Why should I seek a Master’s Degree in Judicial Studies?

A better understanding of the judicial process as a whole can lead to better judging. Participants in the program will develop a deeper understanding of social science evidence and statistics that are often present in trials or appeals. Judges interested in appointments to a higher court or up for re-election will benefit from having an advanced degree from Duke Law as a professional credential. Other reasons include the chance to work with other judges from around the country and the world, a chance to study ways to reform the judiciary, and, simply, the opportunity and challenge of pursuing academic study with colleagues and scholars of similar interests.

What time commitment is necessary for the program?

Judges should expect to spend four weeks in residence at Duke during late May and early June for two consecutive summers. Outside of those four-week periods, judges may be tasked with short papers for each course in lieu of final exams following each session. Judges also will be responsible for research and writing related to the thesis.

Who is eligible for the program?

State and federal judges in the United States as well as international judges of equivalent position are eligible for the program.

When should I apply?

Applications may be submitted at any time. However, we are no longer accepting applications for the 2016-2017 program.  The next class will being May 2018.

When will I receive an admission decision?

Admission decisions will be made no later than December 15, 2015.

How much does the program cost?

The listed tuition and fees total are approximately $18,736 per year (plus room and board). The exact amount will not be determined until a few months before the 2016 summer session.

What type of financial aid is available?

Duke Law provides a full scholarship, as well as subsidies for food and housing costs. Judges are requested to pursue all available funding resources from their court, associated agencies, or other funds that may appropriately be used for educational purposes and contribute to the extent they are financially comfortable to do so.

How much time will I have to complete my thesis?

The thesis must be completed by March 31 of the year following completion of the second summer of coursework.