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College of Law LL.M. Academic Rules

1. Credit Hours per Semester

A full-time LL.M. student may not register for courses totaling less than 12 nor more than 16 hours in any semester unless permission is obtained from the Dean.  Students are not permitted to enroll in more than 18 credit hours in any semester.

LL.M. students may elect a part-time schedule.  Such students must finish all of their work to earn the LL.M. degree within 48 months.

2. Degree Requirements

In order to be eligible for the degree of LL.M. in the U.S. Legal System, a student must have:

  • earned a law degree outside of the U.S., is eligible to practice law outside of the U.S., or is in the final year of a five-year non-U.S. law degree program with which the College of Law has an articulation agreement;
  • completed the required subjects and sufficient elective subjects to make an aggregate of 24 semester credit hours;
  • earned passing grades in 24 semester credit hours; and 
  • completed a residence period of two semesters or its equivalent.

The required subjects are as follows: Two-week LL.M. Orientation program - one credit; The U.S. Legal System - three credits; and Legal Research and Writing for LL.M. Students - 3 credits.

Updated by the College of Law Faculty at its meeting on April 14, 2017.

3. Classes outside the Law School

LL.M. students may not take classes for credit toward the LL.M. degree outside of the College of Law.

4. Grades

Professors shall submit grades for their classes to the Registrar no later than three weeks after the end of the semester.  If this due date for grades falls on a Thursday or Friday, the due date will be the next Monday.

The grading of LL.M. students shall be indicated by the following:

HP = High Pass

P = Pass

LP = Low Pass

F = Fail

AW = Authorized Withdrawal


I = Incomplete

IP = In Progress

N = No Grade Reported

T = Audit

UWF = Unauthorized Withdrawal, Failing

High Pass is reserved for work that exceeds the professor's expectations.  Pass is assigned for work that meets the professor's expectations.  Low pass is assigned for work that in part did meet the professor's expectations and in part did not meet the professor's expectations.  Fail is reserved for work that does not meet the professor's expectations.

The grades of "F" and "UWF" are failing grades.  The grades of "Low Pass," and "Pass," and "High Pass" are passing grades.  Credit is only granted for classes in which a student earns passing grades.

The grade of "IP" is reserved for courses continuing over two or more semesters.  If a student received a grade of "AW," no credit is awarded for the course, but the grade is not considered a failing grade.

A student who receives an incomplete in a course must complete the course before the end of the semester next following the semester in which the incomplete course was taken.  An incomplete may not be awarded to a student in the semester of graduation.

An LL.M. student may take one course as an "Audit" if approved by the professor for the class.  The student taking a class as an audit will not be required to complete class assignments, exams, papers, or other projects, but will be required to attend class.  The audited class will be recorded on the student's transcript with the grade of "T". Courses taken as an "Audit" will not earn the student any credits toward meeting the degree requirements set out in Rule 2, nor will they count toward the minimum credits a student must take as set out in Rule 1.  However, students may not audit a course if the credits from that course would require the student to exceed the maximum credits as set out in Rule 1.  A student wishing to audit a course must first obtain permission from the professor assigned to teach the course.

There is no mandatory curve or median for grading of LL.M. students.  The performance of LL.M. students is not considered in determining grades for J.D. students.

As soon as practicable after each examination period, the Registrar's Office shall distribute to each student an up-to-date transcript.  A new transcript is also provided in the case of a change of grade.

LL.M. students who complete their degrees with at least 30% of their grades being High Pass; receiving no failing grades; and receiving no more than one grade of Low Pass will receive the distinctions of "With Honors" on their diplomas.

5. Seminars and Clinics

LL.M. students may be added to closed seminar classes with the consent of the professor.  Because LL.M. students are not required to have upper-level writing experiences as are J.D. students, seminar professors have discretion to adjust seminar assignments for LL.M. seminar participants.

Professors of clinics have the discretion to offer LL.M. students the opportunity to participate in clinics in limited ways for fewer credit hours than would be earned by J.D. students.

6. Repeating Courses

A student who receives a grade of "F" or "UWF" in a required course must repeat the course and receive a passing grade in the course to be eligible to graduate.  A student who receives a grade of "F" or "UWF" in an elective course may repeat the course for credit, and both grades will appear on the student's transcript.  An LL.M. student may not repeat a course in which the student received a grade of "Low Pass" or higher.

7. Eligibility to Continue Study

In order to be eligible to continue study at the College of Law, an LL.M. student must not fail more than 1 course in any semester or no more than 2 courses in total.  A student who fails to comply with this standard shall be notified by the Dean in writing that the student is ineligible to continue study.

8. Visiting Status

Law students who initially trained in law outside the U.S. who have already earned an LL.M. degree from another U.S. university or who have completed the LL.M. degree at the College of Law but wish to engage in further law studies may be admitted to the LL.M. program as a "Visiting Student" with permission of the Dean.  Such students may remain a "Visiting Student" for no more than one year without special permission from the Dean.

Law students who initially trained in law outside the U.S. who wish to study law in the U.S. for only one full-time semester may be admitted to the LL.M. program as a "Visiting Student" with permission of the Dean.

9. J.D. Rules that Apply to LL.M. Students

The following College of Law Rules for the J.D. program apply to LL.M. students in the same way they apply to J.D. students:

  • Rule 2 - Class Attendance and Course Preparation
  • Rule 3 - Course Withdrawal
  • Rule 4 - Withdrawal from School
  • Rule 6 - Outside Study
  • Rule 7 - Examinations
  • Rule 12 - Honor System
  • Rule 13 - Commencement Attendance
  • Rule 14 - Transcript of Grades
  • Rule 15 - Smoking, Food, and Beverages
  • Rule 16 - Tape Recording of Classes
  • Rule 17 - Delegation of Authority