Graduate degrees: Details you need to know

Students enroll in Indiana University’s graduate law programs for many reasons. Students in our programs get to experience another legal system, specialize in particular areas of the law, while interacting with some of the best and brightest legal minds from around the world.  The programs are designed to enhance your career prospects, whether in private practice, in public or government service, or in academia.

Each year, we enroll 65 to 75 new graduate students in four degree programs. Our four largest alumni groups are from China, Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. Last year, our incoming classes were made up of students from Brazil, China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Iraq, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Liberia, Lithuania, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Thailand, and others.  JD and graduate students take most of their classes together, which further enhances learning both in and outside of the classroom. 

Total law school enrollment 558
JD students 493
Graduate students (incoming fall 2017) 65
US states represented 22
Foreign countries represented 25

Degrees offered

Indiana Law’s top-ranked graduate programs—which are primarily for international students—provide many opportunities for students to work closely with distinguished professors who are experts in many domestic and transnational fields. Indiana Law offers LLM, MCL, SJD, and PhD degrees. 

The law school offers the following degree programs:

LLM Degree

Indiana Law’s LLM degree is primarily for international students and is our most popular graduate degree option. This degree requires  one academic year in residence. We currently offer both the standard non-thesis LLM (24 credit hours) as well as thesis (30 credit hour LLM) degree options.  We also offer a number of specializations.

Apply to the fall LLM program.

Summer Start

LLM applicants who need to improve their English and legal English skills prior to starting US study may be admitted to our Summer Start Program, which begins in June each year.

LLM to JD transfer option

The Law School has a process that enables our LLM students to apply to transfer to the JD program. Students may nominate themselves to take part in the selective process, or faculty members may also nominate students with outstanding performance in their classes (learn more). Students who apply to the Maurer JD degree program may be able to count some credits (up to 29) toward the degree so that they may enter the JD program with advanced standing.

Spring LLM Start

In addition to our traditional two-semester fall program, we offer a three-semester program that starts in January. Students will be able to complete the degree requirements at a slower pace and, in some cases, begin their studies right after the close of the school year in their home countries. With sufficient preparation, students may also start the program in January and graduate in two semesters. (learn more).

Apply to the spring LLM program.

Master of Comparative Law (MCL)

Our MCL is a 20-credit, two-semester program that offers foreign law students an opportunity to gain familiarity with American law and legal institutions.  MCL applicants who need to improve their English and legal English skills prior to starting US study may be admitted to our Summer Start Program, which begins in June each year. Apply to the MCL program.

Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)

Indiana Law’s SJD is for international law graduates who already hold an LLM degree and who have demonstrated exceptional analytical and research abilities. Apply to the SJD program.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Law and Democracy

The doctoral degree is granted by the law school and is administered by the Center for Constitutional Democracy (CCD). The Law and Democracy Program allows students to learn about the role of law in new and fragile democracies through coursework and experience in the field, training in the law and the social sciences, and comparative analyses of the experience of the United States and other countries. Through the CCD, students have a unique opportunity to work directly and regularly with foreign reform leaders to support constitutional democracy.  Read more detailed information about the PhD in Law and Democracy program. Apply to the PhD program.

Certificate in Legal Studies

Indiana Law’s Certificate in Legal Studies allows participants to immerse themselves in legal coursework for just one semester. The certificate is ideal for internationally trained attorneys and law graduates who seek education and experience in the American legal system but whose responsibilities prevent them from committing to a lengthier program. 8-12 credits. Apply to the certificate program.