LL.M. Tax

The law school has a long tradition of strength in the area of federal taxation. The graduate taxation program, for full-time or part-time students, is a comprehensive, advanced degree program designed for attorneys intending to specialize in tax practice. It focuses not only on technical mastery of the tax laws but also on wider issues of tax and fiscal policy. Most of the courses in the curriculum provide survey-level instruction in subjects typically not addressed in J.D. level tax courses. In addition, advanced courses develop in-depth, practice-oriented expertise.

Courses are taught by the law school's faculty and by adjunct professors and lecturers who are experienced, practicing tax specialists in Dallas area law firms and corporate law departments. While some courses are offered in the evening, students will need to take courses during the day to satisfy all program requirements or to take all desired courses.

Accelerated Tax LL.M. Opportunity for Students Interested in Tax Practice
Students can  earn both a J.D. and LL.M. (in Taxation) in only seven semesters of full-time study in our accelerated Tax LL.M. Program.
This dual degree program does not change the requirements for either degree, but it does allow students to count a limited number of classes toward satisfying both degrees. Read More

For degree requirements

See Tax LL.M. degree requirements.

Admission Criteria

Admission to this program is by selection. An applicant for admission to the LL.M. (Taxation) degree program must hold a J.D. degree from an ABA accredited law school. Students may attend either full- or part-time, but admission for the full time program is effective for the fall term only.

Application Procedure

Applicants must include with their applications a letter stating why they are interested in entering the graduate degree program, two letters of recommendation, and certified transcripts from both their undergraduate and law schools. Applications for the full-time program beginning in the fall term should be received by the admissions office by April 15 of the year of intended enrollment.
Applications for the part-time program beginning in the fall term should be received by the admissions office by April 15 of the year of intended enrollment, and for the part-time program beginning in the spring term by December 1 of the year preceding enrollment.

Specialized Courses

The following listing illustrates the diversity and depth of courses offered at the Dedman School of Law in taxation and related fields. Applicants should note, however, that the law school does not offer all of these courses and seminars each term or even each year. Other related courses not listed below may also be offered each year on a one-time only basis.
  • Advanced Corporate Taxation
  • Corporate Planning
  • Corporate Taxation
  • Criminal Tax Fraud
  • Directed Research in Taxation
  • Estate, Gift, and Income Taxation of Trusts and Estates
  • Estate Planning and Practice
  • Federal Tax Procedure I and II
  • International Tax I
  • International Tax II
  • Legal Accounting
  • Partnership Taxation
  • State and Local Taxation
  • Tax Accounting
  • Tax Practice and Professional Responsibility
  • Taxation and Fiscal Policy
  • Taxation of Deferred Compensation
  • Taxation of Professional and Closely Held Corporations
  • Taxation of Property Dispositions
  • Wills and Trusts

Scholarships and Financial Aid

The Robert Hickman Smellage, Sr. Memorial Fund provides scholarship assistance to a limited number of full-time graduate students. There is not a separate application for the Smellage scholarship. Your LL.M. application serves as your scholarship application.

Additionally, the SMU GRADUATE Financial Aid Office is available to assist U.S. students in obtaining student loans. 

2019-2020 Tuition, Fees, Estimated Expenses 


Tuition $ 49,404
Fees $   6,358
Living Expenses $ 19,350
Miscellaneous/Health Insurance $   3,000
TOTAL $ 78,112