LL.M. Admissions & Program Information

Syracuse Law’s LL.M. in American Law program hosts Fellows from the Open Society Foundation’s Disability Rights Scholarship Program. In this video, William Oluchina LL.M. ’14, Milanoi Koiyiet LL.M. ’15, and Professor Arlene Kanter discuss the importance of promoting the rights of persons with disabilities in Africa and beyond.

LL.M. Program Curriculum

The College of Law’s course offerings are divided primarily on a semester basis (Fall and Spring) constituting one full academic year. LL.M. students must complete 24 Law credits (minimum 12 credits per semester) in the academic year to qualify for graduation, but may enroll in up to an additional four credits each semester.

In the first semester, LL.M. students are required to enroll in three courses designed for the LL.M. program; Introduction to American Legal Studies (3 credits); U.S. Legal Writing for LL.M. Students (2 credits); and the International LL.M. Skills Course (1 credit). Students must also enroll in Professional Responsibility (3 credits) in either the Fall or Spring semester. In addition, each student must fulfill a Writing Requirement in either semester. This requirement allows the LL.M. student to engage deeply with a faculty member to produce a significant research paper and can be accomplished through one of our many seminar classes or by Independent Research credit.

Candidates to the LL.M. in American Law program may choose among four program options to pursue their studies. Our LL.M. students are encouraged to enroll in the core, common law first-year classes such as American Constitutional Law and Contracts as well as to use their electives to explore an array of course offerings and specializations. For a complete list with descriptions of the courses offered by the College of Law, please review our Course Descriptions and Course Options by Subject.

LL.M. Application Deadlines & Admissions Instructions:

  • Deadline for fall semester (August) enrollment: May 15
  • Deadline for spring semester (January) enrollment: November 15

Candidates for admission to the LL.M. in American Law program must hold a law degree (LL.B. or undergraduate degree in Law) from a foreign institution, and must submit the application materials below. There are two ways to submit your LL.M. application:

  1. Submit all application materials through LSAC.org -or-
  2. Submit the LL.M. Application Form and all applications materials below to LLMadmissions@law.syr.edu.
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae 
  • Personal Statement
  • Two Letters of Recommendation 
  • Color Copy of Passport Face-Page
  • Educational Transcripts

Proof of Financial Support Documentation

Prior to enrollment at Syracuse Law, international applicants, including Canadian applicants, must submit original proof of sufficient funding to cover the cost of attendance for at least one academic year's expenses ($70,000). This proof is required before an appropriate visa can be issued to the student. Acceptable proof for privately sponsored applicants is an original signed letter of support from the sponsor that includes the U.S. dollar amount of support and certified bank statements indicating funds sufficient to cover at least the student's first-year expenses. For government-sponsored applicants, acceptable proof is an official or certified copy of the award letter that includes the U.S. dollar amount of the award per year and any special billing instructions. Photocopies are not acceptable.

Conditional Admission & English Proficiency

Candidates to the LL.M. in American Law program must demonstrate proof of English-language proficiency. Syracuse Law strongly recommends a TOEFL score of 100 or an IELTS score of 7.0; but will consider additional factors when assessing proficiency. Candidates who do not demonstrate sufficient English-language proficiency may apply for  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. It is expected that each LL.M. candidate will complete Level 4 (out of 4 levels) of English-language training before enrolling in the LL.M. program. Candidates who enroll into the LL.M. program directly from ELI are not required to take a TOEFL/IELTS exam. Students in the LL.M. program are also strongly encouraged to attend our "Legal English" summer session.

SEVIS & Student Visa Information

Students admitted to the LL.M. program who are non-U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents must provide a complete SEVIS Foreign Address (this is your permanent residential address abroad, including home number, street name, city, state/province, and postal code). 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.

Funding the LL.M. Program: Scholarships, Student Loans & Partnership Opportunities:

  • Scholarships: Syracuse Law offers LL.M. Merit Scholarships to select candidates. These scholarships typically range in amount between 10% - 50% of LL.M. program tuition. Syracuse Law does not offer full tuition scholarships for participation in the LL.M. program.
  • Student Loans: For the purposes of obtaining a student visa, international students interested in attending the LL.M. program at Syracuse Law are expected to have sufficient funding to finance their study. 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 determine eligibility for Federal Direct Student Loans. Please contact our Office of Financial Aid at financialaid@law.syr.edu for more details on the financial aid process.

  • Private Loans: Candidates may investigate private funding opportunities through outside sources. Additionally, you can search for private educational loans for international students who are matriculated into degree granting programs in the United States. Private student loans typically have variable interest rates, do not require payments while students are in school, and can cover the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses for students who are enrolled in an LL.M. program. It is likely that most private student loans require the international student to have a credit worthy co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States. Syracuse University is not affiliated with any private loan company nor do we endorse any particular private loan.

Partnership Opportunities:

  • Open Society Foundation Fellowship: Syracuse Law is a host institution for the Open Society Foundation's fellowship programs. For information regarding eligibility specifications and application procedures, please visit the Open Society Foundation’s website or contact LLMadmissions@law.syr.edu for more information.
  • Organization of American States - Partnership Program for Education & Training (PAEC): Syracuse Law is a host institution for the Organization of American States (OAS) PAEC Scholarship Program. This award is available to LL.M. candidates from OAS member states. For information regarding eligibility specifications and application procedures, please visit the OAS Scholarships page website or contact LLMadmissions@law.syr.edu for more information.
  • Fulbright Fellowship Program: Syracuse Law will work with The Fulbright Commission, Fulbright field offices, and Fulbright scholars around the world to host Fulbright Fellows. For information about a Fulbright office near you, please visit the Fulbright Commission’s website or contact LLMadmissions@law.syr.edu for more information.

Outside Funding Opportunities:

Bar Examination Information for LL.M. Students

LL.M. students intending to sit for a State Bar Examination should consult with the LL.M. Admissions Office at LLMadmissions@law.syr.edu. It is the LL.M. student’s responsibility  to make necessary arrangements to ensure they are properly qualified to  sit for a State Bar Examination.

New York State Bar Exam: Foreign-educated LL.M. applicants intending to sit for the New York State Bar Examination must complete the “Foreign Evaluation Form” and submit their foreign education documentation to the New York State Board of Law Examiners (BOLE) at least eight months prior to the first day of the bar examination application period. LL.M. students are strongly encouraged to submit the “Foreign Evaluation Form” and required documents before matriculation into the College of Law. For more information, visit the BOLE website. While the LL.M. program meets the academic requirements established by the BOLE, the determination of eligibility to sit for the exam is made exclusively by the BOLE.

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 by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

The following courses have been approved by the New York State Court of Appeals to satisfy the academic requirements for eligibility to sit for the New York State Bar Exam:

  • Business Associations
  • Civil Procedure
  • Constitutional Law I
  • Constitutional Law II
  • Commercial Transactions
  • Contracts
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Criminal Law
  • Constitutional Criminal Procedure - Adjudicative
  • Constitutional Criminal Procedure - Investigative
  • Criminal Law
  • Evidence
  • Family Law
  • Federal Courts
  • New York Civil Practice
  • New York Criminal Procedure
  • Property
  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Secured Transactions
  • Torts
  • Wills & Trusts

LL.M. students are not required to pursue a Bar Exam following the completion of their studies; however if they choose to do so, and are deemed eligible by a State's bar examiners, Syracuse Law offers a variety of opportunities to prepare students for the Bar Exam. For example, students may enroll in the "test prep" course, titled: "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. Also, students are encouraged to take advantage of our "Rock the Bar" program, which offers a series of authentic test prep study sessions throughout the academic year.

Finally, during the time between graduation from Syracuse Law and the July exam date, a majority of students enroll in a private Bar Exam prep course offered through companies such as BarBri, Pieper, Kaplan, Themis, and others. Note: Syracuse Law does not endorse any particular private test prep company.

New Monthly Materials List Available

The November 2015 List of new books, journals and media added to the Law Library collection last month is now available.


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