LL.M. in Law and Government
Application Procedures

Application Deadlines

Fall Admission

  • International Students - May 1
  • U.S. Trained Students - July 1*
  • Tuition Remission & Scholarship - March 1 & June 1

Spring Admission

  • International Students - October 1
  • U.S. Trained Students - November 1*
  • Tuition Remission & Scholarship - August 1 & November 1

*Under certain circumstances, the program can extend the application deadline for U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents. Please contact the Program directly to see if you qualify for this exception. Due to visa processing times, any applicant requiring a visa must adhere to the posted deadlines.

How to Apply

There are three ways to apply to the LL.M. in Law and Government. Applicants should choose one method for applying to the LL.M. While the online application options are strongly preferred due to ease of processing, students who have difficulty accessing the online options may submit a paper application.

1. Online Application through American University APPLY NOW

2. Online using the LSAC* application system and services APPLY NOW

*Please note that LSAC charges a $75 registration fee to use the online application system. This fee applies only to LSAC services – applicants will still need to submit the Law and Government application fee of $55.

3. Paper Application APPLY NOW

LL.M. in Law & Government Application Materials

Foreign Trained Applicants

Dual Degree Applicants

Applicants applying to the dual LL.M./MPP or LL.M./MPA programs must first submit all application materials to the Law and Government Program. Once the LL.M. application is complete, the application will be forwarded to the School of Public Affairs for review. Dual Degree applicants must include intent to apply to either the MPP or the MPA in the statement of purpose.

Students interested in the dual LL.M. in International Legal Studies (ILSP) or Trial Advocacy will apply to the second degree program during the last semester of the LL.M. in Law and Government.

Application Fee

Each application for admission must be accompanied by a $55 application fee which can be paid online through the online application form. The application fee is non refundable. If necessary, a check or U.S. money order payable to "Washington College of Law" may be sent to the program by mail. All checks must be drawn on a bank that has a branch in the United States. American Express, Thomas Cook, and Barclay's traveler's checks are also acceptable forms of payment. Cash cannot be accepted.

Note that LSAC may charge additional fees seperate from the LL.M. in Law and Government $55 application fee.

Statement of Purpose

Applicants must submit a 1-2 page single spaced essay that addresses the following:

  • Why do you wish to pursue the LL.M. in Law and Government?
  • How do you think the LL.M. will help you achieve your short-term and long-term professional and personal goals?
  • What employment and other experiences do you believe are particularly relevant to your application?
  • Discussion of a current issue in public law in which you are interested and which would be furthered through your LL.M. studies.

Academic Records

Applicants must submit official transcripts or notarized full-sized copies of all law, graduate, and undergraduate schools attended, including a record of all courses, examinations, and marks.

"Official" means a copy of the original document certified by an officer of your school or by a notary public. Faxed copies and photocopies of academic records will not be accepted. Transcripts must be written in the native language of the school. If this language is not English, the documents must be accompanied by a certified translation. Institutions must send the required documents directly to the Program on Law and Government.

International applicants applying online through LSAC have the option of submitting transcripts through LSAC's Document Assembly Service. This service is included in LSAC's $75 registration fee for using the online services. Additionally, international applicants using the LSAC system can choose (not required) to register for LSAC's International Transcript Authentication and Evaluation Service for an additional fee of $125. By using this system, LSAC will authenticate and evaluate international academic records.

Although not required, the Program on Law and Government does also accept transcripts and certified copies of academic documents from EducationUSA and WES. The applicant should contact WES directly to arrange submission. Find more information about EducationUSA and WES online.

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants must submit at least two letters of recommendation from law professors, employers, or others familiar with the applicant's academic and professional qualifications. Personal references will not be accepted. Candidates must use the recommendation forms provided. The applicant should familiarize references with the LL.M. Program and have each reference specifically address the applicant's aptitude for undertaking graduate legal study. The applicant should also explain that the admissions committee gives considerable weight to the letters. The recommendation letters may either be sent in sealed and signed envelopes along with the application or sent directly to the Program on Law and Government.

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, Candada, 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.