JSD Program

Residency Policy & Other Requirements

Residency Requirement

JSD students and candidates in their first through third years must reside in New York City from September through June. Summer residence (July and August) is not required.


Time to Complete Degree

JSD students have a maximum of five years in which to complete their degree. Eligibility for the JSD degree terminates after five years.


Maintenance of Matriculation

All students must maintain full-time equivalency during the entire duration of the JSD degree program. Following the completion of all coursework requirements during the first and second year of the JSD program, the JSD Office registers students for “Maintenance of Matriculation,” a registration code which enables candidates to maintain access to University resources through degree completion. Maintenance of Matriculation and fees are covered by the Tuition Scholarship through the fourth year. After the fourth year, candidates are responsible for all tuition and fees, including Maintenance of Matriculation fees.


Leave of Absence

No leaves of absence will be granted during a student or candidate’s time in the program. Should a personal circumstance arise that could merit such a request, students or candidates can leave the program entirely. If they wish to re-enter, they must reapply thereafter.

In case of childbirth, a candidate is allowed a full year of maternal/paternal leave of absence. This leave will not be counted towards the 5 years completion limit. 


Health Insurance

All students in residency at the University are required to purchase NYU health insurance or obtain a waiver by providing proof of other insurance. Students who continue in the JSD program beyond the third year and are not in residency in the United States are not required to have health insurance.


Visa Matters

The Office of Global Services (OGS) requires that international students or candidates provide notification if they will be writing their dissertation in their home country or if they will be in and out of the United States each semester. If the student or candidate will not be in the U.S. for more than five months at a time, OGS must change his or her immigration status to “studying/researching abroad” in the appropriate databases. This will terminate the student or candidate’s status in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security SEVIS database. If the student or candidate returns to the U.S. in order to continue his or her research and writing, he or she will be required to contact the OGS and apply for a new I-20 visa.


Enrollment in non-JSD courses

JSD students and candidates are permitted to enroll in courses outside of the JSD program and are permitted to request permission to audit Law School courses or seminars. However, given that the requirements of the JSD program alone are quite demanding, it is expected that a majority of a JSD student or candidate’s time is spent on program requirements and the research and development of their dissertations. Loading a schedule with non-JSD courses is strongly discouraged.

As noted above, the tuition scholarship does not cover the cost of non-JSD program courses. Students wishing to enroll in additional courses for credit are responsible for the tuition incurred.