Program Information

Program Handbook


For in depth information about the program, please download the handbook.

Applicants must be full-time judicial officers currently serving on the bench and who have graduated from an ABA accredited law school. Exceptions to the requirement may be made for those who are graduates of recognized foreign law schools or graduates of non-accredited American law schools and have been admitted to the Bar, and it appears that the applicant is otherwise qualified and would contribute to the success of the program.

Applications for admission to the Judicial Studies Program are accepted throughout the year and must be completed and paid for on-line. Please visit the Grad Admissions page for current admission materials the Graduate School requires. Applicants will need to demonstrate proof of immunizations: if born before 1957, proof of current tetanus/diphtheria immunization; and if born in or after 1957, proof of MMR 1 & 2 and current tetanus/diphtheria immunizations. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that the University receives all required materials, as only complete applications will be moved forward for review and approval. Please note that scores of standardized tests such as the GRE are not required for application to the Judicial Studies Program.

Master of Judicial Studies (MJS)

Prospective students may apply for one of two academic majors for the Master's of Judicial Studies degree: the Trial Court Judge major or the Juvenile and Family Court Judge major. Applicants should have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75, a minimum law school and graduate school (if applicable) GPA of 2.5, and a demonstrated continued interest in the law and the judiciary through published writings/opinions and extracurricular activities.

The Judicial Studies Program evaluates the applicant's professional qualifications, potential for making a sustained contribution to the judiciary, and the applicant's potential contribution to the field of Judicial Studies. The Judicial Studies Program seeks students from widely dispersed geographic areas, intending to expose students to national and international perspectives. The Graduate School notifies applicants of the University's final decision.

Ph.D. in Judicial Studies

Judges seeking the Ph.D. degree must be graduates of the MJS Program and must be currently sitting on the bench. Applications are completed and paid for on-line and are accepted throughout the year. A Ph.D. application consists of: the Judicial Studies Program application; application fee; three letters of reference (one must be from their MJS Thesis Committee Chair); and copies of written opinions and/or articles. Doctoral applicants must have a minimum MJS program GPA of 3.0 to gain consideration for admission to the Ph.D. degree program.

Application Process

  1. Apply to the University of Nevada, Reno Graduate School online. After your application is complete, request one (1) official transcript from the Registrar's Office at every post-secondary school you've attended (community college, university, law school, etc.). Official transcripts are those sent directly from the institution attended; personal copies or those labeled "issued to student" are not acceptable even if they are in sealed envelopes. Requested transcripts can be submitted by the institution electronically through the application system or sent to:
    University of Nevada, Reno, Graduate School/326, Reno, NV 89557-0326.
  2. Send additional information to the Judicial Studies Program, including:
    1. List of each Bar admission by year and state
    2. List, in reverse chronological order, of all substantial work experience (dates, position held, office/firm/agency name and location) and when your present term of office expires
    3. List of any disciplinary actions as attorney and/or judge
    4. List of the names, dates, and sponsoring institutions for judicial/continuing legal education attended lasting four or more days
    5. List of topics, dates, and sponsoring institutions for all legal/judicial related courses which you have been responsible for presenting (faculty, panelist, discussion leader, etc.)
    6. List of published writings other than judicial opinions
    7. List of the names, positions, and address of three professional colleagues sufficiently familiar with your professional work to serve as references/provide letters of recommendation
    8. Mail or email this additional information to:

Judicial Studies Program/311
University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, NV 89557
E-mail: jsp@unr.edu

*Note: Items 1-7 can be combined/submitted as one document.