Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) Program

law books, scale of justice, gavel
The Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD*) program is an advanced research degree program designed for aspiring legal academics, members of the judiciary, and public policymakers. The mission of the SJD* program is to produce graduates who are prepared to become leaders in international academic, judicial, and public service communities.

Students in the SJD* program, through the support and guidance of a faculty advisor, are expected to develop, research, and complete a scholarly dissertation that will constitute an outstanding contribution to legal scholarship.

Who Should Consider This Program

The SJD* degree is primarily intended for those who teach or who wish to teach law outside the United States, who are pursuing a judicial career in their home countries, or who are involved in policy work in research institutes or government organizations. The SJD* program is only open to exceptionally well-qualified candidates who either:

  • have already obtained an LL.M. degree; or
  • wish to begin their SJD* studies with an LL.M. degree at the University of Miami.

Applicants to the SJD* program must also submit a research proposal and further demonstrate excellent English writing skills. Because the SJD* degree requires the completion of a dissertation under the supervision of a full-time faculty member, an applicant must obtain the consent of a Miami Law faculty member to serve as the applicant’s faculty advisor.

Why Miami Law

Miami Law provides an excellent environment in which students can pursue their SJD* degree. Miami Law has a rich history of engagement with international and comparative law, a world-renowned faculty, and a location in a global city that serves as a bridge to the Americas.

Miami Law’s SJD* Program builds on our highly successful LL.M. programs that offer unique specialties in international arbitration, international law, international taxation, entertainment, art and sports law, as well as other disciplines.

Miami Law also boasts a large and diverse faculty with expertise in a wide variety of areas. Miami Law has one of the largest faculty of any U.S. law school teaching and doing research in international law, and Miami Law has extensive experience with comparative research in fields such as criminal law and policy, and race and gender and the law. The size and diversity of the Miami Law faculty allows students to address and engage with global policy issues relating to climate change, migration, trade and finance, dispute resolution, human rights, health, and education.

Finally, Miami Law provides an ideal location for students pursuing an SJD* degree. Miami is at the pivot point between the Americas and Europe, located in a city fueled by an influx of international ideas. Students not only benefit from the resources of Miami Law and the wider university, but also from the distinctly international intellectual life of the surrounding city.

Faculty Advisor

A resident faculty member will be appointed as a faculty advisor to each SJD* candidate. The faculty advisor will supervise the candidate’s research, course selection, and progress toward the SJD* requirements. The following Miami Law faculty will serve as faculty advisors:

David Abraham
Caroline Bradley
Michael Froomkin
Michael Graham
Fran Hill
Lisa Iglesias
Jessica Owley
Kunal Parker
Ileana Porras
Robert Rosen
Pablo Rueda-Saiz

Courses, Requirements, Admissions

Click here for more information on SJD* courses and requirements.

Click here for more information on the application process.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. When can I apply?
    Miami Law's SJD* program will welcome its first class of students in Fall 2022. The application form will be available January 10, 2022.
  2. What is the application deadline?
    Applications for admission are considered on a rolling basis for a Fall program start. Applications are accepted until the beginning of program studies in August. However, international students who will need to enter the U.S. on a student visa, should apply at least three months prior to their intended program start, as additional time is needed for visa application and processing.
  3. Can I contact professors directly?
    No, you cannot contact professors directly. If you have any questions about the SJD* program or the application process, please email SJD*
  4. Do I need an LL.M. to be admitted to the SJD* program?
    Applicants to the SJD* degree program must have earned a J.D. degree or an LL.M. from a U.S. law school or an LL.M. from another common law country.
  5. How much does it cost to attend Miami Law for an SJD*?
    SJD* students pay full-tuition on their first year, and half tuition in their second, third and subsequent years. 
  6. Do you offer scholarships?
    Exceptionally qualified candidates may be awarded partial tuition scholarships at the time of admission.
  7. How many credits does it take to complete the SJD*?
    The SJD* is 30 credits.
  8. Do I need to be in Miami to complete the program?
    Yes, the first year is in-residence, meaning you must be in Miami for the first year.


More information coming soon.


Please contact us at We would be delighted to schedule an online meeting with you and answer any questions you may have.

SJD: Request Information

*Pending ABA Acquiescence