LLM Structure & Curriculum
The University of Chicago offers a general LLM. There are no specific courses that LLM students are required to take, thus providing the flexibility to create individualized courses of study. LLM students often put together course and seminar schedules that reflect certain practice specialties such as corporate/securities, intellectual property, antitrust/regulation of business or commercial transactions. Most, however, also add offerings in areas like constitutional law, legal theory, law and economics, and comparative law to round out their academic experience. Most LLM students will have all of their classes with students in the JD program, but we do offer some LLM only courses in subjects that are required for the New York bar exam.
Most universities and colleges in the United States follow a semester system. The semester system divides the academic year into two parts: Fall and Spring. The University of Chicago operates on a quarter system. Quarters are shorter academic units than semesters and allow a school to offer three to four different sessions of classes per year. The Law School holds classes in Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters each year (there are no classes during the summer). Students will be in class for the same amount of time as they would be under a semester system, but instead will have three separate sets of classes (and professors) during the academic year. Learn more about the quarter system.
Our classes start in late September/early October and end in May/June:
Autumn Quarter: Late September to mid-December
Winter Quarter: Early January to mid-March
Spring Quarter: Late March to late May (2L and 3L students finish mid-May)
The LLM degree is awarded to students who have successfully completed 27 course hours (generally nine courses) over three quarters while maintaining a grade point average of 170. There is no dissertation or major paper requirement in the LLM Program. However, the strong orientation of the faculty toward research provides students with unusually good opportunities and LLM students often do independent research projects or major seminar papers with members of the faculty.
For those students interested in sitting for the New York bar, 30 course hours are required.
Format and Start Dates
The LLM is a full-time course of study, taught only on-campus, and students may only start in the Autumn Quarter (September).