S.J.D. Program Standards

The S.J.D. program is a three year research-based degree. Courses are not assigned for this program. Applicants need to complete the LL.M. before enrolling in this program. One year of residence near is required for physical meetings with your dissertation professor.

The application requires:

- personal statement*
- 2 reference letters
- official law school transcript(s) (received in a sealed envelope from institution)
- TOEFL score (waived if primary language is English; score from LL.M. application accepted)
- dissertation proposal*
- $50 application fee

*may be provided electronically through online application

Before drafting your dissertation, it's important to keep in mind that a full-time Temple University Law professor must be available to supervise your topic. You do not need to contact a professor prior to applying, but you should become familiar with our professors' areas of expertise before submitting a dissertation:

Qualified applicants may be rejected if a professor is not available to supervise the dissertation topic.

Tuition, including university fees, totals approximately $3,000 per year. If you require a student visa you will need to document access to approximately $13,000 for living expenses (travel, housing, food, etc.) for the academic year.

Dissertation Committee

A dissertation committee composed of three Presidential Faculty members will be established for each admitted candidate. The dissertation committee chairperson will normally be the faculty member who has previously expressed his or her interest and availability to supervise the candidate and, in any event, must be a tenured law faculty member.

Dissertation Study/Research Plan

The supervisor and the candidate must, upon admission and at the beginning of each academic year, establish a study and research plan that the candidate will follow during that year.

The candidate is expected to consult with and have regular meetings with his or her supervisor throughout the year and throughout the writing process.

S.J.D. Candidate Academic Progress Reporting/Academic Probation

A candidate who has not completed his or her dissertation shall submit an annual progress report to the dissertation committee. If the dissertation committee finds that the candidate is not making satisfactory progress towards the completion of his or her dissertation, that candidate shall be placed on academic probation for the next academic semester. If, at the end of this probation period, the dissertation committee determines that the student is not making satisfactory progress towards the completion of his or her dissertation, the candidate shall be dropped from the S.J.D. program.

The annual progress reports shall be submitted by the following dates:

For candidates matriculating in the fall semester:  May 30
For candidates matriculating in the spring semester: December 30
For candidates matriculating during summer semester: January 30

The Law School Registrar may post and delete academic probation notations on the student's academic record based on a written request from the supervising faculty member and Assistant Dean for Graduate and International Programs.

Residence Requirement and Academic Evaluation Scale for S.J.D. Candidates

The candidate will be in residence for at least two semesters. In every semester, the candidate will be enrolled in a Dissertation Research Course of at least one credit hour. In addition, the candidate may be required to take certain courses during the residence period at the direction of the Dissertation Committee. Course work and the final dissertation shall be graded on the following scale:

H - Honors

Q - Qualified

UN - Unqualified

Annual Faculty Presentation Requirement

The candidate will normally make a presentation on his or her research to the faculty at least once every academic year.

S.J.D. Dissertation Evaluation and Oral Defense Process

The dissertation will be submitted to the dissertation committee no later than three months before the intended date of graduation. The dissertation committee shall determine if the dissertation makes a significant and original contribution to legal literature. If the dissertation committee deems the dissertation acceptable, the candidate will offer an oral defense of the dissertation before the dissertation committee. If the dissertation defense is acceptable, the candidate will be deemed to have completed the requirements for the S.J.D. degree, be awarded a final grade, and be eligible for graduation.

Length of Time Allotted For Completion of the S.J.D. Degree

The candidate will normally complete the dissertation within three years of admission to the S.J.D. program. Extensions may be granted for compelling reasons by the S.J.D. Committee.