Master of Laws (LL.M.)
Expand your horizons with a Master of Laws tailored to your career goals.
Get Started Today. Now enrolling for Fall 2023.
Finish in 2 or 3 Semesters
Complete your studies in two semesters or stay longer for an optional third semester to pursue externships and additional coursework.
Specialize Your Studies
Receive personal academic advising to guide you in selecting courses and academic specializations to meet your personal and professional goals.
Gain Real-World Experience
Spend time outside class in pro bono and volunteer lawyering opportunities or our award-winning advocacy programs.
Why Choose the Syracuse University LL.M. Program?
- Develop your professional persona as you combine learning the law with professional development support and practical experiences like our Job Shadow Program.
- Central New York provides a low cost-of-living in a vibrant campus community; and all students are considered for merit scholarships to reduce the cost of tuition.
- Enjoy academic advising and support from a personal faculty advisor, peer student mentors, and LL.M. program staff.
- Two required courses teach you the foundations of the American legal system and legal writing while allowing for significant flexibility in choosing from over 100 elective courses.
- Our LL.M. students participate in student government of the College and join our 30+ student organizations and affinity groups.
- Our special “Bar Prep Track” provides special advising and courses for students who desire to take an eligible bar exam in the U.S. PLUS the innovative Helix Bar Prep program is offered free of charge.
“My experience and global perspective empower greater reach.”
Kenyan native Manase Nyaga, LL.M’20
Bringing a breadth of experience and global perspective
to shape his goal to serve
The College of Law now offers AccessLex Institute’s Helix Bar Review program free of charge to all of our students. Helix Bar Review is an innovative bar review program that combines elements of traditional reviews with state-of-the-art active learning components. By paying for your bar preparation and partnering with AccessLex, our goal is to give you a distinct edge on the bar exam and to help set you on the path to career success—at the same time freeing you from the burdensome cost of traditional bar prep programs.
Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) in Law Program
Graduate students who have already completed an LL.M. degree program at an ABA-accredited law school within the United States can continue their career in academia with the College of Law’s Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.), a research-focused doctorate program comparable to a Ph.D. in other disciplines.
Each S.J.D. student is paired with a faculty advisor who is an expert in their field. During your first year, spent “in residence” at the College of Law, you will enroll in the required S.J.D. Colloquium Course, which draws on various topics to help you develop your academic writing and research skills. Subsequent years are spent on course work, field research, and other dissertation research activities in collaboration with your faculty advisor. These efforts culminate with a successful defense of a dissertation that makes a substantial contribution to legal scholarship. You can complete the degree in a minimum of 3 years or may take up to 5 years.
Take advantage of the benefits that a top-tier R1 private research university has to offer, with the opportunity to enroll in up to 12 credits in courses in other graduate programs at Syracuse University. We also have a network of foreign universities and partner institutions that can host S.J.D. students during their research on short-term or longer-term research visits.
Complete the form on this page to learn more.
LL.M. Program Details
The LL.M. program offers a rigorous academic curriculum designed for foreign-educated students. In the first semester, students are required to enroll in two courses designed for the LL.M. program:
- Introduction to the American Legal System (3 credits), and
- U.S. Legal Writing (3 credits)
Students must complete a minimum of 18 additional elective credits and satisfy the Writing Requirement (minimum 25-page research paper) in order to obtain the degree. All elective courses are taken alongside our J.D. students and LL.M. students are meaningfully integrated into the academic life of the College of Law.
Diversify your studies with the ability to enroll in up to two graduate-level elective courses in other master’s programs at Syracuse University – a mid-sized international university, with a top-tier R1 research classification.
Enjoy all that campus life and the vibrant community at Syracuse University has to offer with amenities including Division I sports, the new Barnes Center for student wellness, and the Center for International Services.
The College of Law recommends LL.M. candidates submit application materials by June 1 for priority consideration to enroll in the fall semester (August). There is no application fee collected by the College.
- Candidates to the LL.M. program must hold a first degree in law from a foreign institution.
- Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate proof of English-language proficiency. College of Law recommends a TOEFL score of 90+ or an IELTS score of 6.5+ and will consider additional factors when assessing English proficiency.
- All applicants may be interviewed via online platform or by phone upon submission of a complete application.
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). 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 the intensive six-week “English for Lawyers” summer program offered by Syracuse University’s English Language Institute.
Admissions Advising & Support
Throughout the admissions and post-acceptance process, you will enjoy very personalized service as well as responsive and friendly staff available to answer your questions along the way. Admitted students receive an admission letter and packet with comprehensive, step-by-step instructions and information. We host periodic webinars for applicants and admitted students covering topics such as costs, student visas, housing, parking, etc.
Regarding housing, you’ll find that living costs in Syracuse are significantly less than other American cities such as New York City, Boston, Chicago, or Los Angeles. Upon admission, students receive our Housing and Arrival Guide for Students and Scholars that provides insights on neighborhoods, school districts, signing a lease, and helpful websites to search for apartments.
Paying for Law School
Your cost of attendance will depend on the length of your course of study. For the 2022-2023 academic year, tuition for the two-semester track is $57,290.
Syracuse University College of Law will consider all students for merit scholarships to reduce the cost of tuition. There is no separate scholarship application. There are also many opportunities to apply for outside scholarships. Contact the College of Law Financial Aid Office for more information on these outside scholarship opportunities.
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.
Candidates may apply for private educational financing opportunities through lenders like MPOWER and Sallie Mae. Private loans are credit-based and offer fixed-rate or variable-rate options. Most require a U.S. based cosigner.
The College of Law is a host institution to a variety of government and non-profit sponsoring organizations, including the Fulbright Program and the Organization of American States.
Our Office of International Programs offers a variety of support resources for LL.M. students—tutoring, academic counseling, bar exam preparation, study groups, and much more. In addition, our academic and faculty advisers will provide guidance in helping you select courses and opportunities beyond the core LL.M. degree requirements that match your personal interests and professional goals.
Each student is matched with a member of the faculty who shares his/her academic interests. The role of the faculty adviser is to meet with the student as needed to discuss courses, research interests, and other curricular questions.
J.D. students serve as peer mentors to the LL.M. students. Our J.D. student mentors lead tutoring sessions, study groups, panel discussions on topics ranging from final exams to job searches, and social events.