Lawyering in America
Our LL.M. Program gives those who have been trained in the law outside the U.S. a strong foundation in the American legal system and those who already have a U.S. law degree an opportunity to deepen their knowledge of a particular area of law. You’ll find the close-knit collaboration and personalized experience we’re known for, as well as a globally recognized law credential.
- Create a custom course load from our “The Lawyer As...” curriculum, which is categorized by ways lawyers really use the law.
- With a small cohort, you’ll interact closely with peers, professors, and J.D. students.
- Our Carlisle, Pennsylvania location is perfectly situated to give you access to myriad experiential learning opportunities on the East Coast, including in New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Harrisburg.
- The LL.M. Program is a minimum 24-credit program. Students who wish to complete their degrees full-time must enroll in at least 12 credits and no more than 17 credits per semester for two semesters, although students have the option to enroll in a third semester for an additional six or more credits. Qualified students who wish to complete their degrees part-time may do so over the course of three to four semesters.
The power of Penn State.
Penn State is one of the top research and teaching institutions in the world. We’re proud to be one of Penn State’s two separately accredited law schools—and one of the oldest law schools in the U.S.
LL.M. Degree Requirements
To earn the LL.M. degree, students must earn a minimum of 24 credits and complete with a passing grade the following courses:
- LL.M Legal Research (1 credit)
- LL.M. Legal Writing (2 credits)
- Introduction to the United States Legal System (2 credits)
In addition, students must enroll in one course from the following list:
- Civil Procedure
- Constitutional Law I
- Criminal Law
- Criminal Procedure
The academic deans may waive any of the course requirements where students have satisfactorily completed equivalent courses at another U.S. law program or in a common law country.
Elective Courses and Concentrations
To complete the degree requirements, LL.M. students may enroll in a rich array of courses offered in the law school curriculum, including a focused course of study in one of the specialized fields below:
- Arbitration, Mediation, and Negotiation
- Business Law
- Constitutional and Administrative Law
- Criminal Law and Procedure
- Cyber Law, Data Privacy, and Information Security
- Elder Law
- Government Law & Policy
- Health Law and Policy
- Intellectual Property and Innovation
- International Trial Advocacy
- Organizing for Social Justice
- Public Interest Law
- Security Law
- Tax Law
- Trial Advocacy and Litigation
With the approval of the associate dean for academic affairs, LL.M. students may enroll in courses offered in other Penn State graduate programs, including the University’s Master of Public Administration and Master of Business Administration degree programs offered at Penn State Harrisburg and through the University’s World Campus.
LL.M. students may take independent study courses for up to three credits in any one semester, and no more than a total of four credits during the two semesters of the LL.M. Program.
Third Semester Option
LL.M. students may apply to stay for a third semester of legal study with the intent of completing an experiential learning program or preparing for a U.S. bar exam.
Transfer to the J.D. Program
Candidates for the LL.M. degree may seek to transfer to the J.D. program. Criteria for transferring to the J.D. program are set by the associate dean for admissions and associate dean of academic affairs. Important factors are excellent English language skills and strong performance in classes taken at the Law School. For more information, review the LL.M. Academic Policies.