SJD in Health Law and Policy

Loyola University Chicago’s offers a Doctor of Juridical Sciences (SJD) in Health Law and Policy. The Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) is the highest degree an attorney can earn. Students in the program choose a particular area of law and will then conduct academic research and complete a dissertation. The SJD is ideal for candidates looking to work in academia or research.

The SJD in Law degree program requires 10 credit hours and writing an original dissertation. You can expect to work closely with your advisor.

The curriculum includes a limited amount of health law course work (depending on your experience) and may include fieldwork, such as teaching, course development, continuing education instruction, or lectures. The full elective curriculum is determined in conjunction with the doctoral program director and may comprise online and/or campus courses.

The doctoral dissertation research and supervision courses are campus-based but do not require residency in Chicago, as you will work individually with your doctoral advisor. Before the end of the first year, you must complete a comprehensive outline and a first draft of dissertation. During the second year, you will write a doctoral dissertation and present it to a doctoral committee and to the law school community.

You must hold a primary degree in law (JD or LLB) and a Master of Laws (LLM) in health law or a related field, or a master’s degree in health administration or public health. Individuals who possess significant practice experience may be exempt from the master’s degree requirement.


Prior to formally applying for admission to the SJD program, you must submit a letter of intent to the Beazley Institute Doctoral Admissions Committee. This letter should describe your educational and professional background, interest in the doctoral program, and the proposed area(s) of doctoral dissertation research. This will enable the committee determine whether the health law program faculty has sufficient expertise in your areas of research interest.


Only candidates advised by the committee should submit a full application for the doctoral program. Letters should be submitted via email to Once advised to apply, candidates must submit:


• A completed online application available at

• Official transcripts of all undergraduate and any graduate work.

• Two letters of recommendation.

• A 1–2 page letter of intent.

• A resume outlining your work experience, education, professional or academic achievements, or
any information you believe is relevant for your application.

• A detailed research proposal (10–12 pages) outlining your
intended dissertation project. The proposal should clearly set
forth your thesis statement, the legal and policy resources you
intend to use, any empirical data you intend to collect, and
your proposed conclusion.

• A writing sample, including a lengthy thesis or article written
solely by the applicant on a legal or health care policy
topic. Applicants may submit a previous thesis project
or course paper from their master’s degree to fulfill this

• A personal interview may be required.


The following documents are required, in addition to those listed above, for those who may fall into these categories:


• Either an official TOEFL or IELTS score report is required for international applicants. This requirement is waived for those who have completed a four-year bachelor’s, or a master’s degree program in the U.S. For those holding a non-U.S. bachelor’s degree, applicants wishing to apply for a waiver must submit U.S. transcripts that show that they have also earned a U.S. master’s degree. The language test is also waived for those who are from, or who have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree at a recognized institution in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom, at which the language of instruction is English.

• International applicants or U.S. residents who completed school abroad are required to submit non-U.S. transcripts to Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (ECE),, for evaluation of credentials. The general evaluation report must show that your non-U.S. education is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree to be considered for admission.

Fall Term: August 1

Spring Term: December 1

Summer Term: April


Deadlines are subject to change. Please check individual program details at for current information.

Learn more about faculty, curriculum, and how to apply.