University of Virginia School of Law

Only a few students are admitted to candidacy for the Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) degree. Because the S.J.D. is primarily a research degree, evaluation of the applicant’s proposed research agenda is the primary factor considered in the admissions decision. Accordingly, one, several, or no persons may be admitted to S.J.D. candidacy in any given year.

Most applicants for admission to the S.J.D. program have already completed the School of Law’s LL.M. program. In exceptional cases, the Graduate Committee will consider applications from persons who have received the LL.M. or its equivalent from another U.S. law school and from those who have already achieved professional distinction in law teaching, private practice, or government service. Applicants who do not already hold the School of Law’s LL.M. will not be considered for candidacy until they have completed two semesters in residence demonstrating honors ability in a program of study consisting of 12-16 hours of courses, seminars and/or independent study as may be prescribed and approved by the chair of the Graduate Studies Committee.

Application Deadline February 1
Languages English
Location 580 Massie Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22903, United States
Language Requirement International applicants who do not meet the very limited exceptions listed below are required to demonstrate proficiency in English by completing the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) within two years prior to submitting the application. This is true regardless of the number of years of instruction in English the applicant may have had or if English is the “official” language of the applicant’s home country. Students who have studied in English (in Pakistan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, African countries, etc.) are not exempt from the TOEFL requirement. The only exceptions are applicants for whom English is the native language (those from Australia, the English-speaking provinces of Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom or applicants from South Africa who attended English-medium universities). If applicants do not fall under one of these limited exceptions, they should not assume for any reason that they are exempt from the TOEFL requirement.
Paper Based TOEFL (PBT):
Writing: 60
Listening: 60
Reading: 60
TWE: 4

Internet-Based TOEFL (iBT):
Writing: 24
Speaking: 22
Reading: 26
Listening: 26
Scholarships The School of Law does not offer financial aid to S.J.D. students.


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