SJD Specific Questions
- How long is the SJD program?
- How do I secure an adviser?
- What are the requirements for the SJD scholarly proposal and writing sample?
- Can I get financial aid or a paid position at the law school to help finance my SJD degree?
How long is the SJD program?
Candidates are expected to complete the SJD in three years. Most candidates successfully complete and defend their dissertation within this time frame.
How do I secure an adviser?
During the first year of the program, you must secure the consent of a standing faculty member to serve as his/her adviser. You do not need to select an adviser prior to admission and should refrain from contacting faculty members on this subject prior to admission to the Program.
What are the requirements for the SJD scholarly proposal and writing sample?
An applicant must submit an SJD proposal setting forth the scholarly project the applicant intends to pursue in the SJD Program. The proposal should thoroughly describe the anticipated dissertation topic, the goal of the project and how the applicant will achieve that goal, as well as the research methodology and the relevance and significance of the topic. There is no specific requirement regarding the length of the proposal, but most submissions are 15-20 pages in length.
Each applicant must also submit a sample, in English, of his/her (research-based) writing on a legal topic of approximately 10-20 pages. This may be a work that has already been published and/or an excerpt of a longer work so long as the candidate is the sole author of the submission.
Can I get financial aid or a paid position at the law school to help finance my SJD degree?
No, in general, Penn Law does not offer financial aid, scholarships, or paid positions at the law school for our SJD students. Tuition is kept low to make this degree affordable as possible.