The University of Chicago | Graduate Admissions

Doctor of Jurisprudence (JSD)

Division: Law School
Degree Type: JSD

Program Description

The University of Chicago Law School offers two graduate degrees beyond the master's level: Doctor of Jurisprudence (JSD) and Doctor of Comparative Law (DCompL). While most students elect to receive the JSD, the DCompL will be awarded at the student's option if the same degree requirements are met. Although most candidates in the JSD Program first spend a year in the Law School's LLM Program, outstanding graduates of other LLM programs in the United States may be admitted to the Chicago JSD Program. Candidates will not be considered for admission to the JSD Program unless they are a current student in or a graduate of an LLM program in the United States. 

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Application Method

The application process is described in detail on the Law School 's web page.


Applications for the J.S.D. Program should be submitted no earlier than March 1 and no later than April 1.

Campus Visits

Campus visits and interviews are not required. Contact the department for more information.

Degree Objective

The Law School admits applicants only for the PhD degree. 

Application Requirements

Application Method for UChicago LLM Students or Graduates:

  • A description of the topic the candidate would like to develop in the dissertation
  • The names of the faculty members the candidate would like to supervise the dissertation
  • A current resume describing the candidate's academic and professional background
  • A statement describing why the candidate wishes to pursue the JSD degree and how that degree will be useful in the candidate's future career

Application Method for Non-UChicago LLM Students or Graduates:

Applications should be initiated through the "online application":

  • Online Application Form
  • Transcripts of post-secondary school training
  • 2-4 letters of recommendation
  • Basic Information Form for LLM Students (You must submit this form before you send your application materials.)
  • Resume/CV/other such background document
  • Description of topic for dissertation
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Application Fee: $75

Admissions Decisions

Admissions decisions are emailed in early March. Direct all questions about your application directly to the admissions office.

Program Requirements

In order to earn the JSD degree, a candidate must produce a dissertation that makes a creditable contribution to legal scholarship. The dissertation must be supervised by at least two members of the faculty and must be completed within five years of the candidate's first registration in the JSD Program. The candidate must spend one year (three consecutive quarters) in residence at the Law School while working on the dissertation. During that year in residence, the candidate will be expected to participate in academic activities at the Law School that include regular attendance at one of the faculty workshop series that meet throughout the year. 

Costs & Financial Aid

The tuition rate for the 2012-13 academic year will be $1,723 per academic quarter. All students in the JSD Program receive scholarships to cover their full tuition charges.