Contact Information

JSD Degree Program

Assistant Dean Edward Harris
565 W. Adams St., Room 320B
Chicago, IL 60661
P: (312) 906-5012

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Doctor of the Science of Law (J.S.D.) Degree Program

The J.S.D. (doctor of juridical science or doctor of the science of law) degree is IIT Chicago-Kent's most advanced degree, designed primarily for those who are interested in sustained independent legal research and writing with the ultimate goal of pursuing a career in legal academics. To earn the degree, candidates are required to submit a dissertation and to pass an oral defense of the dissertation within five years of enrollment in the program. The dissertation can take the form of a unified work or a set of articles (at a minimum three) with a unifying essay.

The basic aim of the J.S.D. program is to provide opportunity and encouragement for distinguished scholarship through advanced course work, seminars, colloquia and independent research, under the advice and guidance of members of the Chicago-Kent faculty. Upon admission, J.S.D. candidates will be assigned to a faculty thesis adviser working in their area of interest. Two additional advisers, either from Chicago-Kent, other faculties within IIT, or other universities will join the thesis adviser to form a special committee of faculty advisers.


Admission to the J.S.D. program is typically restricted to applicants who desire a career in law teaching and who can present evidence of impressive achievement in the study of law, in the United States or abroad, or in subsequent scholarly or professional activities. Applicants must also be fluent in English and demonstrate a strong potential for producing legal scholarship that will make a significant scholarly contribution. All candidates are required to participate in an interview or discussion with a member of the Chicago-Kent faculty prior to acceptance. Applicants from the United States and international jurisdictions are given equal consideration in the admissions process. An LL.M. degree is not a prerequisite but is strongly recommended. Equal consideration is given to applicants who are completing or have completed their LL.M. at Chicago-Kent College of Law and to outside applicants.