Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) | Hamad Bin Khalifa University
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Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)

Doctor of Juridical Science

The Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) is the College of Law’s most advanced law degree. The program is the first full-fledged research-intensive doctorate degree in the MENA region, and one of the few of its kind outside of the United States.

Hamad Bin Khalifa University

Dedicated to scholarship and teaching, the program aspires to create a vibrant community of legal scholars, who will assume teaching positions in universities and government positions in institutions in Qatar, the MENA region, and beyond.

The SJD degree is designed to facilitate the relationship with the “real world” through world-class innovative seminars and courses that will prepare students to apply legal knowledge in multiple convergent legal systems. Research production in the SJD program, as well as its interdisciplinary nature, will allow for innovative and problem-based approaches that can have societal or policy impact.

The key strengths of the SJD program are its flexibility to accommodate students wishing to apply interdisciplinary research in a variety of areas, the  integration of the program with all other existing College of Law degree programs, and its focus on high-quality academic research.

Graduates of this program will be equipped to:


  • Engage with themes and ideas that cut across disciplines, with an emphasis on the application of law in context, particularly in areas of societal needs.
  • Demonstrate expertise in multiple fields within the law and social sciences.
  • Undertake and produce interdisciplinary research in the frontier of the law and social sciences.
  • Advance research for social impact.
  • Demonstrate superior knowledge of professional responsibility issues in the practice of transnational and international law.

Program Focus

The program focuses on research methodology and legal ethics in a globalized world.  

The SJD degree provides students the freedom to apply a highly analytical, interdisciplinary, and comparative research approach that addresses important and relevant issues of the day.  


The SJD should be completed in three years after commencement.

  • In the first year, candidates will have a reduced course load to enable them to develop the necessary skills and competencies to undertake doctoral research.  Candidates will be required to take a course on Advanced Legal Methods and a course on Advanced Global Legal Ethics.  

  • Students will be participants in the SJD colloquium, which provides them with fundamental knowledge of the practical and professional aspects of doctoral studies.


    In addition to receiving feedback on their doctoral research, students will engage in meaningful and constructive scholarly exchanges about publishing, grant writing, and conference presentations, as well as career paths in academia and private, public and international spheres.  

  • Dissertation:
    Students are required to complete a dissertation that makes a substantial and original contribution to legal scholarship.

  • Residence:
    The minimum residence requirement for the SJD program is two semesters of full-time supervised research at the College of Law. 

View Admission & Application Requirements