Academic Programs
About Us

New Programs

The Graduate School of Law has added the Master of Legal Studies (M.L.S.) program to its present offerings. Under the Master of Legal Studies program, a graduate of law, whether possessing an Ll.B. or a J.D. degree is, after enrolling in two academic semesters at the Graduate School of Law, awarded a Master of Legal Studies degree. This provides with law graduates the opportunity to convert their post-baccalaureate Ll.B. or J.D. degrees into a master’s degree that should enable them to teach in higher education institutions. Under present CHED rules, only those who possess Master’s degrees can teach in college and university levels. This program has already received the approval of the Legal Education Board.

Existing Programs

The following degree programs have been approved by the Legal Education Board, and our Graduate School of Law has been authorized to award them to those who qualify themselves academically:

Master of Laws

Master of Legal Studies, major in Criminal Justice Administration

Master of Legal Studies (Ll.B. – J.D. combo program)

Doctor of Juridical Science (J.S.D.)

One feature of our Graduate School of Law is the offering of an Ll.M. track in American law that provides graduates with the academic units that enable them to sit for the Multi-State Bar of the United States.

The Faculty has agreed to retain the present thesis and non-thesis tracks for the Ll.M. degree, requiring for the non-thesis track 45 units, while the thesis track requires 30, and the submission of three major research papers, each not less than 25 pages.

The theses submitted last year were outstanding: one is in fact a proposal that has been submitted to the Department of Justice and to the Supreme Court on a joint project for the revision of the present Revised Penal Code. It proposed the adoption of community service as an alternative to imprisonment for certain categories of offenses.

Our Graduate School of Law holds two distinctions: first, it is the only Graduate School of Law with which the Philippine Judicial Academy of the Supreme Court has a consortium; second, it is the Graduate School of Law with the highest population while maintaining the rigid standards that have allowed us to enjoy credibility and respect nationwide.

Our Academic Policies have been submitted for review and have been approved by the Legal Education Board. The Graduate School of Law is subject to the regulatory authority only of the Legal Education Board.


What has made our Graduate School survive and flourish is the fact that we have aggressively pursued a policy of establishing provincial nodes of delivery for graduate education in law. At present these include:

The University of San Carlos, Cebu

Ateneo de Davao, Davao City

University of Central Philippines, Iloilo

University of the Cordilleras, Baguio City

Only last week, the Office of the President of St. Louis University, Baguio, requested me to establish SLU as a node for the delivery of graduate education by San Beda University. The documents are in the drafting stage.

Under the present linkage scheme, all students enrolled in the different nodes are students of the Graduate School of Law of San Beda University alone. The different schools serve only as venues for delivery. Their faculty members are the principal enrollees of the program. After subtracting administrative costs, fixed fees are paid San Beda University (except for Cebu and Iloilo, these are the faculty development funds awarded by CHED, before the activation of the Legal Education Board, to certain meritorious law schools). It is our Graduate School of Law that sends professors. 

Academic Programs
Academic Policies Addendum

Equivalency Certification

When a candidate for any degree offered by the Graduate School of Law has distinguished himself or herself through acknowledged expertise, authorship, or otherwise, the Dean may require the candidate to prepare a portfolio that documents the candidate’s achievements in the field of law, juridical science or criminal justice administration as well as require the submission of copies of books and peer-reviewed articles in scholarly journals.

A Panel of Assessors is then formed by the dean. The Panel assesses the achievements as well as the output of the candidate to determine how many units, if any, should be credited in favor of the candidate for work, authorship, experience and expertise evidenced by the documents submitted in portfolio. In no case, however, may a degree be conferred upon a candidate whose accomplishments do not include the authorship of at least two (2) published books in law, juridical science, or criminal justice administration and professorship for at least in the same disciplines for at least five (5) years.

Administration and Corps of Professors

The Dean shall possess the necessary doctoral degree in jurisprudence or juridical science or any field of law. He shall be responsible for the administration of the Graduate School of Law and shall personally preside over the conduct of all class days. Without necessitating his physical presence throughout the work week, he must nevertheless be readily available to make decisions in regard to the administration of the Graduate School. On these terms the Dean shall be considered “full-time”. There shall be no impediment to his engagement in any other institution, private or public.

The Corps of Professors shall consist principally of the qualified professors of the Philippine Judicial Academy. Members of the superior courts of the land who are acknowledged experts in their respective fields of law, though lacking graduate degrees, may be invited as lecturers. The Dean may decide that a course is to be dealt with as a seminar, in which case several lecturers, including a distinct lecturer per session, shall deliver the course.

The term “Corps of Professors” shall refer both to professors and lecturers. “Professors” shall refer to those who possess the title of Diplomate in Juridical Science, or Fellow, of those who have the degree of master of laws, master of comparative laws, master of juridical studies and similar degrees or doctoral degrees. They are regularly assigned subject loads. A lecturer is one who because of specialized study or expertise is invited to deliver a lecture, even if this lecture should recur through successive school years.

Alternative Delivery Systems

The Graduate School of Law shall make use of delivery systems that its administration may deem most effective and convenient, without compromising the academic standards of the Graduate School.

Among these are: mentoring, distance-education through the accomplishment of modules, e-learning through the use of virtual conference rooms, individualized instruction, or the preparation of a reading list and the accomplishment of supervised and assessed reading under the direction of a study-moderator appointed by the Dean.

Academic Programs
Accomplishment Report - Academic Year 2016-2017

There can hardly be doubt that the Graduate School of Law of San Beda University is now the best-known Graduate School of Law in the country. It also has the highest population, while it steadfastly maintains standards that place local graduate education at par with foreign graduate legal education.

We are happy to report the following accomplishments.

Increased Linkages

The Graduate School of Law had earlier established a partnership with the University of San Carlos at Cebu allowing it to deliver graduate education in Cebu City. The linkage continues. But we have added to that the following partnership or consortium agreements:

Consortium with the Central Philippine University at Iloilo City

Consortium with the Ateneo de Davao

Consortium with the University of the Cordilleras

Exploratory talks are currently held with other universities that will allow our Graduate School of Law to deliver instruction through other nodes as well.

Approval of Academic Curricula and Academic Policies

Because the Legal Education Board has taken over the supervision and regulation of law schools and graduate schools of law, our Graduate School of Law has submitted to the Legal Education Board the curricula for the following programs:

Master of Laws

Doctor of the Science of Jurisprudence

Doctor of Philosophy in Public Law

Certificate Program for Foreign Lawyers

We also submitted our Academic Policies for ratification. All these have in principle been approved. The receipt of the certificate of approval will come, we have been assured, after the Rector-President writes the LEB a letter formally joining the undersigned Dean in requesting for approval of the academic curricula and programs.

We wish to make it clear therefore that we do not recognize the authority of the CHED over the graduate school of law and shall steadfastly refuse to submit any document to it. By law, it is clearly the Legal Education Board that regulates and supervises graduate schools of law. Furthermore consonant with the latest issuance of the LEB, special orders will no longer be required to graduate LLB as well as LLM and SJD students.

It is necessary for the College of Law and the Graduate School of Law to be resolute in this regard, because the CHED tends to overreach its regulatory authority.

Enhanced Relations with the Philippine Judicial Academy

There have been more referrals to the Graduate School of Law from the Philippine Judicial Academy this year than in the past.

Under the existing agreement, all candidates for the judiciary who complete the Pre-Judicature Program and pass its Written Evaluative Exercise are, ipso facto, credited with fifteen (15) academic units towards the LL.M. degree. Many of those who completed the Pre-Judicature Program of the Philippine Judicial Academy have opted to complete their LLM degrees with us and have thus been endorsed by the Chancellor of PhilJA, Justice Adolf Azcuna.

At all programs of the judicial academy, the programs of the Graduate School of Law are advertised, and whenever the undersigned dean is asked to lecture, he takes at least ten minutes of the time allotted him to explain the academic links between PhilJA and the Graduate School of Law. This has enhanced familiarity of lawyers and judges all over the country with our Graduate School of Law.

Service to the Legal Education Board

The undersigned dean, precisely in his capacity as dean of our Graduate School of Law, has been part of the lecture team tasked by the Legal Education Board to give seminars to all law deans and professors all over the country in a program titled “Enhancing the Professional Competency of Law Professors”. The undersigned was assigned to discuss the topics: Syllabi, Setting of Objectives, Table of Specifications and Problem-Based Learning. Other lecturers were Dean Antonio Abad, LEB Member, Atty. Carmelita Yadao-Sison, CHED Director for Legal Affairs, Dean Cesar Villanueva and Dean Eulogia Cueva.

Joining the LEB Lecture Team in a lecture tour of all the regions of the country gave the undersigned dean the opportunity to introduce the Graduate School of Law of San Beda University to law deans and law professors nationwide.

Faculty Meeting

The list of present faculty members of the Graduate School of Law is hereto attached. A faculty meeting was convened and the following matters were taken up:

1. The present course Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration should be transformed into Master of Legal Studies major in Criminal Justice, to place it under the jurisdiction not of CHED but of LEB.

2. A separate subject on Advanced Legal Writing should be required of all students.

3. The non-thesis LLM program must nevertheless require the submission of three major research papers.

4. Admission policies should be more stringent, and graduation requirements should be equally stringent.

5. A seminar on Benedictine Spirituality should be required prior to graduation.

Completed Research

Through Dr. Nap Juanillo and the Research, Planning and Development Center, the undersigned dean received a grant that allowed him to produce a research paper entitled “Studies in Comparative Civil Law.”

This work will subsequently be printed and used in instruction in the Graduate School of Law. Copies will be sent to graduate schools of law, here and abroad.

The Graduate School of Law thanks the Rector-President and the Administration of San Beda University (Mendiola) for its constant and unwavering support of the Graduate School of Law.

Fr. Ranhilio Callangan Aquino


Academic Programs
Dean's Message
Academic Programs
School Calendar (AY 2017-18)
Academic Programs
Thesis Procedure

1. The student is given ONLY twenty (20) minutes to present and explain his or her topic.

2. The panel of examiners may begin asking questions to the student after he or she has presented his or her topic or when the allotted time expires.

3. There is no time limit during the “question and answer.” The members of the panel of examiners may ask the student until they are satisfied with his or her answers.

4. After the “question and answer,” everybody inside the defense room will be asked to leave except for the panel of examiners. The panelists will then deliberate whether the student passes or fails.

5. After the deliberation of the panel, the student will be called back to the room. The panelists will then announce the result of the defense.