LL.M. Admission Requirements

Student at Graduation

The LL.M. program at Penn State Dickinson Law is highly selective with a limited number of well-qualified students admitted each year. To be considered for admission, applicants must have completed, or be in the process of completing, a first professional degree in law. This is generally a J.D. from an ABA-approved, U.S. law school or the equivalent to the J.D. from an international law school. Successful applicants are often licensed to practice law and have significant professional experience in legal practice.

English Language Proficiency

Applicants for whom English is a native language or those who have earned an academic degree from a college or university in which the language of instruction was English meet the language requirement. In some cases, an oral proficiency interview may still be required. For applicants who are not native English speakers and have not received a degree from a college or university whose language of instruction is English, a TOEFL, IELTS or similar score that demonstrates advanced proficiency in English is required. Applicants must provide evidence of a TOEFL score report of 88 or higher, an IELTS score of 6.5 or higher, a Duolingo English Test score of 120 or higher, or the equivalent.


Dickinson Law maintains a holistic approach to admission. Applications shall be evaluated with consideration to previous education and legal qualifications, professional experience, community service and personal accomplishments. Successful applicants will have provided a clear and compelling rationale for pursuing an LL.M. degree and specifically at Penn State Dickinson Law. It is important that applicants have well-defined career plans and demonstrate the important of earning a LL.M. degree in realization of those plans. Admissible applicants may be invited to interview (in person or via Zoom).

Admissibility is determined upon careful review of the following materials:

  • Application
  • Personal Statement
  • Résumé or Curriculum Vita
  • Writing Sample (Optional)
  • Official Transcript(s)
  • Evidence of English language proficiency
  • Letter(s) of Recommendation (Optional)

Important Notes

Earning an LL.M. degree in the United States does not guarantee eligibility to sit for a bar examination. Each U.S. state sets its own eligibility requirements that should be considered. While the Dickinson Law curriculum provides all coursework necessary to sit for the New York bar examination, students must plan accordingly to ensure that appropriate coursework is completed. For more information, see The New York State Board of Law Examiners.

While LL.M. students are generally eligible for Optional Practice Training, an offer of admission to Penn State Dickinson Law does not guarantee or imply promise of permanent employment in the U.S.