University of Illinois (UIUC) College of Law

University of Illinois (UIUC) College of Law


Our ongoing commitment to the highest standards of academic excellence assures College of Law graduates of their education's value in the greater legal community, across the country, and around the globe.


With the significant resources of a major research university, the expertise of world-renowned faculty members, and a variety of special program opportunities, academics at the University of Illinois College of Law are first-rate. Complementing the breadth of courses is an array of opportunities for active learning, both in the classroom and beyond.


A talented and highly respected faculty is the university’s most significant resource. Our faculty includes national leaders in many areas of law – bankruptcy, corporate, criminal, elder, health, labor, property, and more.

About half of faculty hold advanced degrees beyond their JDs in fields such as medicine, economics, engineering, business, and psychology. This range of perspective brings depth to the classroom and fosters rich research partnerships and faculty-led specialty programs. 

LLM Application

The Illinois LLM program is grounded in the learning partnership approach, where dedicated faculty and staff together with an exceptional JD student body introduce LLM candidates to U.S. law and professional life. It is a partnership where success will require a student who is committed to professional advancement and is prepared to work towards that goal.



Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree, LLB, or equivalent degree. The bachelor degree need not be in law.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis starting October 30. To receive maximum consideration, interested candidates should submit their applications by February 15 but the College of Law will continue reviewing applications until the class is full.

To apply, please complete the LLM application available at either LSAC or the University of Illinois Graduate College. The application fee has been waived for the coming year. 







Application requirements include:

  • Completed application
  • Résumé
  • Statement of purpose
  • Certified transcripts and credentials
  • Two letters of reference
  • TOEFL or IELTS score reported from ETS or IELTS
  • Copy of passport page


Statement of Purpose

Your statement of purpose should be a short (250 to 500 word) essay which tells us something about you that we won’t see in your application, including why you want to complete an LLM degree and your career goals.


Character and Fitness

Applicants who intend to practice law should be aware that admission to the bar in the United States involves character, fitness, and other qualifications. For information on eligibility to take bar examinations and other qualifications, applicants may consult the National Conference of Bar Examiners.


Certified Transcripts and Academic Credentials

You will be required to upload your transcripts for each institution you have attended, English translations should also be uploaded if the credentials are not in English. Important: All credentials uploaded to the online application are considered unofficial. You will be asked to submit official credentials (transcripts, academic records, diplomas, certificates of degree, etc.) only if you are admitted.



All applicants from countries where English is not the official language are required to submit an official score result from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Test scores are valid for up to two years prior to the program term of entry (August).

The minimum TOEFL score is 80 internet-based. The minimum IELTS score is 6.5 with subscores of 6 or higher on all four modules (Speaking, Listening, Writing, and Reading).

For TOEFL, please use institution code 1836.


Application Deadline

Students begin the program only in the fall semester and applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible after September 1. The preferred application deadline is April 8, but applications will be considered until May 1.




Rolling Admissions

The LLM applications are processed on a rolling basis beginning in November until approximately May 15 to allow adequate time for document preparation and visa processing.


Seat Deposit

To hold a place in the incoming LLM class, students are required to pay a non-refundable $750 seat deposit by the deadline date provided.


The I-20

When your seat deposit is received, the College of Law will review all credentials for University of Illinois I-20 processing. To ensure timely receipt of the I-20, applicants are urged to respond as quickly as possible to any requests for additional documentation. Once your credentials and file are submitted and approved, your I-20 will be issued by the University of Illinois. It will be sent along with your admission letter to the address you provide. This process may take 4 to 6 weeks to complete.



The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is available. This report includes statistics from the previous three years concerning reported crime that occurred on campus, in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus and statistics for fires in on-campus student housing. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security and other safety information along with fire safety policies and procedures. You may obtain a hard copy of this report by contacting the Division of Public Safety or by accessing the following website.

LLM Program

The Illinois LLM program is designed to prepare students with or without any prior legal training to excel in their future professional careers. International students are introduced to the U.S. legal system and are also provided the opportunity for specialization in their own area of academic or professional interest.



Students may also apply to earn a Concentration rather than a General LLM degree in order to deepen their knowledge in a particular legal field. Available concentrations include:

  • Corporate Law, Commercial Law and Trade
  • Criminal Law
  • Intellectual Property & Technology Law
  • International and Comparative Law
  • Justice, Democracy, and Legal Rights
  • Regulation, Sustainability, and Compliance



For students planning to take the New York Bar Examination, the Illinois LLM is fully compliant with the requirements of the New York Board of Bar Examiners. Although a bachelor’s degree in law is not required for admission to the Illinois LLM program, applicants without a bachelor’s in law should be aware that they may not qualify to take a bar examination in the United States, even after completing the Illinois LLM.



Students who have completed an LLM at Illinois or another accredited U.S. law school can apply for advanced standing to complete the JD degree in two years.



Students may choose to complete the LLM degree in two or three semesters. Some students may apply to complete the LLM degree in three semesters to engage in a more intensive program of study, have greater internship opportunities, and allow additional time to study for the bar exam. 


Students complete a total of 32 credit hours (typically eight courses) for the LLM degree. A minimum grade point average of approximately 2.75 based on a 4.0 scale is required to graduate. Grading system details may be found here.




LLM Legal Writing and Research: Illinois LLM students are required to take a specially designed three-week 2-credit legal writing and research course. This course provides LLM students initial training in legal reasoning, writing, and analysis and introduces the student to the unique learning environment of the U.S. law school. Taught by College of Law faculty, students meet their faculty in a classroom setting and learn study and time management skills in small group sections. This course meets for three weeks prior to the start of the fall semester.


Professional Responsibility: This course provides students with the history, goals, instruction, values, rules and responsibilities of the U.S. legal profession and its members. For students planning to take the New York Bar Examination, this course fulfills the professional responsibility requirement of the bar examination.

*Please see the College of Law Courses page for a full listing of courses and course descriptions.




Mixed Classes: Sharing classes and interacting with the JD students are hallmarks of the Illinois program. LLM students select the majority of their classes from the nearly 150 courses offered each year at the College of Law. 


Individualized Counseling: Students are provided individualized counseling and advising to assist them in career planning, academic success, and bar eligibility.




Competitions: Illinois LLM students have ample opportunity to build legal skills through participation in a LLM Negotiation Competition and LLM Client Counseling Competition.


Trial Advocacy: A course about trial skills, Trial Advocacy teaches through seeing and doing. In highly individualized sessions, students are guided in the development of these skills through a combination of a student’s personality and courtroom style, an attained understanding of trial skills, common sense, and practice.


Advanced Legal Research: This course provides LLM students with advanced online search skills including Boolean logic and natural language searching; case law research; statutory and legislative history research; regulations research; and advanced legal research tools including Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg Law.


Illinois Community Service Projects: Students can compete for opportunities to intern in the University of Illinois Office of Student Legal Services, participate in the Chicago Service Project, earn pro bono notations for completion of 60 hours of community service, and participate in programs and projects organized by the College of Law Student Legal Relief organization.


Illinois Global Law Fellows: Enrolled LLM students are eligible to compete for internships at a U.S. law firm, service organization, or court to be completed following graduation.


Life in Champaign-Urbana

A micro-urban community known for its big-city amenities yet small-town affordability, accessibility, safety, and friendliness, Champaign-Urbana is dynamic and vibrant, with a lively cultural scene, a variety of restaurants, and numerous recreational opportunities.





Champaign-Urbana boasts an assortment of restaurants, shopping, coffee houses, clubs, live music venues, movie theaters, and athletic events. A major center for the arts, the University of Illinois attracts dozens of internationally renowned artists each year to more than 350 performances held at the widely acclaimed Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Champaign is also the home of the renowned Ebertfest, Roger Ebert’s annual film festival, and several large music festivals, including Pygmalion Festival and Folk and Roots Festival.





The state-of-the-art Activities and Recreation Center is one of the premier campus recreation facilities in the country and is just steps from the law school. Champaign and Urbana boast award-winning park facilities and programs with popular sports leagues. Go camping, mountain biking, canoeing, and tubing at Kickapoo State Park or explore the sandstone gorges and ravines of Turkey Run. The Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon in the spring is another popular event for law students.




Whether you’re looking for a quiet tree-lined neighborhood or the bustle of a larger apartment complex, you’ll find an array of options in Champaign-Urbana at affordable costs. The average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $800. The majority of law students live in off-campus housing; however, there are a limited number of graduate and family housing units available.




Champaign-Urbana’s award-winning mass transit bus system covers the majority of the twin cities and is free to students. With a convenient schedule to and from the law school, it’s a great option and very popular. Pedestrian-friendly and bike-friendly, Champaign-Urbana has a growing number of bike lanes on shared roads. Each MTD bus is also equipped with an easy-to-use bike rack. Uber and Zipcar are also available.

Academic Resources

Academic resources on campus are among the finest in the world. The University Library is one of the largest public university collection in the world with 13 million volumes in its 37 unit libraries. Students have access to thousands of computer terminals in classrooms, residence halls, and campus libraries for use in classroom instruction, study, and research.

The College of Law offers one of the nation’s largest law libraries, the Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Library. All our reference librarians are experts in legal research, with graduate degrees in law and in information science. And the library’s various seating areas provide comfortable space for research and scholarship, offering a variety of options for both quiet and group study.

The library’s electronic collections have been assembled to provide students with the opportunity to develop their research skills on the very tools they will find in law practice, from LexisNexis and Westlaw, to specialized databases in a variety of practice areas covering both U.S. and foreign law.

Tuition & Aid

LLM Cost of Attendance

Tuition $49,500 USD
Fees $4,184 USD
Room and Board $13,710 USD
Books and Supplies $1,800 USD
Other Expenses $2,750 USD
Total Cost of Attendance $71,944 USD


Meet Our Students


LLM student from Albania , PhD


“At Illinois, you feel part of a big family, willing to support you through your academic path. Taking classes with JD students helps you learn faster and make connections so that your integration in the new study environment, and in the new community, becomes easier.”

Minnan LIU

LLM 3rd semester student from China 


“I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to join in the Community Preservation Clinic as a 3rd semester LLM student. I will have the privilege to work directly for clients with real problems. The hands-on experiences I will get is exactly what the employer is looking for.”


Completed LLM and was admitted into the JD program as a 2L From Ukraine


"What has made my experience here amazing is the social experience. The professors and students as well as community members are awesome: open, supportive, and very nice to me. I enjoyed feeling like a normal American student, and the work is challenging but manageable. I’m getting great value for my education."


At Illinois, our focus on research shapes our identity, permeates our classrooms and fuels our outreach. Fostering discovery and innovation is our fundamental mission. As a public, land-grant university, we have the responsibility to create new knowledge and new ideas and translate these into better ways of working, living and learning for our state, nation and world.

Entrepreneurship flows from the classrooms to Research Park, a space that houses everything from Fortune 500 companies to student-founded startups. We are consistently ranked among the top five universities for NSF-funded research and our total annual research funding exceeds $600 million.

LLM Aid & Scholarships

All admitted students are automatically considered for scholarships with awards based on merit, need, and available scholarship funds.

Students are further encouraged to seek funding from their home countries. Scholarships may range from partial to full-tuition. Admissions decisions are made separately from decisions regarding financial aid. An offer of admission does not guarantee that a student will receive financial aid and College of Law scholarships will not cover all expenses.

All admitted candidates must be prepared to demonstrate that they can fully support themselves during the period of their studies in order to obtain a visa for entry into the United States.

The Arts

A major center for the arts, the campus attracts dozens of nationally and internationally renowned artists each year to its widely acclaimed Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. The university also supports two major museums: the Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion; and the Spurlock Museum, a museum of world history and culture.

Other major facilities include the multipurpose State Farm Center (16,500 seats); Memorial Stadium (70,000 seats), site of Big Ten Conference football games; and the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC), one of the largest recreational facilities of its kind on a university campus.




What are the dates of the program?
The mandatory Law 500 course will take place August 6-31, 2018. Fall semester classes begin on August 27, 2018. Winter break is from December 21, 2018 to January 13, 2019 with spring classes starting on January 14, 2019. Convocation and campus graduation will be May 11, 2019. The academic calendar is available here.


Do you offer a part-time or distance learning program?


Do you offer LLM specializations?
The Illinois LLM program is designed to introduce international students to the U.S. legal system while also providing the opportunity for specialization in their own area of academic or professional interest. Areas of specialization include:

  • Business, Corporate and Banking Law
  • Commercial Law and Trade
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Employment and Labor Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Intellectual Property and Technology Law
  • International Law
  • Justice, Democracy, and Legal Rights
  • Tax Law


I have heard that the American Bar Association is considering new guidelines for LLM students to take U.S. bar examinations. What is this about?
While the American Bar Association is considering a model standard for minimum education requirements for LLM students to be eligible to take state bar exams, that model standard has not yet been adopted. Even if adopted, the model standard would simply be a recommendation to individual states regarding their bar exam requirements, and may or may not be implemented by the states. The University of Illinois College of Law is tracking this development and will make program changes if necessary. Currently the LLM program is compliant with the New York Bar’s requirements for foreign educated lawyers.


How do I contact someone regarding the LLM program?
Call, write, or email us at:

Office of Graduate and International  Programs
University of Illinois College of Law
504 East Pennsylvania Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820 USA
(217) 333-6066 phone
(217) 244-1478 fax


Do you offer transfers from the LLM to the JD program?
LLM students are welcome to apply to the University of Illinois College of Law JD program. However, separate admissions requirements apply including the LSAT. More information is available here.




What type of admission process do you have?
The LLM program offers rolling admissions, beginning in October through May to allow adequate time for document preparation and visa processing.


Can I start the program in the spring?
No, LLM students generally matriculate in the fall semester only.


What is your TOEFL or IELTS requirement and code?
You must take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The test must be taken within 2 years of program date of entry (August).

The minimum TOEFL score is 80 internet-based. The University of Illinois College of Law’s Institutional Code of 1836 and department code of 00 should be used in reporting your TOEFL score. The minimum IELTS score is 6.5 with sub-scores of 6 or higher on all four modules (Speaking, Listening, Writing, and Reading).


If I am admitted but am unable to attend, is it possible to defer my admission until the next year?
Deferrals are granted on a case by case basis for compelling reasons, such as the inability to secure a visa or financial hardship. In any case, deferrals cannot be extended beyond one year.


Do you require the LSAT?




How many letters of reference do you require?
We require two letters of reference. Letters are submitted electronically through LSAC or the Graduate College Online Application. Letters can also be submitted in hard copy form in signed and sealed envelopes.


What should I include in my statement of purpose?
Your statement of purpose should be a short (250 to 500 word) essay which tells us something about you that we won’t see in your application including why you want to complete an LLM degree and your career goals.




How do I apply online for housing?
In order to apply online for university housing, you must have your UIN (University Identification Number). Once you have that number, you should apply through University Housing. A resource for off campus housing is the Tenant Union.




Is an introductory Legal English course available?

No, but all entering LLM students are required to take Law 500: LLM Legal Writing and Research. The three week 2 credit course, open only to incoming Illinois LLM and exchange students, is specifically designed to facilitate the entry of LLM students into the University of Illinois College of Law by introducing aspects of the U.S. legal system and legal education. It was developed in response to requests from incoming students who did not feel adequately prepared to begin law classes in English without some orientation to the context in which U.S. law operates and to the teaching method at U.S. law schools.




How can I pay my tuition and fees?You may use one of the following methods: check, cash, debit card, credit card or wire transfer. The University accepts both e-checks and credit card payments online through UI-Pay. Credit cards accepted for payment are MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. All credit card transactions will be assessed a 2.4% convenience fee. More information on paying tuition and fees can be found on the University Student Financial Services and Cashier Operations website:




When will I get my I-20?
Once your credentials and file are submitted and approved, your I-20 will be issued by the University of Illinois. It will be sent along with your admission letter to the address you provide. This process may take 4 to 6 weeks to complete.