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The law school has a long tradition of strength in the area of federal taxation. The graduate taxation program, for full-time or part-time students, is a comprehensive, advanced degree program designed for attorneys intending to specialize in tax practice. It focuses not only on technical mastery of the tax laws but also on wider issues of tax and fiscal policy. Most of the courses in the curriculum provide survey level instruction in subjects typically not addressed in J.D. level tax courses. In addition, advanced courses develop in depth, practice oriented expertise.
Courses are taught by the law school's faculty and by adjunct professors and lecturers who are experienced, practicing tax specialists in Dallas area law firms and corporate law departments. To accommodate employed students, many tax courses are offered in the early morning, the late afternoon, and during the evening.
For degree requirements see Tax LL.M. degree requirements

Admission Criteria

Admission to this program is by selection. An applicant for admission to the LL.M. (Taxation) degree program must hold a J.D. degree from an ABA accredited law school.
Students may attend either full- or part-time, but admission for the full time program is effective for the fall term only.

Application Procedure

Applicants must include with their applications a letter stating why they are interested in entering the graduate degree program, two letters of recommendation, and certified transcripts from both their undergraduate and law schools. Applications for the full time program beginning in the fall term should be received by the admission office by April 15 of the year of intended enrollment.
Applications for the part-time program beginning in the fall term should be received by the admission office by April 15 of the year of intended enrollment, and for the part-time program beginning in the spring term by December 1 of the year preceding enrollment.

Specialized Courses

The following listing illustrates the diversity and depth of courses offered at the Dedman School of Law in taxation and related fields. 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 one time only basis.
  • Advanced Corporate Taxation
  • Corporate Planning
  • Corporate Taxation
  • Criminal Tax Fraud
  • Directed Research in Taxation
  • Estate, Gift, and Income Taxation of Trusts and Estates
  • Estate Planning and Practice
  • Federal Tax Procedure I and 11
  • International Tax I
  • International Tax 11
  • Legal Accounting
  • Partnership Taxation
  • State and Local Taxation
  • Tax Accounting
  • Tax Practice and Professional Responsibility
  • Taxation and Fiscal Policy
  • Taxation of Deferred Compensation
  • Taxation of Professional and Closely Held Corporations
  • Taxation of Property Dispositions
  • Wills and Trusts
  • Degree Requirements

Scholarships and Financial Aid

The Robert Hickman Smellage, Sr. Memorial Fund provides scholarship assistance to a limited number of full-time graduate students. There is not a separate application for the Smellage scholarship.  Your LL.M. application serves as your scholarship application.
Additionally, the SMU financial aid office is available to assist U.S. students in obtaining student loans.  For more information on financial aid for law students, please go to http://www.smu.edu/financial_aid/Graduates/Grad_Index.asp.

Tuition and Expenses

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

Full-time LL.M.
2014-2015 Estimates

Tuition $43,627
Fees $5,172

Estimated Expenses
Books $2,000
Living Expenses $15,500
Miscellaneous $2,738
Total Expenses $69,037


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

Bobbye Heine

Assistant Director for Graduate Legal Programs