LL.M. in Law and Government Admission Requirements


  1. Applicants must hold a Juris Doctor (JD) from a U.S. law school accredited by the American Bar Association or a first degree in law at a foreign law school with equivalent standards. International applicants must be eligible to sit for a bar exam or practice law.

  2. Submit a completed application along with supporting materials before the application deadline.
  3. International Applicants must provide proof of competency in English.

Proof of Competency in English


Applicants whose first language is not English must take one of three tests for English competency, either the TOEFL, IELTS, or Pearson exam. It is not necessary to take all three. Applications will not be considered complete until exam scores are received. This requirement is waived only for applicants who have received a bachelors or masters degree from an accredited institution in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, or New Zealand.

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum TOEFL score of 100 ibt (600 paper based test) is recommended. The institution code for Law & Government is 8188 and the department code is 03.
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS). A minimum IELTS score of 7 is recommended. An official copy of the ILETS score can be obtained by contacting IELTS directly.
  • Pearson Test of English – Academic (PearsonPTE). A minimum score of 68 is recommended. The institution code for Law & Government is X1Q-XN-76.

If you are unsure whether you must take an English competency exam, please call 202-274-4268 or email the Program.

Visas for International Applicants


Non-U.S. citizens must submit specific documents in order to receive an I-20 from American University. The I-20 allows the student to apply for the F-1 (student) visa. Failure to return the documents will result in a delay in the issuance of the I-20. Students studying under other nonimmigrant visa categories will be contacted if there is a problem concerning visa status.

Please submit the following:

Most international students attend WCL on an F-1 visa. A new visa can be acquired only at a U.S. embassy or consulate. Because visa application procedures vary by location, please consult the U.S. embassy or consulate before applying for a visa.

Required documents for embassy interview before a final visa is issued:

  • Signed and valid I-20
  • Valid passport
  • Financial documents for at least one full academic year, dated within three months
  • Official admission letter
  • Application and application fee (provided at the U.S. embassy or consulate)
  • Supporting documents to provide evidence of intent to return home, such as family ties, property, or a job

Please contact the Office of International Student & Scholar Services for more information.