SJD Degree (Doctorate) in International Legal Studies

The Doctor of Juridical Sciences (SJD) in International Legal Studies is designed to give students the opportunity to acquire specialized knowledge in a particular area of international law, with an emphasis on the legal, cultural, sociological, and business activities of the Pacific Rim, the European Community, and other regions of the world as they interact with one another and with the United States.


Applicants to the SJD program must identify the field or fields in which they intend to concentrate their research. The fields are intended to ensure that the student acquires in-depth knowledge in a variety of areas related to the dissertation topic, and thus develops mature and reflective perspectives on that topic.

Students admitted to the SJD program must earn a minimum of 8 units and spend at least two semesters in residency. Each student's program of study must be approved by the committee on advanced international legal studies in consultation with the dissertation supervisor.

Each SJD student will work closely with the dissertation supervisor during the residency period. At the end of the second semester in residence, the student must present a selected bibliography, a detailed outline, and a draft chapter of the dissertation, as well as pass a qualifying oral examination. Students who successfully complete these tasks will be advanced to candidacy. The SJD candidate is expected to work closely with the members of the dissertation committee during the candidacy period and must present a final dissertation in publishable form no later than four years after advancing to candidacy.


View Tuition & Fees for the SJD Program


  • SJD 995 - Curricular Practical Training (SJD)
  • SJD 911 - SJD Additional Residency
  • SJD 920 - SJD Candidacy (Local)
  • SJD 922 - SJD Candidacy (Non-US)
  • SJD 921 - SJD Candidacy (US non-local)
  • SJD 931 - SJD Dissertation Seminar
  • SJD 910 - SJD Residency



The Sompong Sucharitkul Center for Advanced International Legal Studies at Golden Gate University School of Law brings together scholars and students interested in international legal studies.

The Center's journal, the Annual Survey of International and Comparative Law, contains articles written by professors and legal scholars of civil, common law, and other legal systems. The published articles address a broad range of issues concerning international law. The Survey editors encourage research based on empirical observations and experience in addition to theoretical and multi-disciplinary approaches.

The Center's Annual Fulbright Symposium provides a forum for engagement and debate among scholars, practitioners, and other professionals working in the areas of international and comparative law and related fields. Each year, the conference theme addresses cutting edge issues in international law. The conference offers law faculty and students rare access to Fulbright scholars, diplomatic and consul officers, and other international law experts.