Graduate Program Application Requirements


LL.M. applicants must submit the following

Applicants to the LL.M. programs (Comparative and International, Taxation, and General) must submit the following:

  1. Completed application
    2. Download the LL.M. APPLICATION in PDF format
  2. Personal statement
  3. Résumé
  4. Two letters of recommendation
  5. Certified undergraduate and law school transcripts. Transcripts must be mailed directly to the Admissions Office from your schools.

International Applicants

International applicants for whom English is not the primary language must take the TEST OF ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS).  Information is available regarding the two tests from or SMU's institution code for the TOEFL is 6660, department code 03.  There is no institution code for the IELTS.  The TOEFL or IELTS score must be reported to SMU directly.  

Application Deadline

Applications for LL.M. programs are processed on a continuous basis beginning in early December. It is in your best interest to submit your application as early as possible. Applications must be postmarked by April 1. All supporting documentation must be received by April 15. Late applications will be accepted on a space-available basis. Applications will be reviewed upon completion, and decisions will be made shortly thereafter. 

Bar Exam Eligibility

International students who wish to practice law in this country and qualify for admission to the bar in one of the states or the District of Columbia should familiarize themselves with the bar admission requirements in the particular jurisdiction where they plan to practice. Bar admission requirements vary from state to state. Some states require applicants to have a J.D. degree, and others will require only a certain number of course credits from a law school in this country.  Texas now allows qualified foreign educated attorneys who have completed an LL.M. degree to sit for the Texas Bar examination.
For complete rules governing Admission to the State Bar of Texas CLICK HERE.

For information regarding the Eligibility of Foreign-Educated Applicants and Foreign Attorneys to take the Texas Bar Examination CLICK HERE.

Application to the J.D. Program

The J.D. is the basic law degree for U.S. law students. For this reason, the School of Law does not normally consider the degree appropriate for international students already possessing basic law degrees within their home countries.  However, in a limited number of instances, international students who have graduated with distinction in the LL.M. program of the Dedman School of Law and who can demonstrate legitimate graduate study objectives for furthering their careers in their home countries may be considered for admission to the J.D. program.  These students are not required to take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT).  Admission under such conditions will normally entail an additional study of 72-87 credit hours.  Advanced credit, if any, is based upon the student’s foreign law study, not on the LL.M. credit.

Southern Methodist University (SMU) will not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, education activity, or admissions on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sex, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status.  SMU’s commitment to equal opportunity includes nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.  The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX1 Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies, including the prohibition of sex discrimination under Title IX.  The Executive Director/Title IX Coordinator may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,  Inquiries regarding the application of Title IX may also be directed to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education.




1 Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681-1688.