Curriculum & Requirements

The S.J.D. degree is conferred upon a student who:

  • has been admitted to the S.J.D. program and has completed 24 credits of course work after admission to the program, as described under Course Requirements below;
  • has satisfied the residence requirement
  • has passed the Preliminary Examination
  • has maintained continuous enrollment until completion of the dissertation
  • has demonstrated the capacity for independent research in law by the completion of an original dissertation of publishable quality approved by the student’s dissertation committee
  • has made a substantive presentation of the student’s dissertation
  • has passed an oral examination on the dissertation

Students must complete the course, seminar, and research work in which they enrolled by the end of each term of enrollment except as extensions of time may be granted for incomplete work in the same manner as is required in the LL.M. Academic Regulations. An S.J.D. student must comply with the Law School’s academic and conduct regulations applicable to LL.M. students.

Course Requirements

The director of graduate studies and the faculty advisor, in consultation with the student, will prescribe a course of study for each student that will typically include the following:

  • Courses or seminars that teach or apply various alternative methodologies for research and writing in law, including: traditional legal analysis, economic analysis, critical studies and related analyses, and historical analysis.
  • The advanced legal research course offered by the Law Library
  • Comprehensive seminars (or courses) in the substantive field of interest
  • Courses or seminars at the graduate level in cognate programs within the University
  • Participating in any S.J.D. colloquium seminar that is offered
  • A seminar in which the student can present a paper involving some part of the student’s proposed project
  • A seminar or independent study unit in which the student will prepare a draft dissertation proposal
  • Up to 12 thesis credits may be taken before the preliminary examination

The student must complete at least 24 credit hours of course work. At least 2/3 of this course work (other than the thesis credits) must be graded on the A/F scale. The student must have a grade point average of 3.000 or higher in these courses to continue in the S.J.D. program.

Contact Information

University of Minnesota Law School

Walter F. Mondale Hall | 229 19th Avenue South | Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-625-1000

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