Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) Admission

This degree program is designed for those seeking to pursue careers as teachers and scholars of law. It is a highly selective program open only to applicants who possess a distinguished academic record in law, show promise of outstanding scholarship, and demonstrate potential for completing a scholarly dissertation of high quality.

To be considered for admission into Emory Law’s SJD program, candidates must have received a first degree in law that allows them to practice law in their home country and an LLM degree from a US institution.

  • For US graduates, applicants must have earned both a JD and an LLM degree.
  • For foreign-educated lawyers, first law degree designations vary by country.  For a list of law degrees that meet this requirement, please refer to the Minimum Degree Requirements by Country chart found on the LSAC website» Applicants must also have earned an LLM degree from a US institution prior to matriculation in the SJD program.

Students in the SJD program should have English language skills at a level that enables them to read and discuss in class, difficult technical material.  Daily class preparation is demanding and students with English language limitations may have difficulty.  Only students who feel confident in their English language ability should apply.

For this reason, the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is required of foreign applicants whose native language is not English.  A TOEFL score of 600 on the paper-based test, 100 on the Internet-based test, or 250 on the computer-based test is expected.  All aspects of each application are considered and language skills further evaluated through the interview and as such, candidates with lower scores may be considered.

Applicants whose native language is not English but have earned a degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction, may request a waiver of this requirement.  Requests can be submitted via email to graduateprograms@emory.edu »  However, non-native English speaking graduate students are tested separately from the native English speakers in their courses and at times allowed extra time on exams.  If a waiver of the TOEFL/IELTS is granted during the admission process, the student will be exempt from this accommodation and will be tested as if English were their native language.  Therefore, requests for waiver should be considered carefully and if there is any uncertainty about the language ability, a TOEFL or IELTS score submitted.

Application to the SJD program is highly competitive and by invitation only.  The first step in the process is to contact the Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs at Emory Law (see right sidebar for contact information). This initial consultation will help determine if there is a good fit between the Emory SJD program and the prospective student.