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 provide proof of competency in English. 
  • 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.

Proof of Competency in English

Applicants whose first language is not English must take one of the following English competency tests.  Applications will not be considered complete until results have been submitted. 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. 

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE)
  • International Legal English Certificate (ILEC)

A summary of minimum English scores for individual programs are listed below. More detailed information is available on the Application Materials page:

  • Advocacy: TOEFL = 100 ibt, IETLS = 7.0
  • Human Rights & Humanitarian Law: TOEFL = 93 ibt, IELTS = 6.5
  • Intellectual Property: TOEFL = 100 ibt, IELTS = 7.0
  • International Legal Studies: TOEFL = 84 ibt, IELTS = 6.5
  • Law and Government: TOEFL = 100 ibt, IELTS = 7.0

If you are not sure whether you are required to take an English competency exam, please contact the Graduate Admissions office directly at llm@wcl.american.edu

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.