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Law (SJD) - Indigenous Peoples Law&Policy 
Program Description

What makes the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) Program at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law (Arizona Law) unique is its approach to legal education in the field of federal Indian law, tribal law and policy, and indigenous peoples human rights. Students are trained in the classroom and in real-world settings by faculty who are leaders both in their academic fields and as practitioners in tribal, national, and international forums.

For nearly three decades, Arizona Law has been a leader in the field of American Indian and indigenous peoples law, policy, and human rights. Arizona Law is the only law school in the world offering all three graduate degrees in the field (JD, LLM, and SJD), a Master of Legal Studies (MLS), and a Master of Professional Studies (MPS) with a concentration in indigenous peoples’ law and policy. Throughout the academic year IPLP offers robust course offerings and significant scholarship funding for qualified students.



Department/Academic Unit(s)

Law -

Your legal education will teach you to “think like a lawyer,” honing your analytical skills, developing better critical thinking, and acquiring the professional skills you need no matter where your education takes you.

University of Arizona Law offers a mix of qualities no other school can match: a small, top-ranked program in the heart of a nationally acclaimed university, exceptional employment outcomes, the most global JD program in the country, and the chance to spend your law school years in Tucson, a cool, eclectic city with a diverse population of nearly one million people named the #4 best city for millennials by Money magazine.

Explore the full range of program offerings at




College of Law  
Campus where offered
Main Campus - Tucson  
Admissions Contact
Maria Andrea Bojorquez
Graduate Program Coordinator
Maria Andrea Bojorquez
Director of Graduate Studies
Robert A Williams
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Admissions Information

Admissions Requirements

The SJD application is available online directly on our website here. After you create an account make sure to select the Indigenous Peoples Law & Policy (IPLP) Program as the program you are applying to.

Please reach out to IPLP at to ensure we received your application.


Required Documents for Application

2 letters of recommendation:
At least one letter of recommendation should be from a faculty member at the institution awarding the first law degree. If not, please explain why this is not available in the appropriate departmental question on the application. Applicants who hold an LLM degree must submit at least one recommendation from an instructor at the institution that granted their LLM degree. The strongest recommendations are substantive and detail the applicant's analytical abilities and writing skills. It is worth making a significant effort to communicate with your recommenders regarding the need for detail.

1-2 page personal statement:
The personal statement is both a writing sample and an opportunity to discuss your unique characteristics and personal qualities, including educational and work experiences, talents and special interests, socioeconomic background, involvement in community affairs and public service, or any events or circumstances that have helped shape your life or given it direction.

If you are seeking financial assistance, please include in your personal statement an explanation of any information you would like the Admissions Committee to consider in making financial awards. IPLP awards merit-based scholarships on a rolling basis and has limited funding available. In order to receive a scholarship, early applications are strongly encouraged.

5-6 page research proposal:
Your research proposal should provide an overview of your proposed dissertation topic and its relevance to promoting IPLP's research priorities related to the advancement of indigenous self-determination.

Resume or curriculum vitae:
The resume should summarize your education, work experience, any publications, and other relevant credentials and accomplishments.

Official transcripts from all post-secondary educational institutions:
Transcripts for your first law degree and any other graduate degrees should be submitted through LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service. (Please note that LSAC charges fees for services through the Credential Assembly Service Report.)

Proof of English proficiency for international students (TOEFL or IETLS Report): 

All non-native English speaker applicants must submit a TOEFL, IELTS, or seek a waiver as detailed below

*Applicants who intend to practice law should be aware that bar admission in all U.S. states involves consideration of a bar applicant's character and moral fitness for the practice of law. Applicants should acquaint themselves with the bar admission requirements of the states in which they intend to practice. The American Bar Association offers various resources on bar admission, see:

Standardized Tests

Arizona Law requires a high-level of English proficiency for all degree and non-degree seeking programs including the LLM programs. Arizona Law has a rigorous curriculum for all programs. Classes require a dynamic exchange between students, and with faculty. Therefore, a high-level of English proficiency is required to have a meaningful participation in and outside of the classroom as well as for students to succeed in law school.

In general, the target scores candidates should submit are a TOEFL score of approximately 100 iBT or IELTS overall score of 7.5. We also look at the breakdown of subsection scores for listening, speaking, writing and reading. Nonetheless, a lower score in one area or overall does not automatically preclude an applicant from consideration.

Applicants whose test score(s) falls below the targets set forth above, should highlight in the personal statement portion of their application any specific data, background, or other information that they feel might strengthen their application in this regard, such as time spent in English language environments, work done in English, English language publications, etc. It is also recommended that applicants with scores lower than those set forth above submit at least one recommendation that addresses, at least in part, their English language ability.

Applicants may also request a waiver review based on their studies in the U.S., a LSAT score of or above 155, and/or a GRE verbal reasoning score of 155 or higher. Arizona Law will also accept requests for waivers based on the current English proficiency exemptions for Graduate Students at the University of Arizona. Applicants requesting a waiver are required to submit a writing sample and to hold an interview in English. 

The admissions committee reserves the right to request a writing sample, hold interviews or request additional information or documents to support English proficiency for all applicants.

Financial Aid

Federal financial aid may be available for U.S. citizens. Some forms of aid are need-based and other are not based upon financial need. Applicants are encouraged to look at the College of Law financial aid page for information on tuition rates, financial aid, information on deadlines for applying for financial assistance, and information on how to apply for private non-governmental loans ( 

To assist students in obtaining financial aid, Keyshia Connor serves as Associate Director of Financial Aid/Scholarships for prospective and enrolled students at the College of Law. Ms. Connor can be reached at 520.626.1832 or by email at

Admissions Deadlines

We accept and review applications on a rolling basis. Given the unique attributes of our SJD program, admission is highly competitive and early applications are strongly encouraged.

Spring 2018 Application Deadlines:

  • If you require a student visa: October 22, 2017
  • If you do NOT require a student visa: November 30, 2017

Fall 2018 Application Deadlines:

  • If you require a student visa: June 1st, 2018
  • If you do NOT require a student visa: July 15th, 2018
International Conditional Admission
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
Other Information
The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832

Completion Requirements

Degree Requirements

Students in the program are required to successfully complete Federal Indian Law and International Human Rights or International Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples. Additionally, international students must complete Legal Analysis, Writing, and Research and Introduction to the U.S. legal System. After the year in residency, students have a maximum of three years to complete their research, writing, and oral defense. Specific details about the dissertation requirements can be found here.

Minor Requirements


Student Handbook  
Persistent link:
Last revised 15 Feb 2018