The LLM to SJD Program is intended for individuals who have demonstrated evidence of superior scholarly potential and who are engaged in or plan to pursue, careers in academia, government service, or the judiciary. Candidates accepted into the Program must have the ability to conduct sustained and original academic or professional research at a high intellectual level, culminating in the submission of a doctoral dissertation.
With rare exceptions, we are unlikely to admit any more than one or two candidates per academic year, in order to ensure sufficient attention for the demanding task of successfully completing a doctoral dissertation. In rendering admissions decisions, preference is given to the Law School’s own LL.M. graduates, although applications from external candidates are welcome.
S.J.D. candidates are expected to spend the first two academic semesters of the Program in residence at the Law School. Because all candidates will have completed an LL.M., however, there is no other required coursework apart from the S.J.D. dissertation.
To be eligible for admission to the LLM to SJD Program, an applicant must:
- have obtained or be enrolled in a program leading to the equivalent of an advanced law degree (normally an LL.M.) from either an accredited law school within the United States or a recognized university outside of the United States, which advanced degree must be obtained prior to matriculation in the S.J.D. program meet the English Language Requirements for S.J.D. Admissions set out below; and
- obtain the agreement of a UConn Law School full-time faculty member to serve as the S.J.D. dissertation adviser (please include with your application the letter or email from that person evidencing that agreement). If you are an external applicant (i.e., someone who did not receive their J.D. or LL.M. from UConn School of Law), please contact the Director of the Graduate Program for assistance in fulfilling this requirement prior to submitting your application.
Applicants should take note, as well, that it is the sense of the faculty of the School of Law that any candidate admitted into the S.J.D. program should normally:
- have attained an overall GPA (or its equivalent) in the course of study leading their advanced law degree (normally an LL.M.) of at least 3.3/B+ with at least one grade of A- or higher, and have also completed an LL.M. thesis (or its equivalent) attaining an “Honors” designation (or its equivalent);
- or, in the alternative, have submitted evidence of outstanding professional achievement directly relating to the proposed topic of the dissertation that warrants admission in lieu of the academic standards. Such evidence must be specifically addressed in the personal statement and dissertation proposal and also reflected in LL.M. thesis (or its equivalent) that each applicant must submit as part of the application for admission into the program.
English Language Requirement for S.J.D. Admissions
Unless the applicant qualifies for an exemption as outlined below, any international applicant who earned his or her first law degree outside the U.S. must obtain a minimum TOEFL IBT® score of 95 or a minimum IELTS score of 7.0, in order to be considered for admission to the S.J.D. The program at the University of Connecticut School of Law. However, if the applicant meets this required minimum but does not attain a score of 100 or higher on the TOEFL IBT® or 7.5 or higher on the IELTS, the applicant must further substantiate proficiency in English through additional evidence of English language skills. This substantiation must include, but is not limited to, a strong S.J.D. proposal in conjunction with an interview with an Admissions representative, conducted in-person, by phone, or online (using Skype or similar service).
Tuition and Fees
S.J.D. candidates are expected to spend the first two academic semesters of the Program in residence at the Law School, registered for “LAW7974 SJD Dissertation.” For each semester thereafter, until the completion of the Program, the candidate need not be in residence but must be registered for “LAW7976 SJD Continuous Registration.”
June 15, 2016 – Application Deadline for Fall Semester 2016 November 1, 2016 – Application Deadline for Spring Semester 2016 August 18, 2016 – Fall Semester Orientation