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Doctor of Juridical Science (J.S.D.)

A J.S.D., or Doctor of Juridical Science is, in effect, legal education’s counterpart to the Ph.D. Those who have already earned an advanced law degree, and wish to do intensive, in-depth work in a specific topic in International Legal Studies or International Water Resources Law, normally over a period of several years, should apply to one of the J.S.D. programs.

J.S.D. - International Water Resources Law

To qualify for the J.S.D. degree in International Water Resources Law, the student must:

  • Earn a minimum of twelve (12) semester hours of credit over a course of a two-semester residency.
  • Earn a cumulative grade point average of not less than 3.0 (on a 4.3 point scale).
  • Successfully defend their dissertation (continued enrollment of 2 units per semester during the candidacy period is required).

The courses completed during the residency will be determined by the Dissertation Supervisor in consultation with the student.  A J.S.D. student is expected to work closely with his or her Dissertation Supervisor during the residency and candidacy periods.

J.S.D. - International Legal Studies

To be considered for McGeorge's J.S.D. program, applicants must present evidence of:

  • Graduation from a school of law approved by the American Bar Association; or
  • Admission to the Bar of a state in the United States; or
  • Graduation from a faculty of law in a foreign country whose educational authority has authorized that faculty to issue degrees in law.

Applicants must submit the following documents. (Note: Application materials in languages other than English must be accompanied by certified English translations.):

  • Online Application
  • Curriculum vitae (résumé);
  • Application statement indicating why you are interested in the J.S.D. degree including intended fields of inquiry and research objectives in specific terms;
  • Legal writing sample such as a published article, monograph, or academic paper; 
  • Original official transcripts from colleges, universities, and graduate or professional schools attended, including a current law school transcript, if currently enrolled;
  • Two letters of reference, preferably from law school professors or legal employers;

For non -native English speakers, proof of English proficiency:

  • Receipt of an undergraduate or graduate degree from an English language institution;
  • Multi-year employment in a position in which English is the primary language of communication; or
  • A minimum test score of 88 (Internet-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or 6. 5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Questions?

Contact the Graduate & International Programs Office
Email | 916.739.7353 or 916.739.7019

J.S.D. - International Water Resources Law

Program Degree Requirements

  • Earn a minimum of twelve (12) semester hours of credit over a course of a two-semester residency.
  • A cumulative grade point average of not less than 3.0 (on a 4.3 point scale)
  • The courses completed during the residency will be determined by the Dissertation Supervisor in consultation with the student.
  • A J.S.D. student is expected to work closely with his or her Dissertation Supervisor during the residency period.
Typical J.S.D. Curriculum
LAW 621International Water Resources Law Seminar3
Elective Course(s)5+


Advancement to Candidacy

At the conclusion of the two-semester residency, the J.S.D. student must present to the student's Dissertation Supervisor a detailed outline and draft chapter of the dissertation and pass a qualifying oral examination. Students who successfully complete these tasks and achieve the requisite level of performance in coursework, as determined by the Program Director and a subcommittee of the Graduate Studies Committee appointed for this purpose, will be advanced to candidacy.

The candidate is expected to work closely with the Supervisor during the preparation of the thesis. The candidate must complete a final dissertation in publishable form no later than four years after completing his or her coursework, and must successfully defend the dissertation before the candidate's dissertation committee. Deviations from the foregoing rules in individual cases may be permitted by the International Studies committee on the recommendation of the Program Director.


J.S.D. - International Legal Studies

Program Degree Requirements

Typical J.S.D. Curriculum
First-year Residency (12 units required)
Required Course(s): 5 units
Subject in Int'l Legal Studies (determined by Faculty Supervisor)3
Writing for Publication2
Elective Course(s): 7 units
Law Teaching2
Subject in Int'l Legal Studies5
Note: Public International Law is mandatory for students who have not taken it previously.

Upon successful presentation of a dissertation proposal and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, the student is then admitted into candidacy.

Second & subsequent years: Candidacy (2 units/ semester until successful dissertation defense.)


Length of Program

A typical program of study constitutes one year of residency and three years of candidacy.  

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate the ability to identify and understand key concepts in substantive law, legal theory, and procedure in international law context;
  2. Apply knowledge and critical thinking skills to perform competent legal analysis, reasoning, and problem solving of a particular matter;
  3. Demonstrate the ability to conduct international legal research;
  4. Demonstrate written communication skills.