Thank you for your interest in BU Law’s LLM and master’s degree programs. Below is the detailed set of criteria and instructions for applying to our LLM and master’s degree programs, as well as the Legal English Certificate Program. We look forward to receiving your application!
*We are still accepting applications for Fall 2020 for international applicants who are currently in the US or who are willing to start their program remotely if necessary. We will also be accepting applications for Spring 2021 admission starting at the end of August.
Application Overview and Timelines
Our admissions process is designed to be as personal as our programs, and we are one of the only programs to interview candidates. From the moment you apply, we will be in constant contact with you about your application, including providing an online application status checker, so that you know exactly where you are in the admissions process.
Applications for Spring, Summer, and Fall entry are now open. For entry in the Fall semester, we begin reviewing applications and making decisions on a rolling basis in late fall and continuing throughout the spring. Generally, during this time frame you may expect to receive a decision within 3-4 weeks of being notified by BU Law that your application is complete. Should you have circumstances that require you to receive an expedited admissions decision, please let us know. We understand that the application process can be stressful, and are here to help in whatever way we can!
Before You Apply
Eligibility to Apply
- US-trained applicants must be graduates of a law school accredited by the American Bar Association at the time of matriculation.
- Foreign-trained applicants must hold a first degree in law, or its equivalent, from an accredited or comparably recognized law school or law faculty outside the United States at the time of matriculation. Admission to the national bar of certain jurisdictions may meet the eligibility criteria.
- Exception: highly-qualified candidates who hold a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent but do not have a law degree are occasionally admitted into our Executive LLM in International Business Law.
- LSAC’s LLM Eligibility resource can be found here. It is a good guide, but in some cases Boston University may recognize different credentials.
Master in the Study of Tax Law applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, or the international equivalent, at the time of matriculation.
The Legal English Certificate Program (LECP) is also open to non-lawyers who have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, or the international equivalent, at the time of matriculation.
Work experience: While work experience is not required (except in the case of our Executive LLM), it is highly valued.
Summer 2020 (all programs except the Executive LLM)
Programs open for summer admission: Graduate Tax Program (online option), Executive LLM (see deadlines below)
All applicants deadline: April 30, 2020
Fall 2020 (all programs except the Executive LLM)
International Applicants*: April 15, 2020
(We are accepting applications for international applicants beyond the deadline.)
Domestic Applicants: July 31, 2020
LLM in Taxation (online option), Master in the Study of Tax Law (online option), and Certificate in Financial Services Compliance: July 31, 2020
*Please note: the LLM in American Law is open to foreign-trained attorneys only and is only available for Fall entry
Executive LLM in International Business Law**
Spring 2020 Session Enrollment
Deadline: December 13, 2019
Summer 2020 Session Enrollment (both sessions)
Deadline: April 15, 2020
Fall 2020 Session Enrollment
Deadline: July 31, 2020
*For all programs, we strongly encourage applications be submitted well before these dates. Applications received after these dates are reviewed on a space available basis.
**While there are no formal application deadlines for the Executive LLM program, the deadlines above are suggested deadlines that should be taken into account by applicants.
Non-Degree Students (Graduate Tax Program and Graduate Program in Banking and Financial Law Only)
Application Instructions - Part 1: All Applicants
The following items are required supporting materials to complete the application for admission for all students:
- Completed Application for Admission Form: Please note, Boston University School of Law uses one application for all LLM and master’s programs. You will indicate to which program you are applying by answering the first question on the application: question #1—Program Information. If you wish to apply to more than one program, please email email@example.com for additional instructions.
- Application Fee: Payment of a nonrefundable application fee of US $85 must accompany the application. Applicants may pay this fee by credit card. This is in addition to any service fees assessed by LSAC.
- Official, Sealed Academic Records: Complete official transcripts—or notarized, full-sized copies—of all colleges, universities, or graduate schools from which you have earned a degree must be submitted to LSAC. The official transcript or an accompanying report must contain your class standing, if given, together with a description of the school’s grading system. All transcripts or other academic records must be official documents bearing the registrar’s signature and/or the institution’s seal. If these records are not in English, a certified English translation must be submitted together with the originals or copies. Transcripts submitted via LSAC’s LLM Credential Assembly Service are considered official; you do not need to submit additional copies. For more information, visit www.lsac.org/llm or see below for information about the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (CAS).
- Two Letters of Recommendation: You must submit two letters of recommendation written by individuals who are well acquainted with your academic or professional abilities and are able to provide a thoughtful, thorough and candid assessment of your academic ability and potential for success in graduate level law study. BU Law requires at least two – but accepts up to four – letters of recommendation. We welcome letters from former law professors, as well as from employment supervisors and other professional colleagues who have direct knowledge of your skills and attributes. If these letters are not in English, a certified English translation must also be submitted.
- Personal Statement of Interest: A carefully worded and detailed personal statement of interest is an important part of your application. You should discuss your personal and professional reasons for pursuing the degree program. You should also include an explanation of your study interests and their relation to your previous study, employment experiences and professional goals.
- Curriculum Vitae/Resume: Please include your curriculum vitae or resume as a separate item, not as a substitute for your personal statement.
- TOEFL or IELTS score report: Proof of English language proficiency is not required if: (i) your native language is English; or (ii) you received your undergraduate or first law degree in a country where the language of instruction and only official language are English. For all other applicants, we must receive satisfactory proof of your English proficiency in the form of an official TOEFL or IELTS score report, submitted via the LSAC LLM Credential Assembly Service. For more details, see Part 2: Foreign-trained Applicants Only (information for those affected by the current outbreak of coronavirus disease, COVID-19, can be found there too.)
- Standardized test score for Master in the Study of Tax Law applicants: Applicants who have not previously completed a master’s degree program, who have not passed the CPA exam, and who have less than 3 years of related work experience are required to submit standardized test scores from an accepted graduate program test, including LSAT, GRE, or GMAT.
Application Instructions - Part 2: Foreign-trained Applicants Only
The following items are required supporting materials to complete the application for admission for foreign-trained applicants.
Proof of English Language Proficiency: Proof of English language proficiency is not required if: (i) your native language is English; or (ii) you received your undergraduate or first law degree in a country where the language of instruction AND only official language are English.
For all other applicants, we must receive satisfactory proof of your English proficiency in the form of either a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score report, submitted via the LSAC LLM Credential Assembly Service. You should take one of these exams as early as possible, preferably eight months or more before your anticipated admission.
TOEFL. If taking the TOEFL exam, you must demonstrate proficiency in English by achieving a minimum score of 600 (paper-based) or 250 (computer-based) or 100 (internet-based). If you have taken the new internet-based test, your scores on the individual sections should at a minimum be 25 (reading), 25 (listening), 25 (writing) and 25 (speaking). You must arrange for an official report of your TOEFL scores to be sent electronically to LSAC from the Educational Testing Service (ETS).
IELTS. If taking the IELTS exam, you must achieve a minimum score of 7.0.
For those affected by the current outbreak of coronavirus disease, COVID-19: We are aware that English proficiency exams have been cancelled in several locations and we are implementing a solution so that applicants can still submit all of the required documents. For the Summer and Fall 2020 semesters, we will accept scores from the Duolingo English Test, which can be taken online. If you choose to take this test, you will need to complete a few steps to ensure that we receive your score:
- Select Boston University Graduate & Professional Programs as a score recipient
- Send our office an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the following information:
- Your first and last name
- Your LSAC ID number
- The date you took the Duolingo English Test
- A copy of your score certificate (in PDF format, if possible)
Please continue to use LSAC to submit all of your other application documents.
Applicants seeking exemption from the requirement to submit proof of English language proficiency are considered on a case by case basis. To request a waiver, you must submit a waiver request form (available in the “Forms” section of the application in LSAC) with your application, indicating the basis of your request. Waiver requests should be made as early as possible in the application process, so that applicants who are not granted waivers will still have time to take an English language proficiency examination. The law school retains discretion to approve or deny any waiver request.
International Student Data Form: Foreign students are required to complete the International Student Data Form and provide the appropriate financial declaration and documentation, as described in the form. While these documents are formally required after academic admission, your official immigration documents may be expedited by submitting all materials with your initial application. To issue your immigration documents, we need to receive official financial documentation from you demonstrating the availability of funds to cover estimated tuition and living expenses for the academic year. Tuition and expenses for the 2019-2020 academic year will not be released until April 2019. To estimate these costs prior to their release, we suggest adding 3-5% to the 2018-2019 tuition and living expenses for graduate students. If you will be bringing a spouse and/or children, or if you will be attending the CELOP Legal English Summer Program, additional funds will be required. View CELOP’s fees and expenses.
LLM Technical Standards
LSAC Credential Assembly Service
LSAC Applicant Status Checker Link
Passport and Visa Information
Graduate & International Programs Office
Boston University School of Law
765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts 02215
LLM Scholars Program
Through its LLM Scholars Program, BU Law awards financial support to a select number of LLM applicants who have demonstrated notable academic and professional achievements. There is no separate application process for scholarship awards; all candidates admitted to an LLM program receive full consideration, with no additional paperwork required. (At this time, students admitted to the online option of our Graduate Tax Program are not eligible for the LLM Scholars Program.)
- LLM Leadership Program
- Frederic C. Corneel Scholarship
- Kikuchi Scholars
- Master in the Study of Tax Law Scholar
- Compliance Innovators Program
Scholarship Awards for Current Students
- Legal English Certificate Program Merit Award
- Part-Time Merit Award
For more details on these scholarships, visit our section of the BU Law Financial Aid website.
LSAC’s LLM Credential Assembly Service (LSAC LLM CAS)
LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS) consists of: the Electronic Application Service, the Document Assembly Service and the International Transcript Authentication and Evaluation Service. These simplify the application process by centralizing the submission of application materials. By utilizing the LLM CAS, applicants need only send one set of documents to LSAC, who will assemble and distribute reports to all the participating law schools to which you wish to apply. Your Credential Assembly Service account will be active for five years.
We require that applicants use the Document Assembly Service ($50 USD), which collects academic records, letters of recommendation, and English proficiency exam score(s) and distribute them to the law schools of your choice. There is also a required Report Fee ($30 USD) that goes along with the Document Assembly Service. Note that the Electronic Application Fee ($35), which allows you to complete and transmit your admission applications online, is separate from the BU Law LLM Programs Application Fee ($85). The International Transcript Authentication and Evaluation Service ($135) is optional but strongly recommended for applicants educated outside of the United States, as it enables applicants’ official academic documents to be sent once to LSAC for evaluation, authentication and transmission to the participating law schools of your choice. We strongly advise applicants to register for the LLM Credential Assembly Service in advance of the application deadline.
Total Application Fees
|Fee Type||Cost||Required or Optional?|
|BU Law LLM Programs Application Fee||$85||Required|
|LSAC LLM CAS Electronic Application Service Fee||$35||Required|
|LSAC LLM CAS Document Assembly Service Fee||$50||Required|
|LSAC LLM CAS Report Fee||$30||Required|
|LSAC LLM CAS International Transcript Authentication & Evaluation Service||$135||Strongly recommended|
Equal Opportunity Policy
Boston University prohibits discrimination against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, marital, parental, or veteran status. This policy extends to all rights, privileges, programs and activities, including admissions, financial assistance, employment, housing, athletics and educational programs. Boston University recognizes that nondiscrimination does not ensure that equal opportunity is a reality. The University therefore will continue to take affirmative action to promote equal opportunity for all students, applicants and employees. Inquiries regarding the application of this policy should be addressed to:
Assistant Vice President for Human Resources
25 Buick Street
Boston, MA 02215
Please direct all correspondence, inquiries, and application materials to:
Boston University School of Law
Graduate & International Programs Office
765 Commonwealth Avenue, Suite 1003
Boston, MA 02215