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Penn Law’s Master of Laws (LLM) program is over a century old and recognized among the best, attracting top students from around the world.

The program is a full-time course of study in advanced legal topics designed primarily for lawyers trained outside the United States.  Students select courses from an extensive curriculum of specialized courses and seminars at Penn Law.  

In addition the LLM students have the opportunity to gain real world US legal experience.  As an integral part of the program, the LLM Public Service Program provides students with important opportunities to develop their professional skills while learning more about the communities that exist beyond the walls of Penn Law. LLM students are also eligible to participate in four clinical programs focusing on Entrepreneurship, Intellectual Property and Technology, International Human Rights and Immigration, and Mediation.  

In order to be eligible to receive the LLM degree, a student must attend full-time for two academic semesters, taking no more than 15 credits per semester and no less than 9 credits per semester, and complete the requirements of either the Course Track or the Thesis Track.

Course Track

Course Track Requirements

a) Complete 23 credits, and

b) Receive the grade of “F with credit” in no more than four semester hours of coursework.

Credits earned in the summer program count toward the credit requirements.

Thesis Track

Thesis Track Requirements

a) Complete 23 credits, 16 of which include courses and seminars; and

b) Satisfactorily complete a scholarly thesis, worth 7 credits, of high analytical quality suitable for publication in a law journal; and

c) Receive the grade of “F with credit” in no more than four semester hours of coursework.

Applicants to the LLM program generally must hold a law degree such as a JD, LLB or equivalent. Applicants should be aware that a number of factors are considered, including academic achievement and professional experience.  Applicants who can demonstrate both a history of strong academic and relevant professional experience have a better chance of being accepted. 

All applicants must submit a TOEFL or IELTS or seek a waiver. Penn Law does not have a minimum score requirement. In general, it looks for a TOEFL score of at least 100 or IELTS score of 7.5. 

Even if you are a native English speaker, you must submit a score or seek a waiver.  Failure to do so will delay the review of your application.

All applicants are considered for financial assistance on a merit basis. As such, information regarding an applicant’s financial situation is not relevant in making determinations regarding financial assistance. All applicants in need of financial assistance should consider sources for financial aid outside Penn Law.

There are a number of factors that are considered when reviewing applications for financial aid, including each applicant’s level of academic achievement and professional experience. Please be aware there is a high degree of competition for financial assistance among admitted applicants and that merit scholarships typically cover only part of the cost of obtaining an LLM.

Penn Law Merit Scholarships:

In an effort to sustain the exceptional diversity and quality of our LLM program, Penn Law has set aside Regional Merit Scholarship funds for outstanding candidates with first law degrees from the following countries and regions: Africa (Imasogie Scholarship); Australia, Brazil, Canada, China (PRC), European Union, Israel, Japan.* In addition, it considers all applicants from other countries/regions for General Merit Scholarships. 

Human Rights Scholarships:

Penn Law offers human rights scholarships for outstanding students with a substantial, demonstrated commitment to human rights.  Our application requires an additional essay for students interested in applying for a human rights scholarship.  We offer one or two of these scholarships each year, depending upon the depth of the applicant pool.

Fulbright Partnerships:

In addition, Penn Law has partnered to offer a $25,000 grant in partnership with Fulbright, which will also offer the successful candidate a travel stipend, sickness and accident insurance, J-visa sponsorship, access to global Fulbright programming, and in some cases, additional scholarship funding.  All applicants seeking a Fulbright-Penn Fulbright Scholsarship must apply and be selected by both to Penn Law and to Fulbright.

Other Penn Law Scholarships:

Kübler Scholarship - In conjunction with Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Penn Law school offers the Friedrich Kübler Scholarship for students who have received, or will be receiving, their first state’s examination grade following their studies in law at Goethe.  This $40,000 - $50,000 scholarship is available to go toward the payment of tuition and, in part, other related expenses. There is not a separate application for this award, but successful recipients of this scholarship will have demonstrated in their application materials a high level of academic achievement and/or professional experience in law.  

The Thouron Award is a graduate exchange program between British universities and the University of Pennsylvania. Today it is a leading international scholarship program and experience in friendship, with more than 700 alumni. Students receive full support - tuition and generous stipends - to pursue the graduate degrees of their choice. They are also encouraged to travel and immerse themselves in the life of their host countries. 

Wharton Executive Education and University of Pennsylvania Law School have joined forces to offer the Wharton Business and Law Certificate exclusively to students enrolled in Penn Law’s LLM program.  This certificate program is ideally suited for internationally-trained attorneys who seek to develop the business skills needed to compete in today’s complex legal environment

This custom designed program is taught by Wharton faculty and  industry experts selected for their teaching skills, subject expertise and ability to offer applied concepts and examples to participants.  All LLM students may participate in this program which runs concurrently with the LLM program. Those who successfully complete its requirements will earn a certificate awarded by The Wharton School’s Aresty Institute of Executive Education as well their LLM degree from Penn Law. Wharton courses are held in the evenings in state-of-the-art teaching facilities at the Steinberg Conference Center on the University of Pennsylvania campus in Philadelphia.

Wharton Business and Law Certificate students begin the program in the summer and includes three additional courses taken during the fall and spring semesters. Courses are of specific interest to attorneys and provide a rigorous preparation in professional business disciplines including accounting, corporate finance, human resource management, responsible business practices, and general management.  This LLM specific program should not be confused with Wharton’s MBA program.

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