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SJD Program

Join our Doctor of the Science of Law (SJD) program and graduate prepared to make significant contributions to your area of study and become a leader in the international academic community.

The SJD is the highest law degree offered by the University of Pennsylvania Law School. All applicants must have already earned an LLM, JD, or equivalent degree from Penn Law or a comparable institution.

The principal requirement of the SJD is a dissertation that makes an original and substantive contribution to legal scholarship. This contemplates a book or extended monograph reflecting intensive and creative research with respect to a specific topic, problem, or area of law. The work, both in content and form, must be of publishable quality and normally must have been submitted and accepted for publication either as an extensive article (or series of articles) in a law review or a book.

After the dissertation committee accepts your dissertation, you must defend it in an oral examination before the dissertation committee.

The SJD degree must be completed within three years, although you may petition for an extension.

All SJD applicants must have a well-stated scholarly proposal, with an area of research and appropriate research methodology clearly outlined. Admission is largely based on the faculty’s evaluation of the scholarly proposal that you submit. Find out more about the SJD Prerequisites and Scholarly Proposal.

See SJD Specific Frequently Asked Questions and Application Information.

View all SJD student profiles
View recent alumni profiles

Degree Details

Application Information for the SJD Program

SJD Students

Yang Chen

Yang Chen

 
Waleed

Waleed Y. W. Haj Hasan

 
Mengyun Ma

Mengyun Ma

 
Santiago Grossman

Santiago N. Ortegon Giral

 
Asaf Raz

Asaf Raz

 
Ilya Rudyak

Ilya Rudyak

 

SJD Alumni

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Nadia Banteka

 
Chao-Tien Chang

Chao-Tien Chang

 
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Giacomo Rojas Elgueta

 
Cochav Elkayam-Levy

Cochav Elkayam-Levy

 
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Simin Gao

 
Michal Gat Gilad

Michal Gat Gilad

 
Parawee Kasitinon

Parawee Kasitinon

 

Sin Chit LAI

 
Yifan Lin

Yifan Lin

 
Seunghyun Sally Nam

Seunghyun Sally Nam

 
Nizan Geslevich Packin

Nizan Geslevich Packin

 
Ananth Padmanabhan

Ananth Padmanabhan

 
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Maayan Filmaar Perel

 
Muhammad Sarahne

Muhammad Sarahne

 
Amal Sethi

Amal Sethi

 
Weiwei Shen

Weiwei Shen

 
Konstantinos Stylianou

Konstantinos Stylianou

 
Bhamati Viswanathan

Bhamati Viswanathan

 

Xiaochen Zhang