Juridical Science, SJD

The Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) program offers distinguished students with law degrees the opportunity to research and write a dissertation.

About this Program

Advanced Research Degree for Legal Scholars and Specialists

The Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) is a three-year program for a small number of distinguished students who have already earned a law degree.

The SJD is a research-focused degree for students who want to conduct an in-depth academic exploration of scholarly issues related to complex legal questions, legal theory or practices.

Through extensive original research, students engage with sophisticated legal issues, help shape legal practices and policies, and impact legal thinking on a broader scale.

The SJD is an intellectually rewarding degree. It is also highly respected both nationally and internationally. The SJD gives graduates a competitive edge in a range of legal careers, including teaching positions in law schools, research positions and other specialized roles in legal practice.

Globally, the SJD shows extensive knowledge and can help individuals who seek legal or academic positions in other countries.

Doctor of Juridical Science at a Glance

Learn how a Doctor of Juridical Science degree will contribute to your career goals. Then, explore course requirements and see how impactful a Seattle University degree can be.

The Doctoral of Juridical Science (SJD) program offers a small number of distinguished students who have already earned a law degree the opportunity to focus on a specific area of research and writing.

The SJD is designed to be a three-year degree program (with a one-academic-year residency requirement).

The first year will focus on the development of a dissertation proposal.

The second and third years of the program, students will focus on writing the dissertation. The student may audit classes and will be encouraged to participate in the intellectual life of Seattle University.

  • Year 1: 24 credits
  • Year 2: 12 credits
  • Year 3: 12 credits

The SJD program offers a small number of distinguished students who have already earned a law degree the opportunity to focus on a specific area of research and writing.

Students engaged in various activities within a university hall.

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Enriching Opportunities

Professor Russell Powell

In-Depth Webinar

View an informational webinar about the SJD program featuring Professor Russell Powell, Director of the SJD Program.

Sullivan Hall, home of the Seattle University School of Law

Law Library

The Seattle University Law Library’s mission is to provide the highest quality information resources and services to support the instructional, research and scholarship endeavors of the Seattle University School of Law and the Seattle University community.

How to Apply

To be eligible for admission to the SJD program, candidates must hold a JD or an LLM degree.

Please complete this admissions application and submit it via email along with the following materials:

  • Resume or C.V.
  • Personal statement.
  • A substantive research proposal on your dissertation topic.
  • Copy of the applicant's LLM thesis OR at least one paper/article in English.
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation.

The following items must be sent directly to the Seattle University School of Law prior to enrollment:

  • Official Transcripts (a certified translation must be attached if the transcript is not in English).
  • Official TOEFL score from ETC. (waived if first language or primary language of instruction was English).

From Our Student

Ibrahim Badawi

Ibrahim Badawi, ‘26

"I am a SJD student, specializing in environmental law. From the moment I stepped foot on campus, I realized that this was my place. The welcoming community, supportive environment and dedicated faculty have made my academic journey truly fulfilling. I’m grateful for the opportunities to grow both academically and personally, and I believe that my time here will pave the way for a successful career. Seattle U Law isn’t just a place to learn, it’s a family where I feel supported. Thanks, SU."

Featured Faculty

Get in Touch

We’re here to help. For information about Juridical Science at Seattle University, contact:

Seattle University School of Law

901 12th Avenue, Sullivan Hall 313