Graduate Admissions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Eligibility

Can I apply if I am still in school?

LLM, E-LLM, JSD, and APC: Yes, provided you will complete all necessary requirements for the credential establishing eligibility before the start date of the NYU program (January for part-time Spring entry or August for Fall entry). 

If you are interested in the JSD and currently enrolled in an LLM or other advanced law degree program, we strongly recommend you be able to submit a transcript recording partial academic results with your application. 

MSL: No. The MSL in Taxation is designed for accountants and financial professionals who have at least three years of work experience in substantive tax issues.

Am I eligible to apply to NYU’s LLM program if I do not hold a degree listed on LSAC’s website?

The vast majority of our applicants hold at least a first professional law degree that meets the eligibility requirements listed on LSAC’s website. 

If you have questions regarding your credentials as they relate to eligibility, please contact us and provide us with details about your prior legal education and professional qualifications.

Can I apply to the LLM if I completed my law degree by distance education?

Law degrees that establish eligibility for NYU’s LLM program must be accredited by the relevant authority and approved for access to the legal profession in the jurisdiction. Mode of instruction is not a factor in this determination, however, most of our applicants attend law school in person.

Can I apply to the JSD if I do not complete NYU’s LLM?

Yes, provided your law degrees are accredited by the relevant authority, they may serve to establish eligibility. Please refer to Eligibility and Standards of Admission for more information.

Can I apply to the JSD if I do not have an LLM after earning my first law degree?

An LLM or other advanced law degree is required. Master’s degrees in other disciplines typically do not qualify as advanced law degrees, although they may establish eligibility for doctoral programs in other divisions of NYU.

Students who hold a US JD and who want to engage in our intellectual community in furtherance of a career in legal academia may wish to consider NYU Law’s fellowship options (see the bottom of the page) instead of the JSD program.

Can I apply to the MSL if I don’t have the required years of professional experience?

Before applying, candidates must have at least three years of experience working on federal, state or local tax issues. This experience must take place after earning the required educational or professional credentials that establish your eligibility for the MSL.

Do people who already hold an LLM apply to the APC in Taxation?

Yes. However, if admitted, they will be required to complete prerequisites to gain access to more advanced classes, if applicable.

How to Apply

How do I request an application?

All applicants must apply online by the relevant deadline.

What is the deadline?

Deadlines vary by program and your desired entry semester. Please refer to Application Deadlines and Forms for more information.

Our deadlines are arrival deadlines. Please be sure you submit your online application by the deadline and send your supporting materials so that they arrive to LSAC by the deadline. 

We strongly encourage you to submit materials to LSAC well in advance and at least two weeks before the relevant deadline.

May I apply to more than one program?

No. Candidates may apply only once, and to only one program of study, during the Graduate Division’s annual application cycle (September to June). Refer to Degrees and Programs for full information about our offerings. 

There is no separate application process for the Advanced Certificate in Law & Business which is offered by the NYU Stern School of Business in conjunction with any of our LLM programs.

Can I send materials to NYU instead of using the LSAC service?

No. All candidates—including those intending to apply only to NYU—must purchase the required services and send their materials to LSAC for processing. This requirement includes the International Transcript Authentication and Evaluation Service for candidates who were educated outside of the US.

The Law School does not offer vouchers for the cost of the required LSAC services.

I have both a foreign law degree and a US JD. What deadlines and procedures should I follow?

All candidates who hold or are completing a US JD should follow the policies and procedures for domestic applicants, including using the application form and abiding by the deadlines for those who hold a JD.

How can I check the status of my application?

For materials that are mailed to LSAC, we encourage you to use a delivery service with tracking information so that you know when they arrive.

You can log into your LSAC account to check on the status of your law school report.

You can access the Applicant Status Check to see the materials that we have received from LSAC.

Also, we will send you an email when your application and required materials are forwarded to the review process. 

What if my LSAC report is not ready by the deadline?

You should submit the online application by the deadline. Do not wait for your report to be ready in order to apply.

Be sure your materials arrive to LSAC by the deadline. Since we’ll have your application already, we’ll receive your LSAC report as soon as it is released. You can follow our receipt of your materials via the Applicant Status Check.

Is the LSAT required to apply to programs offered by the Graduate Division?

No.

Can I apply for an application fee waiver?

Applicants who are unable to use a credit card to pay the $85 NYU application fee, or for whom the application fee would present a financial hardship, should contact the Office of Graduate Admissions

Can I transfer to NYU’s LLM program?

There is no transfer application process for our LLM program; all candidates must apply in the normal application process. If admitted, a student may make a request to learn before accepting the offer whether credits completed prior to the start of NYU’s program are eligible for transfer per the established policy.

May I request an interview?

No. Applicants may not request an interview as a part of the application process; they are encouraged to submit all relevant information in writing as a part of the application (see Addenda). 

An interview may be required in April for some JSD applicants. This interview is by invitation only.

Transcripts

What types of transcripts are required?

Official transcripts are required from all post-secondary (e.g. university, law school, etc.) institutions you have attended. 

Note that a transcript is required from an institution even if you did not earn a degree from that school or the classes from that school appear on another school’s transcript. For example, a transcript is required from the host institution for courses completed while on exchange. The same is the case for courses completed at one school for which transfer credit was recognized by another school. 

View the country-by-country guide for more information about what type of documentation is accepted from different institutions.

What makes a transcript or other education credential “official”?

Schools should send the required credentials directly to LSAC in a sealed envelope with stamp/signature across the flap of the envelope. 

What if my credentials aren’t in English?

A translation into English is required.

Some institutions issue transcripts in the native language and in English. School-issued translations are acceptable, but the school also must send the documentation in the original language to LSAC.

If your school issues transcripts in the native language only, request that your school send an official transcript directly to LSAC and request a second one for translation purposes. The translation along with the appropriate processing form can be mailed separately from the transcript to LSAC.

What if I’m having trouble getting my credentials during the pandemic?

We know your university or law school may have altered its transcript procedures as a result of the pandemic. You should contact LSAC if you have questions about complying with their submission requirements for your credentials. All academic records processed by LSAC will be forwarded to NYU for review.

To certify compliance with eligibility requirements, we evaluate official academic transcripts for admitted applicants prior to matriculation annually. The Law School reserves the right to request official transcripts other than those it receives from LSAC and may withhold a student’s ability to register for classes and/or the conferral of a degree until such materials are received (even if the NYU degree is otherwise earned).

English Proficiency Testing

Do I have to take an English test?

The TOEFL or IELTS is required if you earned your degree in a language other than English, or your program was taught in English but located in a country where English is not the primary language.

Can I take any English test?

No. The approved tests are the internet-based TOEFL (iBT) and the Academic Version of the IELTS. 

Please see below for information about testing and pandemic accommodations.

What if I do not meet the minimum score requirements on the IELTS or TOEFL?

In order to be considered for admission, candidates must at least meet the minimum score requirements (see English Proficiency) on one test administration. 

Candidates who do not meet these minimums are advised to retake an exam and report the results to LSAC. We review all scores that are reported, even if you take the test and/or we receive the score after the deadline. 

We look to the score from the most recent test administration as the best indicator of a candidate’s current proficiency. We do not combine score results from different test dates when evaluating proficiency.

If I meet the minimums, will I increase my chances of admission if I retake the exam?

No. We expect candidates to meet the minimums in order to be considered for admission. 

If you already have met the minimums, retaking the test is expensive and unnecessary, and you risk obtaining a lower score.

For how long are TOEFL and IELTS scores valid?

Scores from both of these exams expire two years from the test date.

  • If your score will expire during the application cycle (September through June), it is recommended that you submit an updated score.
  • If your score will expire before the annual application cycle opens in September, you will need to retake one of the two exams. 
Can I send my scores after the deadline?

All applicants are advised to take the TOEFL or IELTS as early as possible and no later than mid-November so that there is time for electronic delivery of their scores to LSAC by the deadline. 

For applicants who do not have a score on file by the deadline, we will receive an update from LSAC as soon as one has been processed. However, we do not review applications until all required materials are received. 

Please see below for information about testing and pandemic accommodations.

Do you accept the home-based versions of the TOEFL or IELTS because of test center closures during the pandemic?

Tests are currently available at testing centers in many countries around the globe. Applicants are strongly advised to register for and take one of the approved tests at a test center, if there is availability and it is safe to do so where they are located. 

We will accept scores up to two months after the deadline for tests administered at a test center. Please be sure to enter the test date of the appointment you have scheduled on the application form. If you schedule an appointment at a test center after submitting your application, please email us to share the date so that we know when to expect your official score report.

If you submit scores from a home-based version of these exams, you should arrange for LSAC to receive the score report by the relevant deadline. Results from these versions of the exams may be used during the review process. However, we reserve the right to require an official score report from a test administered at a center before issuing a decision and/or matriculation at NYU, if admitted.

Can I apply for a waiver of the test requirement?

Typically, we do not grant waivers of the English test requirement. 

If you are required to take a test based on where you received your prior training, but have completed an advanced degree in English in an English-speaking country, your transcript from that degree may be submitted in place of a score initially in order to satisfy application requirements. However, we reserve the right to request an official score from one of the approved tests before issuing a decision; many candidates in this circumstance decide not to risk potentially delaying a decision.

Use of English in a professional setting does not qualify one for a waiver of the test requirement.

If you have questions about the English test requirement, contact us.

Recommendations

Can recommenders submit their letters by email?

No. We accept letters through LSAC’s service only. However, you will be able to make arrangements for electronic or mailed submission of the letter when registering your recommender. 

We encourage you to review the submission process with your recommender so that we are sure to receive the letter you intend for that recommender to send to NYU.

What if I don’t have an academic recommendation letter for application to the LLM?

We require only one letter and we ask that it be an academic letter. Given that you are applying for graduate legal studies, someone who knows you best as a student is particularly relevant to the review process. Choose someone who knows you best and can comment with specificity about your academic skills, personal qualities and preparedness for graduate study.

Very narrow circumstances exist for which there is a limited exception to this requirement, typically, when such a significant amount of time has passed that recommenders are no longer able or available to provide a letter. Applicants who find themselves in this position should submit an addendum explaining why they were unable to comply with the academic letter requirement, and obtain at least one recommendation from another source.

How do I choose recommenders?

It partly depends on what aspect you’re hoping the recommender will highlight about you. Choose the person who knows you best and can comment with specificity. If you are choosing between the substance of the letter and its author, choose substance.

Letters should illuminate new, relevant information (or provide insight about your activities and accomplishments) that is not evident elsewhere in your application.

If I have the option to submit more letters, should I?

Meeting the requirements for your program is the only expectation we have. Applications are sent to the review process once the required number of letters and other materials have been received.

Sending more is not necessarily better. We provide the option to submit additional letters because we recognize there may be important perspectives about applicants that are most appropriate coming from another person and that are not addressed in detail elsewhere in the application materials.

For example, many LLM applicants who have work experience opt to include a professional recommendation to complement the required academic one. Others decide to present more about their professional work in other materials, like the personal statement or résumé/CV.

What if my recommendation arrives after the deadline?

Applicants should be sure that all required materials arrive to LSAC by the relevant deadline. We suggest use of the electronic submission method, if facing a timing issue.

All processed materials are reported and will be considered, if received before a decision has been rendered.

Scholarships and Financing

What is the cost of attendance?

View the student expense budget

How do I make sure I get considered for a scholarship for the LLM program?

Apply for the LLM scholarships for which you are eligible when you file the admission application form. No separate aid application is required, although US JDs should note the priority deadline for scholarship consideration.

What steps do I take to ensure I have the financing I need for the LLM?

All applicants are strongly encouraged to investigate all available financing options throughout the application process, and international students also should explore options in their home countries. You may find information about external sources of funding helpful in your search. 

Most of NYU’s scholarships are merit-based awards; the criteria for these preclude consideration of a student’s financial circumstances. They may be combined with external sources. 

US citizens and permanent residents will need to file the FAFSA to qualify for federal loans, provided they will register for six or more credits in a given semester.

Do you offer student loans?

Many of our students consider borrowing funds in order to meet the cost of attendance. While NYU is not a lender, view more information about loans and lenders

Only US citizens and permanent residents are eligible for federal loan programs. 

Does NYU offer funding for the JSD?

All students admitted to the JSD program receive full funding for four years to support their residency. Funding is subject to satisfactory progress in the program and may be combined external sources of aid. 

Review and Decisions

What is the most important part of an application?

Each part of the application provides important information about you. 

Keep in mind the various materials are assembled together and reviewed as a whole, painting a larger picture of you as a candidate. Think about how the different pieces fit together. For example, consider how your choice of recommender may impact your personal statement.

View more information about our admission standards

What is the typical profile of students who are admitted to the LLM program?

Admission is highly selective. No single profile or set of factors ensures an applicant will receive an offer. We do not apply inflexible rules about grade averages or rankings.

Admission is based primarily on prior legal studies. Evidence of significant professional accomplishment, factors that demonstrate interest in and preparedness for graduate study at NYU, and English language proficiency are also considered.

Will I increase my chances if I apply early?

No. Our holistic, comparative review process does not give preference based on date of application or when an applicant’s materials are first reviewed.

Applicants with a US JD applying for full-time LLM programs are advised to comply with the priority deadline for scholarships, if they wish to be fully considered for an NYU institutional award. (There is no separate scholarship priority deadline for applicants with foreign education credentials.)

My grading system is different from that of American schools. How will my grades be evaluated?

Admission officers and faculty who have extensive experience evaluating candidates from foreign law schools comprise the review committee. Grades are evaluated in the native system and scale.

If there is information that you believe will be helpful when evaluating your academic credentials, you may attach an addendum to your online application to explain.

Do you have different standards for your LLM specializations?

No. Admission standards are the same for all of our LLM programs and specializations, and for part-time and full-time study. 

You should choose the one program you most wish to pursue, if admitted.

When can I expect a decision?

Decisions are not finalized in any particular order; they are released throughout the cycle. Typically, we begin to release decision in January for the full-time LLM program and the process continues through the spring semester (January to May).

View more information about Decisions and Timing for all graduate programs.

Can I get a decision earlier if I make a request?

Unfortunately, given our review process, we are unable to expedite decisions in individual cases. Please note the timing of decisions before applying, and plan accordingly.

We recognize that applicants to NYU may apply to other law schools that operate on a different calendar. We regret any inconvenience our decision timing may cause. 

The LSAC Member Law School’s Statement of Good Admission and Financial Aid Practices addresses the topic of commitments as they relate to providing sufficient time for admitted students to consider a range of offers, and many law schools’ historical use of response deadlines that occur April 1 or later.

Does having prior involvement with the criminal justice system, such as an arrest, charges, or conviction, or answering “Yes” to any of the other Character and Fitness questions on the application, preclude me from being admitted?

No. NYU Law strives to ensure that the students in each incoming class bring with them a diversity of experience. All eligible individuals, including those with previous criminal convictions and other prior involvement in the criminal justice system, are encouraged to apply.

Please be advised that in addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every US jurisdiction. Bar examiners consider prior criminal legal history as part of the character and fitness evaluation. This may include charges, convictions, arrests, and other forms of involvement in the criminal justice system.

Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. The National Conference of Bar Examiners provides addresses for all relevant agencies and a Guide to Bar Admissions Requirements.

Applicants who plan to seek New York Bar admission may petition the State bar for an “advance ruling” on the effect of a felony or misdemeanor conviction upon their character and fitness evaluations. Applicants seeking such a ruling are encouraged to contact the Appellate Division of the New York State Unified Court System in which you reside; if you do not reside in New York State, please contact the Attorney Admissions Office of the Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department.

NYU Law will use information shared in the Character and Fitness section of the application to advise and support admitted students. The Law School’s Office of Career Services and Public Interest Law Center will provide counseling to students who have questions on how a criminal legal history may impact a legal career.

Programmatic Information

Who is in your LLM class?

We usually welcome about 450 full-time LLM students annually, around 330-340 of whom completed their prior legal training in more than 50 jurisdictions around the world.

The vast majority of full-time students who hold a US JD enroll in the LLM in Taxation program; most of the international students pursue their interested in the Master of Laws or one of our other specializations.

In recent years, just over fifty percent of the full-time class identify as female.

Are all of your programs available on a full-time and part-time basis?

Many of our LLM programs are available on a full-time or part-time basis. The following are only offered as full-time programs:

  • LLM in Corporation Law
  • LLM in International Business Regulation, Litigation and Arbitration
  • LLM in International Taxation
  • LLM in Legal Theory
  • JSD

The following are exclusively part-time programs:

  • Executive LLM in Taxation
  • APC in Taxation
  • MSL in Taxation
Do you offer online courses?

Yes. Part-time students may complete requirements by online instruction in the following tax programs:

  • LLM in Taxation
  • Executive LLM in Taxation
  • APC in Taxation
  • MSL in Taxation

Please see information about residency and online study before applying.

I am an international student. Will I be given visa information?

Yes. Admitted students in full-time programs will be able to start the visa application process with NYU’s Office of Global Services after reserving a seat in the incoming class. Visit their site for a video overview of the process.

Does NYU offer resources for students with families?

Yes. Eligible family members receive visa services to enter the US, there are a few family options in Law School housing, and NYU offers services and resources such as the childcare subsidy. 

Can I work if I am a student in a full-time program?

Full-time students are expected to dedicate their time to studies. The Law School permits up to 20 hours of work per week. International students are subject to visa limitations regarding employment.

Can I take more courses than required for the LLM?

Yes. Full-time students can take up to 30 credits without being charged additional tuition (the degree requires 24).

How many credits may I take as a part-time student? Are classes offered in the evening?

Part-time students may register for up to six credits per semester. Students who are working full-time, however, are strongly advised to limit their course load to four or five credits per semester. 

Not all classes are offered after regular working hours, and all final exams must be taken at the scheduled time. If a class does not meet in the evening, it is expected that part-time students adjust their work schedules to meet all regular class attendance requirements and to take final examinations at the scheduled times. Students should not register for classes without clearing the examination schedule with employers.

If I start the LLM on a part-time basis, can I change to full-time status?

Students are permitted to petition to change to full-time status, but may be charged the per-credit tuition rate throughout their studies.

Does the JSD program have a residency requirement?

Yes. All doctoral students must be in residence in the New York City area for the first three years of the program (September through June). Residency in these years of the program cannot be waived. 

With permission, a student can take up to five years to complete the requirements for the degree. While not required to be in residency during this period, students remain eligible for doctoral funding in the fourth year, if in residency.