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The graduate program for international students is rooted in the efforts of the Dedman School of Law in the early 1950s to make the school a leading international legal center. More than 2,000 international graduates of the School of Law from more than 80 countries now occupy prominent positions in government, legal practice, business, the judiciary, and legal education around the world.

The primary goal of the program is to enhance the international student's legal skills so that he or she may become a more effective lawyer and member of society. In this respect the program seeks to develop: (i) an appreciation of the role of law in national and international development; (ii) the ability to identify, through comparative and international studies, policy considerations of various legal rules; (iii) an appreciation of the role of the lawyer in social and economic change; (iv) legal analysis and problem solving abilities to enable the student to meet the complex needs of our modem world; (v) a basic understanding of the U.S. legal system, as studied from a comparative perspective; and (vi) a frame of reference for dealing with business and legal interests in a transnational setting.

For degree requirements, see requirements for LL.M. degree for foreign law school graduates.

Admission Criteria

An applicant for admission to the LL.M. degree program must be a graduate of a recognized foreign law school. The applicant's undergraduate record must demonstrate scholarly legal aptitude. An applicant for whom English is a second language must present evidence of a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) computer based score of 233 or written score of 575. U.S. trained law students may not apply to this degree program.

Application Procedure

An applicant must include with the application: a short curriculum vitae; evidence of proficiency in English (normally a TOEFL computer based score of 233 or written score of 575); a certified transcript in English of grades received in law school; letters of recommendation in English (or translated into English) from the dean of the applicant's law school and from a law professor; evidence of financial ability to pay tuition, fees, and all other expenses during the applicant's stay in the United States; and a recent head and shoulders photograph of the applicant. 

Scholarship Procedure

We do not have a separate application for LL.M scholarships. Your application for LL.M. admission serves as your scholarship application.
Available scholarships include:
  • The Storey Scholarship, which provides a stipend toward the payment of tuition and fees for one international student per year.
  • The Helmut Sohmen Scholarships, which provide full tuition, fees and a monthly living stipend for up to six (6) students from China.
  • In addition to the above scholarships, a limited number of tuition remission scholarships may be available to full-time students.

Specialized Courses

The following listing illustrates the diversity and depth of courses offered at the Dedman School of Law in comparative and international law. Applicants should note, however, that the law school does not offer all of these courses and seminars each term or even each year. Other related courses not listed below may also be offered each year on a onetime only basis.
  • Comparative Law I and II
  • Constitutional Law (for international LL.M. students)
  • Globalization and the Law
  • Immigration Law
  • International Banking and Finance
  • International Business Transactions
  • International Commercial Arbitration
  • International Crimes
  • International Environmental Law
  • International Intellectual Property
  • International Law (Public)
  • International Litigation and Arbitration
  • International Organizations Law
  • International Protection of Human Rights
  • International Tax I and II
  • International Telecommunications Transactions
  • Japanese Legal System
  • Oil and Gas Contracts: Domestic and International
  • Perspectives of American Business Laws
  • Perspectives of the American Legal System

Tuition and Expenses

The following are the tuition, fees, and estimated costs for the full-time LL.M. programs.

Full-time LL.M.
2015-2016 Estimates

Tuition $44,542
Fees $5,420

Estimated Expenses
Books $2,000
Living Expenses $15,500
Miscellaneous $2,738
Total Expenses $70,200

Note: If you are bringing family to the United States, you are required to show proof of an additional $7,000 for one dependent.  If you are bringing more than one dependent, in addition to the $7,000, you are required to show proof of $3,000 per dependent.    

Bar Exam Eligibility

International students who wish to practice law in this country and qualify for admission to the bar in one of the states or the District of Columbia should familiarize themselves with the bar admission requirements in the particular jurisdiction where they plan to practice. Bar admission requirements vary from state to state. Some states require applicants to have a J.D. degree, and others will require only a certain number of course credits from a law school in this country.  Texas now allows qualified foreign educated attorneys who have completed an LL.M. degree to sit for the Texas Bar examination.
For complete rules governing Admission to the State Bar of Texas see http://www.ble.state.tx.us/Rules/NewRules/CurrentRuleBook.pdf.

For a fact sheet that summarizes the Eligibility of Foreign-Educated Applicants and Foreign Attorneys to take the Texas Bar Examination see http://www.ble.state.tx.us/pdfs/Forms/FAQs_Rule_%20XIII_Final.pdf

Application to the J.D. Program

The J.D. is the basic law degree for U.S. law students.  For this reason, the School of Law does not normally consider the degree appropriate for international students already possessing basic law degrees within their home countries.  However, in a limited number of instances, international students who have graduated with distinction in the LL.M. program of the Dedman School of Law and who can demonstrate legitimate graduate study objectives for furthering their careers in their home countries may be considered for admission to the J.D. program.  These students are not required to take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT).  Admission under such conditions will normally entail an additional study of 72-87 credit hours.  Advanced credit, if any, is based upon the student’s foreign law study, not on the LL.M. credit.


Office Hours:

Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Extended hours available by appointment.


(214) 768-2550


(214) 768-2549



Physical Address:

3300 University Boulevard, Suite 331
Dallas, TX 75205

Mailing Address:

SMU Dedman School of Law
Office of Admissions
P.O. Box 750110
Dallas, TX 75275-0110


Jill Nikirk

Assistant Dean for Admissions

Becca Henley

Director of Admissions

Gina Skipworth

Admissions Coordinator

Robin Webb

Admissions Specialist


Martin Camp ‘79

Assistant Dean for Graduate and International Programs

Bobbye Heine

Assistant Director for Graduate Legal Programs