its professors and students alike. 

The Doctor of Juridical Science degree (JSD) is a research-based advanced law degree. JSD students must complete some coursework requirements, engage in guided, independent legal research, and produce a 50,000-word dissertation of publishable quality that explores and advances scholarship in an area of law. 

Applicants must have already completed a JD or LLM degree at an ABA-approved law school or an LLM degree at a foreign law school. U.S. LLM graduates must take a minimum of 6 units of graded coursework each semester over 2 semesters of residency.  JD and foreign LLM graduates must take a minimum of 12 units of graded coursework each semester over 2 semesters of residency.  During the 2 semesters of residency, the JSD candidates will begin working on their dissertations.  They must present their dissertation work one time while in progress during residency.  Candidates have a maximum of 5 years to complete all of the degree requirements, including a final oral defense of the dissertation, which will be open to the entire Loyola Law School community. 


Please apply through the LSAC website before February 1, 2015. To gain access to our JSD application form there, enter through the “Future LLM Students” portal. To submit your dissertation proposal, please add those pages to your goals statement and upload them together as one document.

Please do not contact Loyola Law School professors. The Admissions Committee will make its admission decision first, then search for an appropriate dissertation chair to guide an admitted student’s research.

Loyola Highlights:

  • Loyola Law School faculty members regularly publish in the top journals, including, in the last several years, the Harvard Law Review, the Stanford Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review and University of Chicago Law Review.  They publish manuscripts in the top presses, and write influential casebooks and treatises used by lawyers, judges and students.
  • Loyola Law School is a leader in classroom technology.  Almost every class is digitally sound-recorded.  Professors may make the recordings available to students through a course website, and many do.  This can be a very important study aid.
  • Loyola Law School has an excellent alumni network.  For example, in the Los Angeles Superior Court System, more judges went to Loyola Law School than any other law school in the country.  The Law School currently has more than 16,000 alumni.