The students enrolled in our LL.M. program are practicing lawyers, academics, and judges. We have hosted foreign lawyers from over 40 countries to pursue studies in human rights and comparative disability law, technology commercialization, corporate law, to prepare for the New York Bar Exam, and many other specializations.
Outside the classroom, LL.M. students take part in our Job Shadow Program, the International Scholar Lecture Series, over 30 student-led organizations and affinity groups, and many of professional development programs and opportunities. Students are supported by a team of LL.M. Student Mentors, an LL.M. Faculty Adviser, College of Law faculty, and program administration.
Our law school, Dineen Hall, is newly-built and provides a welcoming environment to pursue a rigorous academic program. The College of Law is located on the main campus of Syracuse University - ranked #60 in the United States with a top-tier R1 designation on the Carnegie Classification of Higher Education Institutions.
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Two Ways to Apply: Interested candidates may apply online through the College of Law website or through the Law School Admission Council, which has an application for the fall (August) intake only. Syracuse Law does not charge an application fee. The College of Law recommends LL.M. candidates submit application materials by June 1 for priority consideration to enroll in the fall semester (August).
Extended 3-Semester Option Available: Students in the LL.M. program may choose to pursue an to complete the degree. We continue to offer our traditional 2-semester program option. Read our Frequently Asked Questions to determine which option is best for you.
Eligibility: Candidates to the LL.M. program must hold a first degree in law from a foreign institution. Visit the LSAC website on eligibility for guidance by country.
English Proficiency: Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate proof of English-language proficiency. Syracuse Law recommends a TOEFL score of 90+, an IELTS score of 6.5+, or a Duolingo score (for Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 only) of 115+; and will consider additional factors when assessing English proficiency. Use our TOEFL School Code 2823 to have your electronic scores submitted directly.
Deferral Policy: Admitted candidates may defer admission up to one year without the need to re-apply to the program.
Conditional Admission & Legal English
Candidates who do not demonstrate sufficient English-language proficiency may obtain conditional admission pending successful completion of an English program at Syracuse University’s English Language Institute (ELI). Upon arrival to ELI, candidates will take a placement test to determine level of proficiency. While in ELI, candidates may observe law lectures and join LL.M. program events as schedules permit. Regardless of the level of English proficiency, all LL.M. candidates are strongly encouraged to attend our 6-week summer “Legal English” program.
Merit Scholarships: Syracuse Law may offer merit scholarships to select candidates. There is no separate scholarship application. Syracuse Law does not offer full tuition scholarships.
Student Loans: Candidates who are either a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident of the U.S. are eligible to file the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), in order to obtain Federal Direct Student Loans. Visit our website to learn how to apply for U.S. financial aid.
Private Loans: Candidates may investigate private funding opportunities through outside sources such as MPOWER and SallieMae.
LL.M. students must complete 24 Law credits to qualify for graduation.
LL.M. students are required to enroll in two courses designed for the LL.M. program:
Introduction to the American Legal System (3 credits), and
Legal Writing for International Students (3 credits)
Before the end of the program, students must fulfill the Writing Requirement by producing a research paper with a minimum of 25 pages. The Writing Requirement can be completed as part of a course assignment for which the student also receives a grade or through an Independent Study directed by a member of the College of Law faculty.
LL.M. students are encouraged to enroll in any courses that satisfy their professional and academic interests. For a complete list of courses with descriptions, please review our Course Descriptions and Curriculum by Subject Area. Students seeking to take a bar examination must comply with other requirements. See information on the bar exam described below. Courses are offered mainly in the Fall (August - December) and Spring (January - May) semester. A few courses are offered in the summer.
Student Visa Information
Information about the student visa process can be found on the U.S. Visas website. Please allow sufficient time to obtain your LL.M. admissions letter and I-20 or DS-2019 student visa document when scheduling your interview with the U.S. Embassy/Consulate. For students who expect to bring a dependent spouse and/or child(ren) to the United States, please also complete and submit Syracuse University’s Dependent Request Form[PDF].
Bar Exam Information
Foreign-educated LL.M. applicants intending to sit for the New York bar examination must complete the “Foreign Evaluation Form” and submit foreign education documentation to the New York State Board of Law Examiners (BOLE). You are strongly encouraged to submit the “Foreign Evaluation Form” and required documents before you arrive to Syracuse. For more information, visit the BOLE website.
ABA Standard 504 Statement: In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.
Skills Competency Requirement: Section 520.18 to the Rules for the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law (22 NYCRR 520.18) states that applicants seeking admission in New York must establish that they have acquired skills and professional values necessary to competently practice law. Answers to “Frequently Asked Questions” about this requirement can be found online[PDF]. Applicants enrolled in the Syracuse Law LL.M. Program may be able to satisfy the requirements of Pathway 2 (completion of 15 credits of practice-based experiential coursework). This option is viable for LL.M. students pursuing the extended 3-semester degree program. It is more likely that LL.M. students can satisfy this requirement through Pathway 4 (one continuous 6-month apprenticeship) or Pathway 5 (one year of full-time practice, or two years of part-time practice in another jurisdiction) described in section 520.18. Applicants Read more about the Skills Competency Requirement on the New York BOLE website.
Bar Support at Syracuse Law: We offer a variety of opportunities to prepare students for the Bar Exam. Students may enroll in the ‘bar prep’ course: “Foundations for Attorney Licensing,” offered in the fall and spring semesters for 2 credits. This course provides an understanding of the bar review and bar exam processes, as well as the skills necessary to be successful in the licensing process.
Private Bar-Prep Courses: During the time between graduation from Syracuse Law and the bar exam, most students enroll in a private ‘bar prep’ course offered through companies such as BarBri, Pieper, Kaplan, Themis, and others. Note: Syracuse Law does not endorse any company.
The determination of eligibility is made exclusively by the BOLE and it is the responsibility of each candidate to ensure his/her LL.M. academic record complies with the requirements and cure provisions articulated by the BOLE to sit for the New York bar exam.
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We know that you probably have a lot of questions about coming to Syracuse University College of Law, and we're dedicated to making sure you have all the information you need. To receive additional information regarding the L.L.M program, complete our prospective inquiry form today, and read more about our program online with our digital brochure[PDF] and our 'page + videos'[PDF] web space.