Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Our History

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. 

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.” 

American University Washington College of Law is located at 4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20016 just one block from the Tenleytown/AU metro station on the Red Line. Specific driving and metro directions are also available online.

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.

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 difference academic schedule.

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 difference academic schedule.

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.

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. 

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

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 a difference academic schedule.

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

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

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.

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. 

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.

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

Applicants whose first language is not English, must take one of the following tests: 1) TOEFL; 2) IELTS; 3) Pearson Test of English. It is not necessary to take all three. Applications will not be considered complete until the program receives exam scores. This requirement can be waived for applicants who completed a law degree in specific countries.

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

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.