The view of Butler Library from the steps of Low Library

Financial Aid, Fellowships, and Scholarships

Explore our list of funding resources for LL.M. students.

Columbia offers merit-based financial assistance to some Executive LL.M. and LL.M. candidates in the form of grants and institutional loans. These awards typically only cover a portion of the cost of tuition and fees, allowing us to provide some form of assistance to a greater number of students.

We expect applicants to share in the cost of the LL.M. Program and actively seek other sources of funding for their studies throughout the application process.

To apply for financial aid, you must complete the financial aid section of the application and upload an essay (500 words maximum) that addresses the reason(s) in support of your candidacy for a merit-based award. If applicable, please explain your intent to be considered for any of our named scholarships.

Types of Financial Aid

Columbia Law School Grants and Fellowships/Scholarships

These awards require no repayment and generally allow you to undertake study in any area of research you desire while at Columbia. Our named Fellowships—Human Rights Fellowship, Jagdish Bhagwati Fellowship, Appel Fellowship, and CPRL Lemann Scholar Award—do expect focus in the area of law to which the Fellowship pertains. 


These awards require full repayment with interest and include: 

  • Columbia Law School Loans
  • U.S. Federal Loan Programs (U.S. citizens and permanent residents only)
  • Private Loan Programs

External Sources of Funding

Many students locate sources of funding on their own, typically through their home countries. 

More on Financial Aid

Applicants who complete both the Executive LL.M. and LL.M. Program application and the merit essay will be automatically considered for all fellowships described below. Please note: No separate application is required.

The Appel Research Scholarship
The Appel Research Scholarship was established in 2001 by Mark Appel. The Appel Research Scholar receives a $1,000 grant for each academic semester in which they engage in supervised research on behalf of a Columbia faculty member on a topic that relates to regulatory or policy issues emerging from the trans-boundary operations of multinational (or transnational) enterprises.

Baker McKenzie Endowed Scholarship
Established in 2015, the endowed scholarship supports a Columbia Law School LL.M. student who demonstrates academic success and a need for significant financial aid.

Burton Memorial Fellowship
This annual fellowship was established in 1968 by friends of the late Robert J. Burton Law ’37, who was president of Broadcast Music, Inc. It provides a stipend (commensurate with need) to graduate students for study and research on copyright or other laws affecting music, art, and literature; other products of the mind; or laws affecting communications.

Charles B. Bretzfelder Constitutional Law Scholarship Fund
Established in 1980 by Helen Bretzfelder in memory of her father, Charles B. Bretzfelder, this scholarship fund is for J.D. candidates and graduate students specializing in or doing exceptional work in constitutional law. The selection is determined by scholarship and financial need.

Charles B. Bretzfelder International Law Scholarship Fund
Established in 1980 by Helen Bretzfelder in memory of her father, Charles B. Bretzfelder, this scholarship fund is for J.D. candidates and graduate students specializing in or doing exceptional work in international law. The selection is determined by scholarship and financial need.

Catherine N. Niarchos Human Rights LL.M. Scholarship
This scholarship was established in 2015 by Mary Anne Niarchos in memory of her sister, Catherine N. Niarchos ’94 LL.M. The scholarship supports LL.M. students who have experience in international human rights and a demonstrated commitment to a career in the field.

Chamberlain Fellowship in Legislation
This fellowship was established in 1953 by Thomas I. Parkinson in honor of Joseph Perkins Chamberlain Ph.D. ’23, LAW ’29, a member of the Faculty of Law from 1927 to 1950 and director of the Legislative Drafting Research Fund from 1919 to 1951. The fellowship is for study and research in the legislative development of the law and is awarded annually under regulations made by the Faculty of Law. 

The program of a Chamberlain Fellow is subject to approval by the director of the Legislative Drafting Research Fund and will normally be executed in connection with the work of that office. Fellows are appointed upon nomination made by the director of the fund. The fellowship is open to LL.M. applicants, third-year J.D. students, alumni of Columbia Law School, graduates of other schools of law, and other qualified persons. The recipient does not have to be a candidate for a graduate degree.

Fubon Fellowship Fund
This fund was established in 2005 by Fubon Financial to provide fellowships to LL.M. students.

The Jack J.T. Huang Scholarship
Established in 2007 by Jack J.T. Huang Esq., the scholarship provides financial aid to LL.M. students.

José Francisco Gouvêa Vieira Scholarship
Established in 2013, the Gouvêa Vieira Scholarship provides financial assistance to students with excellent academic credentials and demonstrated financial need.

Joseph V. Heffernan Fellowship
This fellowship was established in 1980 by Marion and Joseph V. Heffernan ’35. Only students enrolled in the LL.M. Program are eligible.

The Judith R. and Michael E. Thoyer Scholarship
Established in 2008 by Judith Reinhardt Thoyer ’65 and Michael E. Thoyer '63 LL.M., the Thoyer Scholarship provides financial assistance to LL.M. students who have outstanding academic credentials and demonstrated financial need.

Julius Silver Fellowship in Law, Science, and Technology
Established in 1984 by Julius Silver ’24, a leading attorney, corporate executive, and philanthropist, the Silver Fellowship provides support for graduate students studying legal issues involved in law, science, health care, and technology.

Lawrence A. Wien Prize and Fellowship in Corporate Social Responsibility
Established in 1981 by Lawrence A. Wien ’27, the Wien Program is jointly administered by the School of Law and Columbia Business School. The program awards an annual prize to recognize corporations, professional associations, nonprofit organizations, or educational institutions that contribute to the well-being of society at the national or local level through enlightened philanthropic policies. Contributions must be sustained over time and expressed both by financial generosity and non-material support patterns, which include long-range planning and evaluation of philanthropic endeavors, innovative approaches to corporate giving, and the encouragement of participation by employees and other organizations. 

Several fellowships, named each year in honor of the recipient of the Wien Prize, are provided annually to outstanding law and business students whose scholarly and professional activities demonstrate their involvement in questions of the responsibility of business to social concerns such as the arts, energy and the environment, and social services.

The Lucius N. Littauer Foundation Grant to the Center for Israeli Legal Studies
Established in 2007 by the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation, under the direction of President William Lee Frost and in cooperation with Noah B. Perlman ’97 and Robert D. Frost, the Littauer Fund supports graduate students and scholars.

Morris Fellowship
Established in 1924 by Newbold Morris 1891 in memory of his father, Augustus Newbold Morris CC 1860, LAW 1864, the fellowship is awarded to a student of public or private law who may be a candidate for the J.S.D. degree.

The Norman E. Alexander Scholarship
The Norman E. Alexander Scholarship was established in 2008 by a bequest of Norman E. Alexander ’36. Mr. Alexander died in 2006 at the age of 92. At the time of his death, he was chairman of the board of Sequa Corporation, the company he founded and led for more than 50 years. One of the longest-tenured chief executives in American industrial history, Alexander relinquished the title and responsibilities of the chief executive officer in 2005 and became executive chairman, a post he held until his death. 

The Alexander Scholarship is awarded each year to Columbia Law School students with outstanding credentials.

Raymond J. Baer Scholarship
Established in 2016 by Raymond J. Baer ’86 LL.M., the scholarship provides financial support for three candidates for the LL.M. degree who have demonstrated strong academic credentials and potential for contribution in their areas of interest.

The Smith Family Opportunity Scholarship
Established in 2004 by Kathy Surace-Smith ’84 and Bradford L. Smith ’84, the scholarship is awarded annually to J.D. and LL.M. students.

W. Bayard Cutting Jr. Fellowship
This fellowship was established in 1912 by W. Bayard Cutting 1871 in memory of his son, W. Bayard Cutting Jr. ’04, to support study in the field of international law.

Wolfgang G. Friedmann Memorial Fellowship
This fellowship was established in 1976 by friends and colleagues in memory of Wolfgang G. Friedmann, Professor of International Law and Director of International Legal Research at Columbia. The fellowship is awarded for the study of international law at Columbia, or to law school graduates for study abroad at institutions stressing transnational law.


Columbia Law School has three types of loan programs for incoming LL.M. students:

  1. Columbia Law School Loans
  2. U.S. Federal Loan Programs (for U.S. citizens and permanent residents only)
  3. Private Loan Programs

To learn more about any of these loan options, visit the Law School Financial Aid Office’s website or contact the office at [email protected] or 212-854-7730. 

Note about loan fees: For students borrowing federal student loans, the average educational loan fees for borrowers at Columbia Law School will automatically be added to the cost of attendance at the time of loan certification.

While Columbia Law School has a robust financial aid program to support LL.M. candidates, it cannot meet the financial needs of all students. In line with our cost-sharing philosophy regarding financial aid, prospective applicants should seek other sources of funding as early as possible.

"The Columbia University Scholarship for Displaced Students (CUSDS) is an effort to combat [...] unprecedented humanitarian and economic loss by providing displaced students with the opportunity to pursue higher education at Columbia University, one of the leading educational institutions in the world." Learn more about the scholarship on its website.

Do both Executive LL.M. and LL.M. students receive financial aid?
Yes. Columbia Law School has a robust financial aid program to support both Executive LL.M. and LL.M. candidates. We also have resources for fellowships and scholarships. 

How do I apply for financial aid?
Please select yes to the question "Do you wish you be considered for financial aid?" and complete the required merit essay.

I am an international student. Am I still eligible for financial aid through Columbia Law School?
Yes. The financial aid application process is the same for all students. 

Does the fact that I am applying for financial aid affect my chances for admission?
No. All admission decisions are made separately from financial aid decisions.

I will need financial aid in order to study at Columbia Law School. Can I count on the Law School’s financial support if I am admitted?
No. Because our financial aid funds are limited, applicants who will require financial assistance to attend Columbia Law School should also seek assistance from other sources. Awards are generally in the form of partial waivers of tuition and, in some cases, loans.  Full waivers of tuition are almost never granted.

I just received a scholarship from an outside funding agency. Do I need to notify the Office of Graduate Degree Programs?
Yes. You must notify us of any funds you know you will be receiving or you anticipate receiving for your studies at Columbia. If your total funding including outside awards exceeds the cost of attendance, we reserve the right to reduce our award. If you are awarded an outside scholarship after submitting your application for financial assistance, you must notify us within seven days of receiving the award.