Skip to main content

Application Information

Important: Please read this page in its entirety before beginning your application to the S.J.D. program. The application cycle is open from September 15 to March 1.


Applications become available on September 15 and the application deadline March 1. We will not accept late applications or documentation. When sending us your offiical documents -transcripts and letters of recommendation -you must ensure that these will be processed and sent to us by the application deadline.  There is no spring semester entry to the S.J.D. Program.

Applications are considered on a rolling basis, and early applications are encouraged.


  • S.J.D. online application form*
  • Personal statement
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Dissertation proposal
  • English-language writing sample (50 pages)
  • Transcripts from all university-level studies (official copies)
  • Two (or more) letters of recommendation (official copies); at least one must be from a full-time professor who taught you during your LL.M. program
  • Application fee

*You will be required to upload your dissertation proposal, resume or curriculum vitae, writing sample, and personal statement in order to complete the online application form.

Please either submit all additional required documentation through the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) by providing your LSAC number on our S.J.D. application form or directly mail your unopened, official copies of supporting materials to our office at the following address:

Fordham University School of Law
Doctor of Juridical Science Program
150 West 62nd Street, Suite 8-131
New York, New York 10023

Eligibility and Admission Criteria


S.J.D. candidates are generally expected to hold a Master of Laws degree from Fordham Law or another leading U.S. law school. In exceptional cases, candidates may be admitted without holding a U.S. LL.M. degree.

Please note that successful completion of the Fordham Law School LL.M. program does not guarantee admission into our highly-competitive S.J.D. program.

Admission Criteria

The admissions committee will consider the following in evaluating applicants to the S.J.D. degree program:

  • Academic record
  • Recommendations
  • Experience
  • English-language ability
  • Past record and future promise as a legal scholar
  • Purpose in pursuing the degree

The admissions committee must be convinced that the applicant is capable of researching and writing a dissertation that will make a significant contribution to legal scholarship.

Admission to the program will be contingent upon the agreement of a member of the full-time faculty of Fordham Law School to act as Dissertation Adviser.

Application Procedure

Only complete applications will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Complete applications must contain the following:

  • S.J.D. Application Form (linked below)
    Please answer each of the questions on the electronic application form.
    Use our application form only. We do not have an application form for our S.J.D. in LSAC and you should not use the LL.M. application form. You can provide your LSAC number on our application form if using LSAC to submit supporting materials.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
    Your resume or curriculum vitae should include your complete university educational experience, your complete employment history, and any additional academic or professional activities. Please also include references to any publications and presentations.
  • Personal Statement
    Submit a 500-1,000 word personal statement explaining why you want to do the program, why you are suited to performing high-level academic work, your career goals, and anything else that you may want to communicate to the Admission Committee that may not be apparent from your record.
  • Dissertation Proposal
    Please submit a dissertation proposal in the range of 5,000 words. There is no prescribed format for the dissertation proposal, but it should be in proper academic format with regard to references, quotations, and footnotes. It should include a table of contents and should be appropriately paginated throughout. Please also indicate if there is a member of the Fordham Law School full-time faculty whom you would like to serve as your Dissertation Advisor.

    The proposal should contain the following elements:
    • Meaningful working title.
    • Statement of research objectives, which should include the thesis or inquiry to be pursued. The proposal should demonstrate the originality of the project and the contribution to the field or how the research will be useful to others.
    • Review of current literature.
    • Preliminary organizational and structural components of the project.
    • Methodological strategies to be pursued.
    • Two-page bibliography that lists relevant works that were significant in the formulation of the applicant's thinking about the project.
    • Difficulties that may be encountered in the course of the project.
  • Writing Sample
    Submit an English-language, academic writing sample of at least 50 pages on a legal topic.  The writing sample should demonstrate your ability to conduct advanced, academic legal research. If you do not have an appropriate paper that meets this page requirement, you may submit up to three separate papers to meet the page requirement.
  • Law School and Other University Transcripts
    You must submit a sealed, official transcript from each college, university, graduate, and law school attended. You should confirm with each school that the transcript shows in detail your academic record (courses taken and grade received for each), degree(s) earned, and the date(s) awarded. An official class ranking must be provided, if available. If there is no official ranking, applicants must explain their school’s grading system and their academic record in relation to it. All transcripts must be in English, and should include an explanation of the grading system. If your school does not provide an English translation of the transcript, please provide a translation.

    If you are using LSAC to submit your transcripts, be sure you have included your LSAC number on our application form. We will request your report from LSAC. Do not submit a duplicate application form in LSAC.
  • Letters of Recommendation
    Applicants should submit two or more letters of recommendation. At least one letter must be from a full-time professor who taught you during your U.S. LL.M. degree program.

    Letters of recommendation must be written on official letterhead. If you are mailing your letters to us, each letter must be submitted with a completed recommendation request form. Each recommender must sign the back flap of the sealed envelope.

    If you are using LSAC to submit your letters of recommendation, please observe LSAC's requirements for submission and the form required by LSAC (do not use our form). Be sure you have included your LSAC number on our application form. Do not submit a duplicate application form in LSAC.
  • Application Fee
    The fee for submitting an application to Fordham’s S.J.D. program is $70. This fee is non-refundable, and is not credited toward tuition or other fees.  A link to pay the fee will appear after you submit the application form.

Application Form

Applications to the S.J.D. program will not be considered until all relevant materials, including the application fee, have been received.

Please note: You will be required to upload your resume/C.V., dissertation proposal, writing sample, and personal statement as part of this application. Please be sure you have each of these documents ready before starting this application, as you cannot save this application form and return to it later. You may upload either PDF or Microsoft Word documents.

Submit Your S.J.D. Application  

S.J.D. Admissions

Fordham University School of Law
International and Non-JD Programs
150 West 62nd Street, Suite 8-131, New York, NY 10023 U.S.A.

Tel: 212-636-6883

Fax: 212-636-6922