The J.S.D. (Doctor of the Science of Law) program at Cardozo is a select three-year doctoral program for LL.M graduates who aspire to careers in legal teaching and scholarship. J.S.D. candidates benefit from Cardozo’s exceptional academic resources during their two-semester residence, followed by six additional credits of coursework in consultation with a faculty supervisor.
J.S.D. candidates play an active role at Cardozo and often serve as teaching and research assistants, student organizers, and consultants. The J.S.D. program hosts a vibrant community of academics from around the world, and many of its graduates have gone on to teaching and administrative positions at leading universities in the United States and other countries.
J.S.D. Application & Requirements
Candidates must hold an advanced law degree (e.g. LL.M.) from a U.S. faculty or its foreign equivalent. To get started, please complete the online admissions application linked below.
*Candidates should select a faculty member as an advisor prior to the submission of their J.S.D. application.
All applicants are required to submit a resume or C.V. detailing any applicable work history, educational achievements, community, and/or service work.
Statement of Interest
A detailed personal statement of interest (2 pages) is required. The statement should include a discussion of your purpose in obtaining the degree, as well as an explanation of your research and study interests in relation to your previous education and professional goals.
A detailed and footnoted research proposal of no more than 3,000 words (or 10 pages max).
Original official transcripts (translated in English) of all previous college, university, and graduate/professional school study.
Letters of Recommendation
The committee requires two letters of recommendation but will review a maximum of three letters if submitted. Letters of recommendation must be submitted from faculty members or employers acquainted with your work in the major area of study. If an employer is writing the recommendation they can comment on your work ethic and character. The committee is primarily interested in the recommender’s judgment about your academic abilities and professional capabilities.
Proficiency in English is required for admission and your level of proficiency, as demonstrated by all aspects of the application, is a significant factor in our decision-making process. International applicants must submit an official TOEFL or IELTS score.
Admission to the J.S.D. program is competitive. Out of an average of 40 applicants, only 1 to 2 J.S.D. students are admitted per year. Admission is based on a holistic review of the entire application. Publications authored or co-authored, and relevant work experience is important.