McGeorge offers the JSD degree in two areas: International Water Resources Law and International legal Studies. 

Who pursues this degree?

A JSD, or Doctor of Juridical Science is, in effect, law's counterpart to the PhD Those who have already earned an LLM and wish to do intensive, in-depth work in either international water resources law or another international law topic can apply for the JSD program.

Program Requirements

  • Earn a minimum of twelve (12) semester hours of credit over the course of a two- or three-semester residency.
  • A cumulative grade point average of not less than 3.0 (on a 4.3 point scale)
  • The courses completed during the residency will be determined by the Dissertation Supervisor in consultation with the student.
  • A JSD student is expected to work closely the Dissertation Supervisor during the residency period.

JSD Curriculum

Residency — 12 units minimum

Courses Units
Writing for Publication 1
Directed Research 4
JSD Research Seminar 1
International & Foreign Legal Research1 1
Public International Law1 3
Legal English1 1
Law Teaching or a substantive law course related to the student’s dissertation topic 1 to 3

1 Note: May possibly be waived in individual cases if requirement successfully completed elsewhere.

Course Units
Dissertation2 2

Note: Two units is per semester until the dissertation is successfully defended.

Advancement to Candidacy

At the conclusion of the two-semester residency, the JSD student must present to the student's Dissertation Supervisor a detailed outline and draft chapter of the dissertation and pass a qualifying oral examination. Students who successfully complete these tasks and achieve the requisite level of performance in course work as determined by the Program Director and a subcommittee of the Graduate Studies Committee appointed for this purpose, will be advanced to candidacy.

The candidate is expected to work closely with the Dissertation Supervisor during the preparation of the thesis. The candidate must complete a final dissertation in publishable form no later than four years after completing his or her coursework, and must successfully defend the dissertation before the candidate's dissertation committee.


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McGeorge LLM & JSD Programs