Students stand in a group in the lobby of Jerome Greene Hall.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Prospective LL.M. students can find answers to common questions below. 

When does the program begin? Can I start in January?
The program is a full-time, one-year program beginning in August only.

Can I do the program online?
You cannot do the LL.M. Program online. However, you may be interested in our Executive LL.M. in Global Business Law, which is taught partly online and partly in residence. 

Can I work during the LL.M. Program?
LL.M. students may not accept or continue off-campus employment during the academic year. Students who wish to work usually find part-time work on Columbia’s campus. Due to visa regulations, students on a student visa can only work on campus.

How much does the LL.M. Program cost?
The cost of the LL.M. Program varies from year to year. Total expenses for 2023-2024 can be found on the Costs and Budgeting page.

Does the Columbia School offer on-campus housing?
Yes. Columbia Law students are eligible for a wide range of university housing through a lottery process, including Law School-only buildings like Lenfest and Lionsgate and University Apartment Housing buildings from all 10 of the university's graduate and professional degree programs. Detailed housing information to admitted students is available in the spring.  

How do I get a student visa?
The International Students and Scholars Office administers immigration services for all international students. You can obtain general information on immigration procedures and requirements by visiting their website. We provide additional information on the visa application to admitted students in the spring. 

Does completing the LL.M. degree make me eligible to take a bar examination? 
Completion of the LL.M. degree in itself does not guarantee permission to take a bar examination, and many states require a J.D. degree from a U.S. law school in order to sit for the bar exam. When states, including New York, do allow foreign law graduates to sit for the bar exam, they typically require at least three years of legal study (not including the LL.M. degree). An LL.M. degree may qualify an applicant to take the bar exam in New York, as long as their coursework meets the requirements set by the New York Board of Law Examiners.

Does the LL.M. accept transfer credits?
No. The Law School does not accept transfer credits for the LL.M. Program, including credits earned in any other degree or non-degree program at Columbia. In order to obtain the LL.M. degree, you must earn 24 points of academic credit and complete the LL.M. Writing Project Requirement. 


How do I request an application fee waiver?
The $85 application fee is rarely waived, and is waived only in extenuating circumstances at the sole discretion of the Admissions Committee. If you would like to request an application fee waiver, please complete the Application Fee Waiver Request Form. 

Do you accept late materials by e-mail or mail?
No, and no exceptions will be made. 

Do I need to wait for LSAC to process my transcripts, letters of recommendation, and English proficiency test scores before I can submit my online application?
No. Submit your online application as soon as you have completed it. LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS) will forward a copy of these documents to us in a report that will automatically attach itself to your application. 

LSAC told me that my documents will not be processed by the December 1, 2023 deadline. Will my application still be considered? 
Yes. Our application deadline is a postmark deadline. This means that your online application must be submitted and your transcripts and letters of recommendation sent to LSAC by December 1, 2023. We account for delays in processing. 

Are applications submitted on my behalf by educational consultants or third-party advisers accepted?
With the exception of Fulbright and its related partnership organizations, the Office of Graduate Degree Programs only accepts applications submitted by the applicant. 

May I use the services of an educational consultant or AI tools in completing my application?
Columbia Law School expects that all applicants submit work that is their original writing and/or work product. Assistance in completing any components of your Columbia application, including but not limited to using the services of an agent, third-party vendor, educational consultant, or artificial intelligence (AI) tool or service is strictly prohibited. If dishonesty in this regard is discovered, it is grounds for immediate rescission of an admission offer and, if already enrolled, disciplinary proceedings (possibly leading to expulsion or, if later discovered, revocation of the degree earned.)

Will Columbia confirm that my application was received?  
Yes, we will send you an email confirming that we have received your application. 

Can I apply to both the LL.M. Program and the Executive LL.M. in Global Business Law Program?

In addition to the LL.M. Program, Columbia Law School offers the Executive LL.M. in Global Business Law Program. If you wish to be considered for both the LL.M. and the Executive LL.M. in Global Business Law programs, check “both programs” under “program selection” on the application for admission.

If you apply to both the general LL.M. Program and the Executive LL.M. in Global Business Law, you may receive one admission decision before the other. If you are admitted to both, you must select one; enrollment in both degree programs is not possible.

An admissions counselor will be happy to speak with you to discuss your options throughout the application process.


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

How do I 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. For more information regarding fellowships and award, please visit the "Financial Aid, Fellowships, and Scholarships" page

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. 


How do I apply for awards and fellowships?
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. For more information regarding fellowships and awards, please visit the "Financial Aid, Fellowships, and Scholarships" page


Office of Graduate Degree Programs

All LL.M., Executive LL.M., and J.S.D. students receive individualized support from the Office of Graduate Degree Programs (OGP) throughout their Law School experience—from application to degree conferral. The office also maintains close contact with our broad network of alumni.