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J.S.D. Program

J.S.D. candidates conduct original research into specific legal topics of individual interest while deepening their understanding of American domestic law, international law, and comparative law, particularly in areas in which Cornell’s faculty is world renowned.

Why Cornell Law

Cornell Law School offers a particularly rigorous and rewarding J.S.D. program.

In the first year, doctoral students are required to take the Cornell Graduate Colloquium, which focuses on effective research design and provides students with a solid methodological base for their research. Students are then actively encouraged to take graduate-level methodological courses in adjacent disciplines, such as history, political science, anthropology, economics, international relations, sociology, and the like. As a result, Cornell J.S.D. students are uniquely prepared to perform high-level academic work.

Unlike other law school programs, Cornell Law’s J.S.D. is conferred by Cornell University, not the Law School, and is comparable to a Ph.D. This makes the degree more rigorous as the J.S.D. program is run in accordance with Cornell’s Graduate School policies and typically provides J.S.D. candidates with full funding for three years.

Review the J.S.D. Field of Law Handbook for additional details.


Degree Requirements


Office of Graduate Legal Studies
+1 (607) 255-5185
Cornell Law School
524 College Avenue
Ithaca, NY USA 14853-4901

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