Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D) Degree
The Law School admits a very limited number of candidates for the S.J.D. degree. This is a highly specialized, research-oriented program and is open only to individuals with outstanding academic qualifications and demonstrated research interests in their field of study.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's or equivalent degree from an approved college or university; a J.D., or equivalent degree, earned with high rank, from a law school that is a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA), or is a recognized non-U.S. institution; an LL.M. degree with high rank from an AALS- or ABA-approved law school; an outstanding academic record; proven capacity for scholarly work; and proficiency in the use of the English language, both oral and written.
All S.J.D. applicants must submit the following to be considered for admission:
- A completed application form accompanied by the application fee of $80 USD.
- Personal statement.
- Two original letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant's academic or scholarly qualifications.
- Official transcripts from all law, graduate, and undergraduate schools attended.
- An official TOEFL report (Schedule for ETS to send your score to the Law School institution and department code: 5246-03). Applicants with a U.S. LL.M. degree are exempt from this requirement upon receipt of their LL.M. transcript.
- Copy of the applicant's LL.M. thesis OR at least one paper/article in English.
- A 30-40 page substantive research proposal on your dissertation topic.
Note on transcripts: Official transcripts must be sent by the issuing institution directly to the Graduate Programs Office, The George Washington University Law School, 2000 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20052. Unofficial records sent by the student will not be accepted. The official transcripts may also be enclosed with the application in envelopes that are sealed and signed by the issuing institution.
About the TOEFL
Students whose initial law degree was earned from a non-U.S. law school where English is not the language of instruction are required to take the TOEFL and receive a score in the 100-point range on the internet-based test or in the 600-point range on the paper-based test. Applicants are responsible for making arrangements for taking the test and having their test scores reported to the Law School. Results are sent six to eight weeks after the test is taken; therefore, applicants are advised to make plans to take the test well before the semester for which they are applying.
A bulletin of information, obtainable without charge, contains a description of the test as well as rules regarding application, fees, reports, and the conduct of the test; lists of examination centers; examination dates; and an application blank. The test fee, which should be remitted with the application, entitles the student to have the test score sent to three institutions. On the application for the test, the student should specify that the scores be sent to the Law School's Graduate Programs office.
The institutional code for GW Law is 5246 and the department code is 03. Address inquires to TOEFL, PO Box 6151, Princeton NJ 08541, USA or visit www.ets.org/toefl. Information on the TOEFL may also be available from your local United States Embassy or Consulate. Registration for the TOEFL does not constitute application for admission to The George Washington University Law School.
Request application materials
U.S. Law School Graduates [pdf]
Non-U.S. Law School Graduates [pdf]