for working professionals by Washington Monthly

    Ranked #1



    of Educational Excellence

    120+ Years

    Program Duration

    36 Months

    Start Date

    Coming Soon

    for 5,000 students

    70% Scholarship

    Accreditations and Associations


    Key Highlights

    Designed for working professionals
    Designed for working professionals
    GGU alumni status
    GGU alumni status
    Student support is available 24*7, you can reach out to us via the learn portal.
    Student support is available 24*7, you can reach out to us via the learn portal.
    WES recognized
    WES recognized
    Live & interactive faculty, alumni, and industry-specific sessions
    Live & interactive faculty, alumni, and industry-specific sessions
    70% scholarship available for 5,000 students
    70% scholarship available for 5,000 students
    Earn the same U.S. Degree as awarded On-Campus
    Earn the same U.S. Degree as awarded On-Campus
    Add a ‘Dr’ to your  name to establish credibility in the field of law.
    Add a ‘Dr’ to your name to establish credibility in the field of law.

    #1 Country for Higher Education
    Get a degree from the U.S., ranked #1 among countries with the best educational systems*. Earn the same U.S. Degree we award on campus!

    *Source: World Population Review, 2022

    Why is the WES Equivalency Important?

    Golden Gate University Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) receives Global Acceptance.
    The GGU Doctor of Juridical Science(SJD) is a globally acknowledged and recognized program which is validated by the doctorate equivalency awarded by WES.
    Golden Gate University Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) receives Global Acceptance.
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    • Whether it is about excelling in your current job or seeking overseas opportunities, GGU Doctor of Juridical Science(SJD) shall catapult you to higher orbits across continents.
    • Go beyond your job - Consult For Businesses | Author Books | Be A Guest Lecturer | Speak At Conferences - Anywhere across the globe!

    Who is this Program for

    Candidates who are passionate about learning in-depth regardview more

    Minimum Eligibility

    Undergraduate degree in law (LLB/JD) or equivalent degree inview more

    What is the difference between Doctor of Juridical Science(SJD) & PhD in Law?

    The Doctor of the Science of Law (JSD or alternatively known as SJD) is the Law School’s most advanced law degree, and is considered a doctorate equivalent to a Ph.D. There is no difference between the two degrees, except for a nomenclature preference across universities from various geographies.

    However, in certain universities, there has been a distinction made between the two. For example, Yale School of Law mentions that a JSD program allows students to explore interdisciplinary aspects which intertwine with law such as social sciences or humanities whereas PhD in Law offers emerging scholars an opportunity to contribute to the development of law as an academic field.


    Best-in-class content by leading faculty and industry leaders in the form of videos, cases, and projects.

    Download Syllabus

    About the Program

    WASC Accreditation & WES Recognition

    WASC Accreditation & WES Recognition

    GGU has been accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) since 1959 and it is WES recognized. WASC accredits universities in California and Hawaii, including Stanford, UC Berkeley, and others. WSCUC is nationally recognized by the US Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

    Learn from Scholar Practitioners

    Learn from Scholar Practitioners

    GGU instructors are scholar practitioners with decades of senior level work experience in the San Francisco Bay Area, including major Silicon Valley and Fortune 500 companies.

    Earn the same U.S. Degree Golden Gate University awards on-campus

    Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)
    Students who successfully complete the program and coursework are eligible to receive the degree from Golden Gate University's School of Law.
    Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)
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    • Golden Gate University School of Law is an American law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA), the California State Bar, and Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). GGU Law is a member in good standing of the Association of American Law Schools.


    *This image is a sample degree from Golden Gate University, awarded to eligible students upon successful completion of the program. Please contact the admissions team to learn more.

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    Learn on an AI-powered & personalised platform with best-in-class content, live sessions & mentoring from leading industry experts.
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    Learn like you’re right there in San Francisco

    Watch David Fike (President, GGU) and Phalgun Kompalli (Co-founder, upGrad) talk about the collaboration that makes it possible.

    User Review

    The Doctor of Juridical Science(SJD) program is structured in a thoughtful manner with mentoring and supervision of GGU Faculty.

    • Residency: The first year of the program is divided into two semesters. The first semester encapsulates the live and recorded sessions to build a foundation for the program. The second semester is when the doctoral candidate drafts and submits the first chapter of the dissertation.

    • Oral examination: This takes place post the first year of the program. The candidate shall defend the first chapter of the thesis and is required to pass the examination to move ahead.

    • Candidacy: From the second year and beyond, the doctoral candidate focuses on writing the rest of the chapters. During this phase, the doctoral candidate is expected to consult the committee, interact with the supervisors so that each milestone is fulfilled.

    The Doctor of Juridical Science(SJD) program is structured in a thoughtful manner with mentoring and supervision of GGU Faculty.


    Recommended: 15+ learning  content hours per week + 10-12 library & research hours per week

    Download Brochure
    Live Sessions
    Hours Recorded Content

    First Year- SJD Residency (2 Semesters)

    • First semester - Basics of Legal Research, Tools & Methodology - Coverage with recorded and live sessions
    • Second semester - Learners will select the topic of their dissertation, fine-tune their subject matter, draft and submit the first chapter of their dissertation and prepare for their first oral examination.

    Oral Examination

    • A 3-member committee will supervise the students, evaluate the written material of the first chapter and give a go-ahead for the oral examination. This comes after the second semester and at the end of the first year.
    • This first oral examination would be where the learners have decided on a clear topic and have written the first chapter introducing their dissertation.
    • The evaluation of the learner shall be based on the clarity of the topic selected(along with the resources used) and the ability of the student to conduct independent research.
    • The learner shall be taken into the next phase of the program once they pass the oral examination.

    Second Year- SJD Candidacy

    • For the next 2 years, the learners will individually work on the subsequent chapters in the second phase.
    • The learners can reach out to their supervisor at any point in time for guidance throughout this phase. It is recommended that learners connect with the supervisors at least once a month. The aim is to have 3 committee members
    • Live sessions shall be conducted during the first semester and subsequently a few master classes during the second semester
    • The ideal timeline for submitting the draft would be within 2 years after reaching the candidacy stage followed by dissertation defense.

    SJD Residency- First semester

    Topics Covered

    Basics of Legal Research, Tools & Methodology - Coverage with recorded and live sessions

    Overview: the Process and Purpose of Writing a Doctoral DissertationIntroduction to Legal Scholarship and MethodsLegal Research Methodology: Identification and Explanation of Reliable SourcesLegal Research Basics: Tools and StrategiesHow to Work With Your Dissertation Committee MembersResearching International and Comparative LawEthical Use of Research MaterialsChoice of Dissertation TopicTopic ChoiceDissertation DevelopmentOutline and Writing ProcessDissertation FormatApproach to Comparative Legal AnalysisResearching and Writing about IP law Researching and Writing about International Human RightsResearching and Writing about Law and AnthropologyResearching and Writing about Legal HistoryCompleting the SJD program at GGUResearching and Writing on an Interdisciplinary TopicRevising and Polishing the DissertationDissertation Defense Preparation


    The curriculum and credits are a virtue of University's guidelines while meeting international standards and quality.

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    Learning Support

     Learning Support
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    • Receive unparalleled guidance from industry mentors, teaching assistants, and graders.
    • Receive one-on-one feedback on submissions and personalised feedback on improvement.
    Student Support
    • Student support is available 24*7, you can reach out to us via the learn portal.

    Doubt Resolution

    Doubt Resolution
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    • Timely doubt resolution by industry experts and peers.
    • 100% expert verified responses to ensure quality learning.
    Expert Feedback
    • Personalised expert feedback on assignments and projects.
    • Regular live sessions by experts to clarify concept-related doubts.

    Admission Process

    There are 5 simple steps in the Admission Process which is detailed below:

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    Program Fees: USD 65,800

    ($1,175 cost per credit for 56 credits)*

    *70% Scholarships for 5,000 Admitted Students .

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Course Eligibility

    Who is this program for?

    Candidates who are passionate about learning in-depth regarding subjects in Law and wish to establish credibility for transition into senior legal roles or move into academia.

    What is the minimum eligibility for this program?

    • Undergraduate degree in law (LLB/JD) or equivalent degree in Law. A masters' degree in law is preferable however, not compulsory.

    How do I become eligible for the scholarship? What is the application process?

    The scholarship is rolled out based on the academic and professional achievements. Once the application form is submitted with these details, the admission committee reviews the same. If you are admitted into the program, the scholarship that you are eligible for will be mentioned on the offer letter. Please note that admission is provisional until successful verification of supporting documents and completing the payment formalities. 

    Refund Policy/Financials

    What is the refund policy for this program?

    Refund Policy:

    1. You can claim a refund for the amount paid towards the Program at any time, before the Program Start Date, by visiting and submitting your refund form via the "My Application" section under your profile. You can request your Admissions Counsellor to help you in applying and withdrawing for a refund by sending them an email with reasons listed. For post program refund please connect with your Admissions Counselor to understand the policy. This is applicable even for those students who could not complete their payment, and could not be enrolled in the batch opted for. However, the student can avail pre-deferral as per the policy defined below for the same.

    2. Student must pay the full fee within seven (7) days of payment of the deposit amount or Batch Start Date, whichever is earlier; otherwise, the admission letter will be rescinded.

    3. Request for refund as per point no. 1 of the refund policy must be sent via email in the prescribed refund request form. The refund will be processed within 30 working days of submitting the duly signed refund form, after being duly approved by the Academic Committee.

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    upGrad does not grant credit; credits are granted, accepted or transferred at the sole discretion of an educational institution. upGrad does not make any representations regarding the recognition or equivalence of the credits or credentials awarded, unless otherwise expressly stated. If you intend to pursue a post graduate or doctorate degree upon completion of this course or apply for employment which requires specific credits, we advise you to enquire further regarding the suitability of this degree for your academic and/or professional requirements before enrolling.