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1.5 The J.S.D. and D.Comp.L. Program

In order to earn the J.S.D. degree, a candidate must produce a dissertation that makes a creditable contribution to legal scholarship. The dissertation must be supervised by at least two members of the faculty and must be completed within five years of the candidate's first registration in the J.S.D. Program. If a candidate believes that they will not be able to complete their dissertation within five years, they must speak with their faculty supervisor and the senior director of graduate programs to determine if an extension is warranted. If not, a student may be required to leave the program. 

A J.S.D. candidate must spend at least two years (six academic quarters) in residence at the Law School while working on the dissertation. Residence requires living in Chicago. 

During the years in residence the candidate will be expected to participate in the academic activities at the Law School on a daily basis. This will include 1) taking at least three courses related to the dissertation in the Law School or elsewhere in the University during the two years of residence (this requirement may be waived for students who did their LL.M. studies at Chicago); 2) regular attendance at one of the faculty workshops; 3) regular attendance at the weekly faculty Works in Progress lunches; and 4) active participation in the research colloquium for J.S.D. students and fellows, known as the Junior Scholars Colloquium.

The Graduate Studies Committee expects that J.S.D. students will make satisfactory progress on their dissertations. They are also expected to keep in regular contact with their faculty supervisors. 

Failure to meet any of the above requirements will result in a review of the student’s progress by their faculty supervisor and the Senior Director of Graduate Programs.  If they are found to be lacking in any of these requirements the student may be required to leave the program.  

Students may enroll in only one UChicago degree program at a time unless they (1) have approval in writing from the relevant UChicago programs and deans of students and (2) are enrolled in a joint – or dual degree program.

Questions about any of these matters may be directed to Senior Director of Graduate Programs, Justin Swinsick.