J.S.D. in Intercultural Human Rights Admission Requirements


Students must have graduated with honors from St. Thomas University’s LL.M. Program in Intercultural Human Rights, i.e. with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0.  In extremely rare cases, outstanding scholars from other institutions who hold an LL.M. degree in the field may be admitted as well, possibly conditional upon enrollment in, and completion of, certain specified courses of the LL.M. IHR program.
At least two terms of work must be spent in residence at the School. This requirement may be satisfied by residence as an LL.M. candidate. At least two additional years must be devoted to the preparation and revision of the dissertation. These additional years may be passed in residence or off campus, including outside of the United States.  The J.S.D. degree in Intercultural Human Rights is conferred upon successful completion of a dissertation, the passing of the rigorosum, and proof of publication of the dissertation.

Candidates for the J.S.D. program need to prove to the School of Law’s J.S.D. Committee that they are outstanding scholars at or near the top of their class who are capable of producing a publishable thesis that adds to the knowledge in the field, and who are capable of doing so within the time frame of the J.S.D. program.

Admission Process:

Applicants for admission to the J.S.D. Program in Intercultural Human Rights need to submit the following documents:

(1)  Completed J.S.D. Application Form

(2)  LL.M. Transcript

(3)  Writing Sample (e.g. LL.M. thesis, seminar paper)

(4) Doctoral Dissertation Proposal consisting of:


            a. Outline of the chosen topic; issues to be explored

            b. An articulation of the topic’s novelty

            c. An initial bibliography

            d. Methodology to be employed

            e. A time frame for the stages and places of research as well as a potential date of completion of the manuscript

            f. Length: at least five (5) pages

(5)  Letter of Acceptance of Candidate and Topic by Supervising Faculty Member
        Note: (a) it is the applicant’s responsibility to find and contact the potential supervisor, either from the list we have provided, or another scholar, who has expertise in the field of student’s dissertation topic, and who has already earned a doctorate degree himself/herself. The supervisor’s doctorate can be a J.S.D., S.J.D., Ph.D. or equivalent.  
                (b) The potential supervisor must have approved the topic and the dissertation proposal, before it can be submitted to the J.S.D. Committee.

(6)  One Letter of Recommendation

(7)  $100 Non-Refundable Application Fee

The Director of the Program reviews all the completed applications.  All eligible applications will be submitted for decision to a four-member J.S.D. Committee formed by the Director and the Executive Director of the Graduate Program in Intercultural Human Rights and two other members of the St. Thomas University School of Law faculty who hold a J.S.D., S.J.D., or Ph.D. degree or their foreign equivalent, such as the Dr. iur.

Additional Requirement for Non-St. Thomas Applicants

In the case of non-St. Thomas applicants, the potential applicant is expected to consult with the Director of the Program, in person or telephonically, prior to submitting his/her application, in order to determine whether the program meets the applicant’s needs, whether the nature of the program fit the applicant’s profile, and whether the applicant’s academic background and experience fit the program’s requirements.

Admissions Decisions

The applicants with the most original proposals, strongest academic records and promise of achievement are admitted to the Program.

Upon the decision of the J.S.D. Committee, an admission letter signed by the Director of the Program is mailed to the admitted students. Students who are not admitted to the program receive a letter denying their admission.

The Honorable Patricia M. Wald (center), Rev. Monsignor Franklyn Casale
Prof. Siegfried Wiessner, Prof. John Makdisi, Prof. Roza Pati, Dr. Mark Kielsgard