Eligibility & English Language Requirements

Legal Education

In order to be eligible to apply for the LLM, applicants must have completed a first degree in law by the time they enroll in the law school in September.  Here, a first degree in law is considered when it qualifies the applicant to sit for a bar examination.  Exceptions will be made for those candidates that completed Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degrees in Japan or South Korea.

If you have a doubt on whether your degree qualifies you can use this list provided by LSAC as a point of reference or you can email lawgrad@uchicago.edu

English Language Proficiency

Applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit either a TOEFL or IELTS score, the results of which must be from an examination taken within two years of the date of the LLM application and meet the following minimum requirements:

TOEFL: A cumulative score of at least 104 on one administration of the examination.

IELTS: A cumulative score of at least 7.5 and sub scores of at least 7.0 on each of the four parts of the examination

The TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition is also accepted.  However, we do not accept MyBest™ Scores, IELTS Indicator, TOEFL ITP Plus, TOEFL Essentials, nor Duolingo.  

For those candidates whose native language is not English, but English has been a primary language of communication and schooling for you since childhood; or you were enrolled for at least one academic year in full-time status in a course of study at an accredited English-medium post-secondary institution in one of the following countries or territories within the past ten years: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Hong Kong, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom, the United States you will have the opportunity to indicate this on your application if you do not intend to submit a TOEFL or IELTS. 

Prospective applicants should not submit a waiver request about the English language proficiency requirements to the LLM Admissions Office. They should either select the appropriate qualifying statement on the Application for Admission, take the TOEFL/IELTS exams, or describe their English language background in their personal statements.

Every year there are applicants who do not have backgrounds which meet our English proficiency requirements and who do not want to take the TOEFL or IELTS exams. Instead, they want to submit descriptions of their experience with English. Those applicants should attach to their application personal statements an explanation of their English language ability. The Office of Graduate Programs will then decide to what extent they will take those explanations into account in their decisions on those applications. Applicants who decide to use this method of establishing their English proficiency should understand that they will not receive a separate decision from the Office on whether they met the English proficiency requirement. Students in the LLM Program without TOEFL or IELTS scores are not given additional time on Law School examinations.