Residential Track Curriculum


The LL.M. degree in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law requires 24 credit hours from the designated list of classes with a grade point average of 2.0 (C) or better.

Students are required to take 12 credits in Specialized Courses in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. Depending on experience, students should choose 6 credits from a list of suggested core course credits, and complete the remaining of the credits with other key elective course credits. In addition, students are encouraged to complete credits during the Summer Program of Advanced Studies in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, taught by world-renowned experts in the field.

Core Courses (suggested minimum 6 credits)

Key electives courses

Key Summer Courses: Program of Advanced Studies in Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law

Additional, Required Courses (4 credits)
All LL.M. students, who were not trained in a common law country, are required to take the following courses:

Experiential and Research Skills (up to 6 credits optional)

Students are encouraged to seek experiential learning opportunities through externships for credit at international or domestic institutions, NGOs or think tank employers in fields related to international human rights and humanitarian law. Those interested in doctrinal and research skills may opt in the research track by completing a research paper supervised by a faculty advisor.

Experiential Opportunity: LL.M. candidates may register for and successfully complete an externship for credit, as well as write one research paper.

Research Opportunity: LL.M. candidates may complete a research paper that demonstrates a high degree of skill in legal scholarship and writing. The paper can be written in connection with a class, or through independent research and writing.

General Electives

Any remaining credits may be chosen from among the wide variety of WCL courses that are open to LL.M. students. Additionally, students may attend specialized summer programs abroad, including the Geneva Program on Human Rights, Labor, and the International Law Commission and the Summer Program in The Hague on International Criminal Law.


With careful planning, foreign-educated law students can meet the LL.M. degree requirements and the New York bar eligibility requirements at the same time.

Of the 24 credit hours required to earn the LL.M., 12 credits must be in the subject matters required by the New York bar.

New York Bar Courses include:
Required (6 credits)

  • LAW-580-001: American Legal Institutions (2 credits; offered Fall & Spring)
  • LAW-580-002: Legal Research & Writing (2 credits; offered Fall o& Spring), and
  • LAW-550: Legal Ethics (2 credits; offered Spring & Summer)

Plus 6 credits from the following courses:

  • LAW-581-001: U.S. Business Law (3 credits; offered Spring)
  • LAW-504-002: U.S. Contracts Law (3 credits; offered Fall)
  • LAW-503-001: U.S. Constitutional Law (3 credits; offered Spring)
  • LAW-507-001: U.S. Criminal Law (3 credits; offered Fall)
  • LAW-636: Family Law (3 credits; offered Fall & Spring)

LL.M. candidates interested in taking the New York bar exam must complete the degree within 2 years of beginning the LL.M. program, and may only enroll in a maximum of 4 summer credits.

U.S. Bar Exam Information

The LL.M. in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law is not specifically designed as a U.S. bar exam preparation course; however, after graduating from the program, many of our students sit for the New York bar exam. We urge students interested in taking a U.S. bar exam to review the Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements, which lists the bar eligibility requirements of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The guide is published by the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

Students interested in sitting for the D.C. bar exam will be required to take 24 credits. Please review the complete eligibility requirements.

Information about the New York bar is available at Foreign-trained attorneys should pay particular attention to Rule 520.6 of the Court of Appeals for the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law and to the pre-LL.M. education requirements. Foreign-trained attorneys must submit an evaluation of their foreign credentials up to one year in advance of sitting for the New York bar exam.


The LL.M. degree can be completed full time (two or three regular semesters), or part-time (up to 5 years, as long as no visa restrictions apply). Students on an F-1 or J-1 visa must be enrolled in at least 8 credits during the fall and the spring, except for the last semester when students can take a reduced course load for 1-7 credits.