LL.M. Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for an LL.M., applicants must:

  • Hold a Juris Doctor (JD) from a US law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) or a first degree in law from a foreign law school with equivalent standards. 
  • Submit a completed application form along with supporting documents before the application deadline
  • International applicants must meet the English Language Proficiency Requirement
  • Applicants to the LL.M. in International Human Rights & Humanitarian Law will be expected to have two years of prior experience in the legal profession.

English Language Proficiency Requirement

Regardless of citizenship, applicants whose first language is not English must take a TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE exam and meet the minimum scores indicated below.

Exceptions to this policy will be granted to applicants who:

A. Hold a first degree in law from an institution where English is the language of instruction and an official language of the country in which the university is located is English, (see complete list of countries eligible for exception below)
B. Hold a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree from an institution that is accredited by a U.S. regional accrediting agency (see complete list of acceptable accrediting agencies below).

English language test scores may not be more than two years old. Please visit the sites below to arrange for a test date or to request scores to be sent to American University.

English Language Minimum Scores

To be considered for admission, the minimum required scores are as follows:

  • TOEFL 84 ibt or 563 paper based
  • IELTS 6.5
  • PTE Academic 56

Please note: The scores above are the minimum scores for admissions consideration. Meeting the minimum score requirement does not guarantee admission to the program. If you do not meet the minimum requirement, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions regarding English Language Programs available through American University.

I. List of Countries Eligible for Exception

  1. Anguilla
  2. Antigua & Barbuda
  3. Australia
  4. Bahamas
  5. Barbados
  6. Belize
  7. Bermuda
  8. Botswana
  9. British Virgin Islands
  10. Cameroon*
  11. Canada*
  12. Cayman Islands
  13. Dominica
  14. Gambia
  15. Ghana
  16. Grenada
  17. Guyana
  18. India
  19. Ireland
  20. Jamaica
  21. Kenya
  22. Kiribati
  23. Lesotho
  24. Liberia
  25. Micronesia
  26. Montserrat
  27. Namibia
  28. New Zealand
  29. Nigeria
  30. Pakistan
  31. Philippines
  32. Saint Kitts and Nevis
  33. Saint Lucia
  34. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  35. Seychelles
  36. Sierra Leone
  37. South Africa
  38. Swaziland
  39. Tanzania
  40. Trinidad and Tobago
  41. Turks and Caicos Islands
  42. Uganda
  43. United Kingdom
  44. Zimbabwe

* Applies to applicants whose post-secondary degree is from a university in which English is the language of instruction.

II. List of Acceptable Accrediting Agencies

  1. Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  2. Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools
  3. New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
  4. New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Technical and Career Institutions
  5. New York State Board of Regents, State Education Department, Office of the Professions (Public Post secondary Vocational Education, Practical Nursing)
  6. North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement, Board of Trustees
  7. North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission
  8. Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  9. Oklahoma Board of Career and Technology Education
  10. Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
  11. Pennsylvania State Board of Vocational Education, Bureau of Career and Technical Education
  12. Puerto Rico State Agency for the Approval of Public Post secondary Vocational, Technical Institutions and Programs
  13. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  14. Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
  15. Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Schools
  16. Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission

VISA Requirements for International Applicants

Non-U.S. citizens must submit the Certification of Finances for International Students (CFIS) and appropriate financial documentation with their application or after being admitted, in order to receive an I-20 form upon admission. The I-20 allows the student to apply for an F-1 (student) visa. Failure to return the CFIS 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 an issue with their visa status.

Most international students attend WCL on an F-1 visa. A new visa can be acquired only at a U.S. embassy or consulate. Since application procedures vary by location, please contact the U.S. embassy or consulate where you plan to apply for your visa.

Required documents for your visa application

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

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