For LL.M. program FAQs, please also visit the FAQs page of the LL.M. academic program section of this site.
1. Who is eligible for the LL.M. Program in United States Law?
Applicants must have received a university degree in law (the equivalent of a J.D. or LL.B. degree) from an accredited educational institution outside the United States. This is a first degree in law and in many cases is an LL.B. degree. J.D. graduates of American law schools are not eligible for the LL.M. degree.
2. What is the application deadline date?
Application materials will be available in mid-October and applications will be reviewed on a rolling admissions format, beginning in November. To allow enough time for the processing and issuance of the required visas, the deadline date for the submission of application materials is April 30.
3. Are the TOEFL target scores of 600 (PBT), 250 (CBT), 100 (iBT) or the IELTS target score of 7.0 a firm requirement?
The indicated TOEFL and IELTS scores are not rigid requirements. Instead, they are important targets that the Admissions Committee seeks for the purpose of assuring English language proficiency, which is critical for successful legal studies in a program that integrates LL.M. students into the regular curriculum offered to American students earning a J.D. degree. The LL.M. Admissions Committee may encourage or require applicants with apparent deficits to complete available English language instruction to secure admission to the program.
4. Should I use LSAC's LL.M. Credential Assembly Service (CAS)?
Using LSAC's LL.M. Credential Assembly Service (CAS) is strongly recommended by the UNC Admissions Committee; however, it is not required.
5. Are there other services one can use besides LSAC?
Yes, other academic evaluation services may be used such as World Educational Services (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE).
6. May I submit an application and supporting materials by e-mail attachment?
No. The UNC LL.M. program accepts applications only in hard copy received by mail or through the LSAC CAS process.
7. How much are tuition and fees, and what is the total estimated cost of earning the LL.M. degree?
Tuition and fees were $42,493 for the 2013-2014 academic year. The estimated living expenses for the academic year (September to May), which include health insurance, housing, meals, books and personal expenses were$15,061. Altogether, the total cost of earning the LL.M. degree at UNC School of Law is estimated for 2013-14 to be $57,554. Updated figures will be posted in October for the 2014-15 academic year.
8. Are financial guarantees required?
All international students seeking a visa must certify that they have sufficient funds to finance the educational and living expenses entailed in earning their degree.
9. Is on-campus housing available for LL.M. students?
Yes, for more information see the Community Resources page.
10. Is financial aid available?
All applicants will be considered for merit scholarships during the admissions process. Those needing financial assistance may find helpful information through the Institute of International Education, http://www.iie.org/ and http://www.fundingusstudy.org/. United States citizens and permanent residents may find helpful information at http://www.finaid.org/.
11. When should I pay my seat deposit?
best practices guidelines state that LL.M. applicants have until April 1 to
accept or decline admission and scholarship offers from US law schools.
Students are also free to decline offers of admission in favor of a new offer. LSAC
states: “… no law school should require an enrollment commitment of any kind to
an offer of admission or scholarship prior to April 1. Law schools should pursue
policies that enable all candidates to make informed decisions and consider
options at schools that may have later application deadlines than their own”
(LSAC’s Statement of Good Admission and Financial Aid Practices for LLM Programs (), page 3).
12. Are LL.M. students permitted to apply for transfer to the J.D. Program?
UNC School of Law LL.M. students are permitted to apply for transfer to the J.D. Program if they achieve a grade point average in courses taken with J.D. students that places them in the top 1/3 of the 2L class. The top 1/3 mark is identified each fall by the Career Development office (CDO), e.g., for the 2013-14 LL.M. class, this cutoff point is 3.511. Grades received in the two required LL.M. courses, which are taken exclusively by LL.M. students, are not included in the average.
Decisions on admission are made by the J.D. admissions office, with input from the LL.M. Faculty Director. UNC LL.M. students so admitted will be allowed to transfer credits to the J.D. program earned in regular J.D. courses while they were LL.M. students. Credits will not be transferred for either of the two courses required exclusively for LL.M. students. LL.M. students allowed to transfer into the J.D. program after completion of the LL.M. program will receive only the J.D. degree upon successful completion of the J.D. requirements.
LL.M. students from a law school outside of UNC School of Law's LL.M. Program are not eligible to apply as a transfer student to the J.D. program. All such applicants outside of the UNC School of Law's current student body are to fulfill the requirements of both the traditional J.D. application process and the three-year J.D. course requirements the same way as any applicant to the J.D. program.
Additional funding sources
The United States Embassy or consulate in your home country may have additional information on Fulbright Scholarships and other fellowship opportunities. Funding sources in the applicant's home country could include employers, government agencies and foundations. A partial list of organizations that offer scholarship funding for U.S. graduate study includes:
Various countries (scholarships for women only):