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1.2 LL.M. and M.Comp.L Program Degree Requirements

LL.M and M.Comp.L. Program of Study

To graduate, the Law School requires all LL.M. students to be in full-time residence for three quarters. Full-time residence means students must be registered for at least nine credit hours per quarter, with no fewer than six Law School credit hours per quarter. Each of those credit hours must be successfully completed (i.e., students must pass and receive credit toward their LL.M. degree). LL.M. students must complete and pass 27 credit hours of coursework. Non-law coursework will not be counted toward this 27 credit hour requirement. 

Summary of LL.M Program Requirements

  • A minimum of 27 credit hours completed and passed
  • Students must be in residence, full-time, for three quarters of no fewer than nine credit hours per quarter

LLM Thesis

Under certain circumstances, a thesis option is available upon application to the Law School’s Director of Graduate Programs. This option will only be granted to students who can demonstrate the potential to complete an extensive research paper, explain how the thesis relates to their professional goals, and are supported by a faculty supervisor with whom they consulted. Students interested in the thesis option should submit the online petition no later than the second week of Winter Quarter. The petition is located at https://www.law.uchicago.edu/students/academics/petitions.

Students interested in pursuing this option must find a full-time core faculty member at the University of Chicago Law School (as defined by the Student Handbook) to supervise their research and writing of the thesis. The faculty supervisor will also be responsible for awarding a final grade, following the official law school grading scale. While only one faculty member will be finally responsible for the grading of the thesis, students are permitted to consult with other faculty members during their research and writing.  

The thesis must be of publishable quality and completed during the academic year in which a student is enrolled as an LLM student at the law school, extensions will not be granted. Upon successful completion of the thesis, students will be awarded four (4) credits. Registration for the thesis and the 4 credits will default to the Winter quarter. A minimum grade of 170 is required to receive credit.  The grade will appear on a student’s transcript as Independent Research: Master of Laws Thesis.

LL.M. Students Applying for the NY Bar

LL.M. students applying to the New York bar must complete 30 credits. For further information regarding New York and other state bar requirements for LL.M.s, please see the Director for Graduate Programs. 

In addition to the 27 credit hours LL.M. students must earn at the Law School, three additional credits may be taken in “other courses related to legal training” in another school at the University of Chicago for purposes of applying to the New York bar. For further information regarding New York bar requirements for LL.M. students, please consult with the Director for Graduate Programs.

Note that the 30 credits must be “classroom courses.” This means that credits earned in independent research papers will not be counted as part of the 30 required. Credit hours for research papers in seminars or workshops may be counted to meet this 30 credit hour requirement. These additional three credits may be from courses in the Law School or “courses related to legal training” in other departments or schools at the University.

Summary of Requirements for LL.M. students planning to take the New York Bar Examination

  • 30 credit hours of Law School courses (up to three credits can also be “courses related to legal training” in other departments or schools at the University). Included in those 30 hours must be-
    • 3 credit hours of a course in professional responsibility
    • 3 credit hours in legal research and writing
    • 3 credit hours in Constitutional Law or Civil Procedure
    • 8 credit hours in other courses whose subject matter is tested on the Bar Exam

For all bar exam requirements, LL.M. students should refer to this page: https://www.law.uchicago.edu/llm/bar