faq
Juris Doctor (JD)
Is the JD Programme a doctoral or a master's degree?

The JD Programme is formally classified as a taught master's degree programme and it is not customary for JD graduates to use the title “Doctor”

What is the difference between JD & LLM programmes?

The JD Programme is much more extensive than the typical LLM Programme. At CUHK the JD requires the completion of three times more units than is required for the LLM. The LLM typically aims to develop expertise in a particular area of law, while the JD provides a comprehensive postgraduate legal education. Successful completion of the JD Programme may also qualify students to apply for the PCLL Programme leading to practice, where as the LLM does not.

Do classes take place at the University's main campus in Shatin or at the Graduate Law Centre?

All classes for the JD Programme will be taught in the CUHK Graduate Law Centre in the Bank of America Tower in Central Hong Kong, the heart of the legal district of Hong Kong.

How many hours of teaching each week is there for each course?

Except for research based courses and International Legal Advocacy, all courses in the JD Programme are 3 unit courses with 3 hours of teaching per week. For the JD Full-time Programme, the recommended course load for terms one and two is 15 units and 6 units during the summer term. For the JD Part-time Programme, the recommended course load for terms one and two is 9 units, and 3 units for the summer term.

How are applicants selected for the JD Programme?

The paramount factor in deciding upon applications will be the strength of the applicants’ academic record. The Faculty of Law is not looking for any particular GPA or class of honours - the better academic results, the better the chances of securing an offer. Where an applicant has been in the workforce and acquired a record of professional attainment or community service, the Faculty of Law will consider (i) the nature and extend of the record, and (ii) the time which has elapsed since the applicant last engaged in formal academic study. An impressive record of professional attainment or community service may compensate for a less strong academic performance especially where the academic record is not recent.

Will there be an interview or written test as part of the application process?

No. However, applicants who do not possess a bachelor’s degree obtained in Hong Kong or an English-speaking country are required to successfully fulfill the English Language Proficiency Requirement required for admission to the JD Programme. Please refer to the admission requirements for the Programme set out on this website or the Programme brochure or handbook.

Can I apply for admission to the JD Programme if it has been several years since I finished my first degree?

Where an applicant has been in the workforce, the Faculty will consider the past work experience of the applicant, and the time which has elapsed since he or she last engaged in formal academic study. Impressive experience in the workforce may enhance past academic performance especially where the academic record is not recent. Applicants are encouraged to submit relevant documents which they think will strengthen the competitiveness of their application.

If I obtained my bachelor's degree not in Hong Kong or an English-speaking country or the bachelor's degree I completed was not taught primarily in the English, what kind of evidence for do I need to satisfy the English Language Proficiency Requirement for admission to the JD Programme?

You will be required to obtain prescribed results in IELTS or TOEFL in order to fulfill the English Language Proficiency Requirement. Alternative evidence will be considered only in special circumstances on a case-by-case basis (subject to the recommendation of the JD Programme Director).

Are there any scholarships or financial subsidies for JD students?

There will be a limited number of scholarships and prizes for registered full-time JD students. Students will be eligible to receive scholarships and prizes once they have accepted an offer to join the JD programme. Scholarships will be awarded to students of outstanding academic merit. Students may also be eligible to apply for the HKSAR Government’s Non-Means Test Loan, please refer to the website of Hong Kong Student Financial Assistance Agency for details.

Overseas students may check with organizations, government authorities etc, of their home countries if there is any financial support available.

Will I be charged extra tuition fees if I study outside the normative study period? Will the tuition fees be adjusted from time to time?

Yes. Extra tuition fees may be charged for students studying outside the normative study period. All tuition fees are subject to review and may be adjusted from time to time.

When do I need to pay my tuition fees?

For newly admitted students, you are required to pay your tuition fees before the due date as stated in the debit note in the admission package provided to you. For current students, you will receive a debit note at the beginning of each term, and you are required to settle your tuition fees before the stipulated due date, normally around week two of the term.

I am a non-local student. If I am admitted to the JD Programme will there be any accommodation arranged for me? Can I live on the main campus in Shatin?

There is a shortage of on campus student accommodation for non-local postgraduate students and when relocating to Hong Kong students are advised that it is likely they will need to rely on private off-campus accommodation during their studies. Relevant information regarding off-campus accommodation is available on the website of the Office of Student Affairs at http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/osa.

Are applications welcome from applicants from different cultural backgrounds and countries?

Yes. The JD Programme welcomes applicants from different cultural backgrounds and countries. In the JD Programme we have had students from Hong Kong, Mainland China, USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, Korea, France, Singapore and other countries.

If I have studied similar course(s) at another institute, can I apply an exemption?

Yes. JD students may apply for an exemption for certain courses that are either required for graduation in the JD Programme or for elective courses required for admission to the PCLL Programme. Students must satisfy the requirements as set out in the Policy on Course and Unit Exemptions for the JD Programme in order to qualify for exemption.

Can I apply to be a lawyer in other jurisdictions after completing JD Programme?

The JD Programme may fulfill certain entry requirements for admission into the legal professions of other common law jurisdictions. However, entry requirements vary across jurisdictions and are subject to change from time to time. If you are interested in practicing law in jurisdictions outside Hong Kong, please contact the relevant professional bodies directly for information.