Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

General Questions

Can I schedule a visit to the Law School?

Yes!  We look forward to meeting prospective and admitted students. Program staff can schedule a time to meet you and to answer any questions about the program, offer a tour of the law school building or to talk about life in Washington D.C.. We can organize a meeting with a faculty member in your field of specialization. 

What can I expect from life in D.C.?

Our location and diverse student body create possibilities from the first day you pass through our doors. Washington D.C. is one of the most dynamic and diverse cities in the world. All three branches of government, international organizations, think-tanks, lobby groups and multinational corporations and firms, as well as public interest and non-government organizations call D.C. “home.” 

Where exactly is the Law School located?

American University Washington College of Law is located at 4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20016. This area map provides a good reference of where AUWCL is in comparison to the rest of the city. Specific driving and metro directions are also available online.

How can I contact the program?

The LL.M. Contact Page will give you the direct emails and phone numbers to program staff. You can also simply email llm@wcl.american.edu and program staff will respond to your query.

Can I do the program part-time?

Yes! However, F-1 or J-1 students must take a minimum of 8 credits per semester to fulfill their visa requirements. LL.M. in Humanitarian Law students follow a different academic schedule. Please consult the program directly for questions on the timeline.

Do I have to stay a full or part-time student for the entirety of the program?

No! Students often switch between full and part time depending on the work or personal life schedules. Students are expected to be enrolled in consecutive semesters. Approval for leave of absence must be obtained in advance by your academic advisor. Failure to seek approval may result in dismissal from the Program. LL.M. in Humanitarian Law students follow a different academic schedule. Please consult the program directly for questions on the timeline.

Can I work during the LL.M. Program?

Yes! Many students work during their LL.M. studies. Students employed on a full-time basis may enroll as a part-time student. International students on a visa may work up to 20 hours on campus. Both US and international students often work as research assistants or with specific programs at the law school on a part-time basis and may choose to attend the program as either a full-time or part-time student.

Is student housing available to LL.M. students?

American University does not provide housing to any graduate students including law students. Once admitted, the programs offer many resources in finding housing in the D.C. area including a housing guide, off campus housing postings, and an admitted students housing discussion board to link up with other students to find roommates. 

How much does the program cost? 

For a complete breakdown of program costs and living expenses, visit the LL.M. Program Costs Page.

Program Requirements

How long will the program take to complete?

To obtain the LL.M. degree you must successfully complete 24 credits. Students who attend the program full time complete the degree in one academic year or two semesters. Students who chose to attend as part-time students will take longer to complete the program, generally 2 years. Foreign nationals studying on an F-1 or J-1 student visas are given up to 16 months (or three regular academic semesters) to complete the program. This breaks down to a minimum of 8 credits per semester (this minimum is a requirements for VISA purposes). 

LL.M. in Humanitarian Law students follow a different academic schedule. Please consult the program directly for questions on the timeline.

Do you have areas of concentration/specialization?

The LL.M. Programs offer specializations in a variety of practice areas including:

  • Administrative Law
  • Criminal Trial Advocacy
  • Immigration Law
  • Business Law
  • Disability Rights
  • Intellectual Property
  • Civil Trial Advocacy
  • Environmental Law
  • International Legal Studies
  • Constitutional Law
  • Free Trade Agreements
  • International Organizations
  • Commercial Arbitration
  • Gender & the Law
  • Labor & Employment Law
  • Communications Law
  • Health Law
  • Law, Politics, & Legislation
  • Criminal Law
  • Human Rights Law
  • National Security Law

Does the program include any experiential learning?

Absolutely! We encourage students to consider externships in and around the Washington D.C., metro area, take part in independent study projects, or in the case of Advocacy co-teach a class. Students on an F-1 or J-1 visa will not be allowed to pursue an externship during the first semester of study. Additional rules and limitations may apply depending on the visa category. Please consult your academic advisor for specific information. For more information on the LL.M. Programs and experiential opportunities for students please visit the following pages:

Experiential Education: Advocacy
Experiential Education: International Legal Studies
Experiential Education: Law & Government

Can I transfer credits from courses I took at other Universities? 

The LL.M. programs cannot accept any transfer credits from other Institutions. All credits towards the LL.M. must be earned at American University Washington College of Law. 

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

What are the admission requirements?

We require you to submit:

  1. A completed application form
  2. Official Copies of Academic Records
  3. 2 letters of recommendation
  4. Personal statement
  5. $55.00 application fee
  6. Official Proof of Competency in English (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, ILEC) for non-native English speakers  

Please review the LL.M. Programs Eligibility Requirements and follow the links to the individual program applications.

Is there an application deadline?

Due to visa requirements, the LL.M. Programs have an earlier application deadline for all international applicants who need to a request a visa.

Fall Admission

  • International Students - May 1
  • U.S. Citizen/Permanent Resident Students - July 1

Spring Admission

  • International Students - October 1
  • U.S. Citizen/Permanent Resident Students - November 1

What are the language requirements for international students? 

Applicants whose first language is not English, must take one of the following tests: 1) TOEFL; 2) IELTS; 3) Pearson Test of English; 4) ILEC. It is not necessary to take all four. Applications will not be considered complete until the program receives exam scores. This requirement is waived only for applicants who have received their law degree from an accredited institution in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, or New Zealand. Detailed information and program minimums are listed on the Application Materials page.

How long does it take to get a decision on my application? 

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Once the application is complete, decisions typically take between two and four weeks. 

What Financial Aid is available? 

The LL.M. Programs offer a limited number of scholarships based on financial need and academic merit. More information on Scholarships and Financial Aid is available on the LL.M. Programs Financial Aid & Scholarships Page.