Academic Program

Scholars begin the program by attending an orientation session, where they meet the program director and international staff. Orientation introduces scholars to the academic program and the many educational and cultural opportunities offered by the University.

Within the first days of the program, each scholar will meet with the full-time faculty advisor supervising the scholar’s research project, along with the program director, to plan the research. Current and recent advisors include the law school dean, a former dean and other senior faculty.

The program starts with a series of short courses, each comprising seven to fourteen hours of instruction. Details of the courses will be furnished to admitted scholars before they depart for the University. These courses will include research and writing techniques, in order to assist scholars in their research projects, and other courses examining the U.S. legal system and key issues of U.S. policy.

Scholars in the six-month and twelve-month programs may also audit one full-semester regular law school course, as approved by the program director. The audited course must be relevant to the scholar’s proposed research project.

Upon conclusion of the short course series, each scholar will use the remaining time at the University to conduct independent research, under the supervision of a full-time member of the law school faculty, and will complete a research paper. The research paper will be on a topic selected by the scholar. Scholars will meet with their faculty advisors on a regular basis. The paper may be written in the scholar’s native language, but a short (approximately 1200 to 1500 word) summary of the paper in English is required.

Throughout their time in the Program, scholars may attend all public University lectures and events. Please see our law events webpage for upcoming events associated with the School of Law. View university-wide events.

After satisfactory participation in all courses and research, each scholar will be awarded a University Certificate of Achievement commending the scholar for successfully completing the U.S. Law and Policy Program for International Professionals.

This program is coordinated by the Office of Graduate and International Programs. The program's faculty director is Fred Heller.


Office of Graduate and International Programs
Warren Hall, Room 207
Phone: (619) 260-7584
Fax: (619) 260-4515


M-F: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Program Completion Ceremony:

Congratulations to our scholars!

Certificates were recently awarded to scholars who completed the 90-day program.  All scholars were sponsored by the government of South Korea and represented a large number of Ministries, Commissions, and other government agencies. They engaged in various areas of legal research under the supervision of USD law faculty. The ceremony was attended by supervising faculty and program director Professor John Forry.

Group Photo