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 fifth year. After the fifth year, candidates are responsible for all tuition and fees, including Maintenance of Matriculation fees.


Leave of Absence

Typically, no leaves of absence is granted during a student or candidate’s time in the program. In rare occasions, should a personal circumstance arise for such a leave, the student should submit a formal request to the Chair of the JSD Program who will decide on its merits.

The JSD Committee will only consider requests for leave of absence for health related reasons if they are accompanied by formal medical documentation

In case of child birth or adoption, a student\candidate is allowed up to a full year of parental leave of absence. This leave will not be counted towards the 5 years completion limit


Health Insurance

The JSD program provides coverage of the cost of NYU health insurance (comprehensive plan) for JSD students and candidates in residence. This coverage does not include costs associated with dental insurance, or coverage for any dependents. If a JSD student or candidate decides to waive NYU health insurance coverage he/she would not receive or otherwise be entitled to a refund for the basic health insurance credit. Students who receive equivalent health insurance from another source (government, spouse employment, etc.) should inform the Program and waive the NYU health insurance. Double insurance is not permitted. In case of doubt please consult with the JSD office. 


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.