Degree Requirements

U.S. Law School Graduates

In order to earn the Master of Laws degree, U.S. law school graduates must fulfill the following requirements: completion of 24 credit hours, including the required curriculum in the specialized programs (see Curriculum, below); attendance for a residence period of a minimum of two consecutive semesters; achievement of a cumulative grade-point average of 2.67 at the time all requirements are met; and completion and acceptance of a thesis (except for candidates for the degree in Litigation and Dispute Resolution) unless this requirement has been waived (see Thesis Waiver, below).

U.S. students who are full time (those enrolled for 9 or more credit hours per semester) are expected to complete all degree requirements within one calendar year of matriculation; those who are part time (enrolled for 8 or fewer credit hours per semester) are expected to complete all degree requirements within two calendar years of matriculation. Determination of the applicable time limit will be made on the basis of the number of credit hours for which the student enrolls in the first semester of his or her degree program. Extensions of these time limits for completion of the thesis requirement may be granted under appropriate circumstances (see -Thesis Requirement, below).

Non-U.S. Law School Graduates

In order to earn the Master of Laws degree, all non-U.S. law school graduates must fulfill the following requirements: completion of 24 credit hours, including the required curriculum in the specialized programs (see Curriculum, below); attendance for a residence period of a minimum of two consecutive semesters; achievement of a cumulative grade-point average of 2.00 at the time all requirements are met (2.67 for non-U.S. law school graduates who previously earned an LL.M. from a U.S. law school); completion and acceptance of a thesis unless this requirement has been waived (see Thesis Requirement, below); and completion of Law 694, Fundamental Issues in U.S. Law.

Non-U.S. law school graduates are expected to complete all degree requirements in one academic year. An extension for one semester may be granted by the program director in exceptional circumstances.

Thesis Requirement

The thesis is expected to be a scholarly paper of the same quality and length as a law review article. Full-time students take Law 690–91, Thesis, during the first and second semesters of their program; part-time students, during their third and fourth semesters. With the approval of the program director or thesis adviser, an extension of up to one calendar year may be granted for completion of the thesis; continuous enrollment must be maintained during the period of the extension. Those who, due to extraordinary circumstances, require an extension beyond one calendar year must receive approval from the program director and thesis adviser; continuous enrollment must be maintained.

Thesis Waiver

U.S. Law School Graduates

LL.M. candidates who are graduates of U.S. law schools may request in writing a waiver of the thesis requirement. A student in the General LL.M. program must submit the request to the senior associate dean for academic affairs. A candidate for the degree in a specialized field must submit the request to the program director. Candidates who are granted a waiver must complete the minumum required credits of course work graded on the basis of a research paper as outlined for their field under Curriculum, below. The paper must be based on sound legal research, consist of a single paper of no less than 8,000 words including footnotes, conform to the legal citation rules recognized and adopted by the Law School, and receive a grade of B+ or better. Program directors may impose other conditions for the thesis waiver at their discretion.

Non-U.S. Law School Graduates

LL.M. candidates who are graduates of non-U.S. law schools may request in writing a waiver of the thesis requirement. A student in the General LL.M. program must submit the request to the director of the International and Comparative Law Program. A student in a specialized field must submit the request to the program director. All requests for a thesis waiver must be submitted no later than the beginning of the final semester or summer session before the student’s graduation. Candidates who are granted a waiver must complete the minimum required credits of course work graded on the basis of a research paper as outlined for their field under Curriculum, below.

Curriculum

All candidates for the LL.M. complete 24 credit hours, including 4 hours of thesis for those students who are subject to the thesis requirement (see above). Those working toward the General LL.M. should consult with the senior associate dean for academic affairs and the designated thesis adviser in order to design a comprehensive program of study; students may choose to concentrate their studies in one or more areas, such as constitutional law, labor law, corporate law, and health care law. Those working toward a specialized degree must complete the minimum required number of hours in courses listed under each program area for that program. Related courses are recommended for the remaining course work. Specialized degree candidates must have their programs of study approved by the program director.


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