Law, JSD

for the Doctor of the Science of Law

dean of the college: Vikram David Amar
associate dean for graduate and international programs: Margareth Etienne
correspondence and admission information: Christine Renshaw, Office of Graduate and International Legal Studies

college website:

college faculty: Law Faculty

college address: 244 Law Building, 504 East Pennsylvania Avenue, Champaign, IL 61820

phone: (217) 333-6066


The Doctor of the Science of Law (J.S.D.) degree provides students who primarily intend to pursue an academic career an opportunity for extended study, research, and scholarly writing. Those admitted to the program must have demonstrated analytic and research ability, possess outstanding academic credentials, and have completed the LL.M. or other law degree from the University of Illinois or other accredited American law school. In exceptional cases, consideration will be given to applicants who have completed programs of study in common law countries. All candidates must provide evidence of excellent reading and writing skills in English. The J.S.D. program normally takes a minimum of three years. Two years must be completed in residence at the College of Law and must include two semesters of course work. J.S.D. candidates are assigned a primary faculty advisor with expertise in the student's research area and an additional three faculty members, who form the student's doctoral committee. Each student must pass a qualifying examination demonstrating general proficiency in the student’s field of study and a preliminary examination on the research proposal. The student's faculty committee then will assess the student's thesis research and writing progress, make recommendations, and conduct an oral examination on the final draft of the dissertation. The final dissertation will then be completed and deposited with the Graduate College.

Graduate Degree Programs in the College of Law

Master of Laws, LLM


Corporate Law, Commercial Law, & Trade|Criminal Law|Intellectual Property & Technology Law|International & Comparative Law|Justice, Democracy, & Legal Rights|Regulation, Sustainability, & Compliance|US Legal Practice Skills

Master of Studies in Law

Doctor of the Science of Law

Law, JD
Joint Degrees with the Law, JD:

Chemistry, MS|Computer Science, MCS|Human Resources and Industrial Relations, MHRIR|Journalism, MS|Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences, MS|Political Science: Civic Leadership, MA|Political Science, PhD|Urban Planning, MUP|


The Graduate College admission requirements and English language proficiency requirements apply. In addition for the LL.M. program, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) requirement is 80 internet-based. Students are not required to take the general Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Students are admitted on an individual basis according to a review of their prior accomplishments with an emphasis on academic achievement. Admission is generally made for the fall semester only.

Financial Aid

Applicants to the College of Law graduate programs are welcome to apply for scholarship assistance. Scholarships typically are awarded to applicants with a combination of excellent academic and professional credentials and proven financial need. Awards usually provide part of tuition and do not cover living expenses. There are always more qualified applicants than there are funds available. Therefore, applicants are strongly encouraged to explore alternative sources of funding.

for the Doctor of the Science of Law

For additional details and requirements refer to the College of Law's graduate degree requirements and the Graduate College Handbook.

LAW 599Thesis Research0-16 per semester
Total Hours96

Other Requirements

Other requirements may overlap
A J.D. or LL.M. is required for admission
Qualifying Exam Required Yes
Preliminary Exam Required Yes
Final Exam/Dissertation Defense Required Yes
Dissertation Deposit Required Yes
Hours of residence credit 64
Minimum GPA: 2.75