Degree Requirements

Program Length and Mode of Instruction

The LL.M. Program is a full-time degree program and must be completed in person within one academic year. The two academic terms are fall (mid-August to mid-December) and spring (mid-January to mid-May). LL.M. students begin their studies in the fall term, with a mandatory week-long orientation in mid-August and complete their LL.M. degree and graduate in May. There is no spring term start option available. LL.M. Orientation is designed to help LL.M. students build a solid foundation for their legal studies at UT Austin.

The University of Texas School of Law does not offer an online or hybrid (a mixture of online and on-campus learning) LL.M. Program.

Credits and Grades

  • Students must successfully complete at least 24 hours of credit and maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 1.90 to earn an LL.M.
  • Students must maintain a GPA of at least 1.80 to continue in the program.
  • Students who fail one class will be placed on scholastic probation.
  • A student who fails two classes in a single term will be dropped from the program, regardless of the student’s GPA.

Required Courses for All Students

  • LL.M. students with a foreign law degree must complete a specific LL.M. course focused on the U.S. legal system. This course requirement will be further discussed during orientation. Students with a J.D. from an ABA-approved law school are automatically exempt from this requirement. Students with a foreign law degree and a background of common law study can request a waiver of this requirement.
  • All LL.M. students must complete a substantial research paper under faculty guidance. Students satisfy this requirement by completing a writing seminar or directed research. These options will be discussed during orientation. Students enrolled in a specialized concentration must write on a topic related to their area of specialization. The rules for writing seminars and directed research are available on the Student Affairs Office website.
  • Each student’s course schedule must be approved in advance by the LL.M. Program.

LL.M. Concentration Options

Enrollment for each concentration is limited. Applicants with a foreign law degree are eligible for all concentrations. Applicants with a U.S. J.D. are eligible for all concentrations except the U.S. Law for Foreign Lawyers concentration.

Courses Developed for Foreign-Trained LL.M. Students

The law school has developed a number of courses for foreign LL.M. students. Current offerings include:

  • U.S. Constitutional Law for Foreign Lawyers
  • Business Associations for Foreign Lawyers
  • Contracts for Foreign Lawyers
  • Introduction to U.S. Law
  • Legal English
  • Legal Research & Writing for Foreign Lawyers

Access to Courses Outside the Law School

Students may satisfy part of the 24-credit degree requirement by completing a small number of non-law graduate-level courses in other schools or departments at the University. Non-law courses must be approved in advance by the Assistant Dean for Graduate & International Studies and the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. More information will be discussed during orientation.