How to Apply

Entry Requirements

International applicants must have completed their first degree in law at a University outside of the United States and have completed (or be in the process of completing) an LL.M. degree at the University of Minnesota Law School or another American Bar Association-approved law school. 

Applicants whose native language is not English must also demonstrate proficiency in English. Minimum TOEFL score is 80, with strong preference given to candidates who score 100 or higher. IELTS scores are also accepted, with a minimum score of 6.5 required.

Domestic applicants must have completed a JD degree at an American Bar Association-approved law school.

The ideal S.J.D. candidate meets the above requirements and is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School LL.M. or JD program.

2020-21 Tuition and Fees*

Tuition & required fees $57,800 estimated
Mandatory insurance & books  $4,100 estimated
Living costs for 10 months $16,500 estimated (for one person in modest accommodations)

Applicants must demonstrate adequate financial support for their educational and living expenses prior to being admitted to the program.

*Tuition fees after the first year will be determined by the number of credits taken in subsequent years.

Application Process

A completed application includes:

  • application form and application fee
  • official academic transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (must be officially translated in English)
  • two letters of recommendation
  • personal statement
  • proof of English proficiency demonstrated through adequate TOFEL or IELTS scores
  • résumé or CV
  • submission of a detailed dissertation proposal demonstrating that the dissertation will constitute an original and substantial contribution, of publishable quality, to legal scholarship
  • submission of an extensive, high quality writing sample written in English to demonstrate the ability to engage in advanced research and writing

To apply online:
S.J.D applicants may use the LSAC online application for the University of Minnesota LL.M. program, which becomes available on October 1. Before you begin to complete the online application, please review the University of Minnesota’s requirements and application instructions by clicking on “Law School Instructions.” Please note that if you apply online you will be required to use the complete LSAC Credential Assembly Service and to pay the application fee with a credit card. 

To apply via postal mail:
Instructions for applying are included on the PDF iconSJD Application PDF or FileSJD Application DOC If you download the paper application forms, you must pay the application fee with a check in U.S. dollars, which must be enclosed with your application.

2021-22 Application available: October 1, 2020
Priority Application Due Date: March 1, 2021
Review of completed applications begins after March 1. S.J.D. applications received after March 1 are reviewed on a space-available basis. Qualified applicants may be interviewed by phone (or in person, if practical).


As required by Title IX, the University does not discriminate on the basis of sex in any of its education programs or activities, including in admissions and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX can be directed to the University’s Title IX Coordinators or to the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights. Please see the University of Minnesota’s Title IX Statement and the University’s policy for information about: (1) how to contact the Title IX Coordinators on the University’s campuses; (2) how to report or file a formal complaint of sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, sexual assault, stalking or relationship violence; and (3) the University’s procedures for responding to reports and formal complaints.

Contact Information

University of Minnesota Law School

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

P: 612-625-5000

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