LLM-Legal Institutions Application Eligibility and Program Requirements

The primary purpose of the LLM-Legal Institutions degree is to provide an opportunity and an environment for the study of law from interdisciplinary perspectives for individuals trained in the law of a foreign country. This degree is not available to persons who already hold an Anglo-American professional degree in law.

Application Eligibility

To be eligible to apply to the Legal Institutions master's program, you need:

  • A degree or diploma representing the study of law. This is usually shown by a bachelor's degree in law (LL.B.) but may also be shown by a master's degree in law.  Our admissions committee will also consider an undergraduate major, such as in political science, that includes a significant number of law courses.
  • A Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.00 on a 4.00 scale, or a B average, from your undergraduate work.
  • A TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score showing high proficiency in English if your undergraduate work was not conducted in English.  High proficiency will ordinarily be demonstrated by a TOEFL score of 100  (Internet-Based Test) or 600 (Paper- Based Test) or higher. Applicants with lower TOEFL scores who are admitted may be required to satisfactorily complete an intensive English program before beginning the LLM-LI program.  Students with lower TOEFL scores are usually required to take an English assessment test on campus before the beginning of their first semester, with a recommendation for a supplemental English language class, where appropriate.
  • Adequate Financial Resources. You must certify that you have a minimum of approximately $54,000 USD for the 2015-16 academic year. Applicants who wish to bring family members with them will need a higher amount.

Continue to apply to the LLM-Legal Institutions program.

Program Requirements

The Legal Institutions program adheres to the following guidelines:

  1. A candidate's program may be flexibly designed with the designated Legal Institutions advisor, but shall provide for at least 24 credits, including
    1. satisfactory completion of at least 12 credits in letter-graded courses or seminars in law, in addition to the credits earned in directed research; and
    2. satisfactory completion of 9 credits in course work in law or other departments approved by the Law School academic advisor (LLM-LI advisor) as related to the student's LLM-LI program.  To count towards the LLM-LI degree, courses taken in other University departments must be numbered 300 or higher.  English classes do not count towards the LLM-LI program.
  2. The LLM-Legal Institutions program is a Law School degree program.  As such, students in the program are graded using the Law School's letter grade scale, provide in Law School Rule 2.01.  A grade of C- or higher in a Law School course or seminar will be deemed satisfactory completion of a course and will satisfy program standards.  Courses taken in other University departments must be B or better to count towards the program.  The conversion to Law School grades is available at Rule 2.05.
        Law School Rule 2.01 should be relied on to determine the overall grade point average (GPA) of the student in the LLM-LI program.
       An overall Law School C average is needed for satisfactory completion of the LLM-LI program.  A course grade of D+ or below will be averaged into the GPA, but the course will not count towards the 21 credit course requirement. Directed research (Law 990) and directed reading (Law 991) courses are graded as Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory (not letter grades) and therefore are not used in calculating the GPA. The pass/fail option is not available to LLM-LI students.
  3. The candidate's program, including courses dropped and added after the initial consultation with the academic advisor, is subject to the approval of the Law School LLM-LI advisor and the Law School's Graduate Admissions Committee.
  4. Residence: Registration and physical presence as a full-time student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for one academic year with satisfactory completion of at least 24 credits is required. Exceptions to the residence requirement are permitted for participants in an executive master's program.
  5. Term for completion of program: The program is to be completed within the residence period. An extension of one semester can be granted.
  6. The granting of the degree shall be recommended to the Law School Dean on the approval of the satisfactorily completed program by the Law School academic advisor and the Graduate Admissions Committee.


If you have questions, please contact the Graduate Programs Office at the University of Wisconsin Law School:

Phone: 608-262-9120

Email: GPO@law.wisc.edu

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