J.S.D. Graduation Requirements

Upon admission, the J.S.D. candidate has to enroll in a J.S.D. thesis course for a minimum of two (2) years, and a maximum of five (5) years.

Towards completion of the requirements, the J.S.D. candidate has to submit a publishable manuscript of no less than 75,000 words on his or her chosen topic (the dissertation) to his or her supervisor.

The supervisor will submit a substantive report on the dissertation, including the determination of a grade from a slate ranging from summa cum laude (highest honors), to magna cum laude (high honors), to cum laude (honors), to rite (pass), and fail. A second opinion, including a grade, will then be provided by another qualified faculty as determined by the Director of the Intercultural Human Rights Program. The average of the two grades is carried over into the rigorosum. 

The rigorosum is a one-hour defense of the thesis before a committee of three qualifying faculty. In this defense, not just issues pertaining to the topic of the dissertation, but all issues relating to the field of human rights law and policy constitute legitimate subject-matters of questioning. The rigorosum may break the tie if the average of the two grades for the dissertation lies between two grades, or it may raise or lower the grade by one grade if the two grades resulting from the dissertation review coincide. 

Qualifying faculty includes, at its core, the instructional staff of the LL.M. program as well as other members of the School of Law faculty. The supervising professor, the second grader of the dissertation as well as the members of the rigorosum committee should hold the academic equivalent of a J.S.D., S.J.D., Dr. iur. or Ph.D. 

The dissertation shall be published. The J.S.D. degree in Intercultural Human Rights is conferred upon completion of dissertation, rigorosum and proof of publication.