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

Doctor of Juridical Science

The Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) is the College of Law’s most advanced law degree. The program is one of the first full-fledged research-intensive doctorate degrees in the MENA region and one of the few of its kind outside of the United States. 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 S.J.D. 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 S.J.D. program, as well as its interdisciplinary nature, allows for creative and problem-based approaches that can have societal or policy impact.

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

Graduates of this program will be equipped to:


  • Master theoretical and methodological aspects of law and legal scholarship.
  • Demonstrate the ability to independently conduct original research and formulate reasoned arguments on their topic and related legal issues.
  • Develop a dissertation of publishable quality that makes a substantial and original contribution to legal scholarship.
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills, as well as the ability to teach and explain the law.
  • Demonstrate the ability to independently choose ethical courses of action in legal research and practice.

Program Focus

  • The program focuses on research methodology and legal ethics in a globalized world.
  • The S.J.D. degree provides students the freedom to apply highly analytical, interdisciplinary, and comparative research approaches that address important and relevant issues of the day.


The S.J.D. should be completed in 3.5 years after commencement. In the first year, candidates have a reduced course load to enable them to develop the necessary skills and competencies to undertake doctoral research. Candidates are required to take a course on Advanced Research Methods in Law and a course on Advanced Global Legal Ethics. They may also be required to take additional research methods courses.

  • S.J.D. candidates participate in the S.J.D. 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 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. Publication of S.J.D. candidates’ work is a requirement for graduation.

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