McGeorge offers the JSD degree in two areas: International Water Resources Law and International legal Studies. 

For Fall 2024, McGeorge will only accept applications to study under the supervision of the following faculty in the pre-identified legal fields:

  • Lindsay Harrington: civil litigation/trial practice, civility/professionalism/mindset, insurance law, and public entity/governmental immunities
  • Mike Vitiello: criminal law and conflict of laws/civil procedure
  • Jarrod Wong: international arbitration (commercial or investor-state) and international investment law
  • Dan Croxall: alcohol regulation, civil procedure, or evidence

Note that all JSD proposals must either be comparative or international in nature.

Who pursues this degree?

A JSD, or Doctor of Juridical Science is, in effect, law's counterpart to the PhD. Those who have already earned an a master degree and wish to do intensive in-depth work can apply for the JSD program.

Program Requirements

  • Earn a minimum of twelve (12) semester hours of credit over the course of a two- or three-semester residency.
  • A cumulative grade point average of not less than 2.7.
  • Successful defense proposal and, ultimately, successful defense dissertation.

JSD Curriculum

Residency — 12 units minimum

Courses Units
Writing for Publication 1
Directed Research 4
JSD Research Seminar 1
International & Foreign Legal Research1 1
Public International Law1 3
Legal English1 1
Law Teaching or a substantive law course related to the student’s dissertation topic 1 to 3

1 Note: May possibly be waived in individual cases if requirement successfully completed elsewhere.

Course Units
Dissertation2 2

Note: Two units is per semester until the dissertation is successfully defended.

Advancement to Candidacy

At the conclusion of the two-semester residency, the JSD student must present to the student's Dissertation Supervisor a detailed outline and draft chapter of the dissertation and pass a qualifying oral examination. Students who successfully complete these tasks and achieve the requisite level of performance in course work as determined by the Program Director and a subcommittee of the Graduate Studies Committee appointed for this purpose, will be advanced to candidacy.

The candidate is expected to work closely with the Dissertation Supervisor during the preparation of the thesis. The candidate must complete a final dissertation in publishable form no later than four years after completing his or her coursework, and must successfully defend the dissertation before the candidate's dissertation committee.


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McGeorge LLM & JSD Programs