Graduate Admissions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I request an application?
All applicants must apply online. To receive an informational brochure please either fill out our online request form or call us at (212) 998-6060.
May I apply for a fee waiver for the Graduate application fee?
The $85 application fee is in addition to the service fees charged by LSAC and is payable by credit card only on the LSAC website. Applicants who are unable to use a credit card to pay the application fee or for whom the application fee would present a financial hardship should contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at The application fee is non-refundable and will not be credited toward tuition if an applicant is offered admission.
What are the Graduate application deadlines?
Visit application deadlines for Spring 2021 and Fall 2021.
Do I have to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)?
An English language proficiency test is required for all applicants whose first law degree program was not taught in English, or for applicants whose law degree program was taught in English but whose degree-granting institution is located in a country where English is not the primary language. Such applicants must submit an official score result from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Applicants may choose either the internet-based TOEFL (iBT) or the academic version of the IELTS. The Committee does not favor one of these exams over the other, and no exams other than one of these are accepted. Applicants are encouraged to take either test as early as possible and no later than November.
What is the minimum TOEFL or IELTS score required?

In order to be considered for admission, the Committee requires that applicants who take the TOEFL iBT achieve a minimum total score of at least 100, a minimum score of 26 on the reading and listening subsections, and a minimum score of 22 on the writing and speaking subsections. For applicants who take the IELTS, the Committee requires a minimum overall band score of at least a 7, a minimum score of 7.5 on the reading and listening subsections, and a minimum score of 7 on the writing and speaking subsections. For both exams, JSD applicants must present scores substantially higher than the minimum.

Applicants whose primary language is not English must have strong English language proficiency in order to participate productively and successfully in all aspects of the graduate program. Simply meeting the minimum TOEFL or IELTS standards is not necessarily sufficient and will not ensure academic success. In addition to the English language exam, interviews for English proficiency may be required; any such interviews would be conducted in the applicant’s home country.

For how long are TOEFL and IELTS scores valid?
The Educational Testing Service (ETS) and IELTS reports scores are valid for up to two years.
What is the Committee's policy regarding English language testing and the submission of transcripts with respect to COVID-19?

Test Availability

Applicants are strongly advised to register for and take one of the approved tests at a test center, if at all possible. These tests are currently available at testing centers in many countries around the globe. For applicants unable to submit an official score from a test administered at a center by the application deadline, the Committee on Graduate Admissions will accept the scores after the deadline. Please be sure to enter the test date of any appointment you have scheduled on the online application form. If you schedule an appointment after submitting your application, please email us to share the date on which you plan to take the test so that we can expect your official score. Score reports received after the deadline will be added to your file and included in the Committee’s review. When reported to LSAC, results from versions of these tests not administered at a test center will be included in an applicant’s law school report and may be used by the Committee in the review process. However, the Committee reserves the right to require from any applicant the submission of an official score from one of the approved exams administered at a test center before issuing a decision and/or matriculating at NYU, if admitted. Applicants are advised to choose the semester for which they apply accordingly.

Transcript Availability

Official transcripts must be submitted to LSAC. Applicants should contact LSAC if they have any questions regarding the submission of their transcripts. Transcripts received and processed by LSAC will be forwarded to NYU in your law school report and used by the Committee on Graduate Admissions in its evaluation of your application. To certify compliance with eligibility requirements, the Committee evaluates 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 degree is otherwise earned).

How are applications evaluated? How competitive is admission to the Graduate programs? Do the admissions criteria vary from one Graduate program to another?

LLM and Executive LLM Programs

Admission to the Graduate Division for all LLM programs and the Executive LLM in Taxation is highly selective and is based primarily upon prior legal studies. Standards of admission are equal across all specializations and for both full-time and part-time study. Last year, the Law School received more than 2,700 applications and enrolled a full-time LLM class of about 450 students. Although there are no inflexible rules about class rankings or grade point averages, those admitted have excellent law school records and strong academic and/or professional recommendations. Evidence of significant professional accomplishment is also taken into consideration.

Admission to the LLM or E-LLM program does not guarantee or assure admission to the JSD program.

JSD Program

The JSD is NYU School of Law’s most advanced law degree. Only a very small number of students who demonstrate outstanding academic promise are admitted to JSD candidacy. A student is admitted to the program only if he or she meets the application requirements and shows potential for completing a dissertation of publishable quality that will make a significant scholarly contribution to the field in which it is written. While the JSD Committee exercises some preference for those who complete the LLM degree at NYU, it fully considers all applicants on the basis of their application materials regardless of provenance when finalizing admissions decisions. Typically, all NYU LLM graduates must have attained a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.50.

APC in Taxation Program

Academic admission criteria are comparable to those of the LLM and E-LLM in Taxation programs. Prospective students must demonstrate professional competence and career advancement.

May I request an interview as part of the application process?
No. The Committee on Graduate Admissions does not interview applicants. The Committee encourages all applicants to submit all relevant information in writing with the application.
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 to NYU Law?

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.

What courses does NYU School of Law offer beyond those needed to fulfill program requirements?
Course listings and descriptions are posted on the Office of Academic Services website.
My grading system is different from that of American schools. How will the Committee know how to evaluate my grades?
The Committee on Graduate Admissions is comprised of faculty and admission officers who have extensive experience evaluating grades from foreign law schools using different grading systems.
What is the Law School Admission Council's Service?

All prospective students applying to the Graduate Division for any program are required to use the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) Credential Assembly Service. All applicants are strongly advised to register for the Credential Assembly Service four to six weeks in advance of their first application deadline and to supply required materials to LSAC as early as possible.

The LSAC Credential Assembly Service simplifies the application process by centralizing the collection of application materials, and distributing them in an electronic report to all law schools to which an applicant applies. Applicants benefit from using this service by submitting the required application materials only once to LSAC. NYU’s receipt of the required materials electronically from LSAC allows for quicker and more efficient processing for all applicants.

Applicants with domestic education credentials (those who hold, or are earning, a JD from a law school in the US or Puerto Rico) must purchase the Document Assembly Service.

Applicants with foreign education credentials (those who earned their first law degree outside of the US) must purchase both the Document Assembly Service and the International Transcript Authentication and Evaluation Service.

All applicants are required to use the LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service. Applicants must comply with LSAC requirements and policies regarding letters of recommendation. Applicants should advise their recommenders that Graduate Admissions may contact the recommender directly if further information is necessary.  Letters may be sent to LSAC electronically or on paper, depending on the recommender’s preference.

I am a foreign student; will I be given visa information?
Yes. Admitted students in full-time programs will receive information about applying for a visa from NYU's Office of Global Services (OGS).
Can I apply to more than one NYU School of Law Graduate degree program simultaneously?
No. Prospective students are permitted to apply only once, and to only one program of study, during an annual application cycle (September to June). Refer to Degrees and Programs for full information about our offerings.
Can I work while enrolled in a full-time Graduate program?
Full-time students are expected to dedicate their time to studies. Subject to visa limitations, the Law School permits 20 hours of work per week. 
How many credits may I take as a part-time student?
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. Please make sure to review the course listings and schedules that are posted on the Office of Academic Services website for further information on course availability. Not all classes are offered after regular working hours, and all final exams must be taken at the scheduled time. If a required class or a desired 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 enter a part-time LLM program may I transfer to full-time status?
After enrolling and spending at least one semester in a part-time program, LLM students may petition for a change of status to full-time; such requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
What Graduate programs are only offered on a full-time basis?
The LLM in Corporation Law, International Business Regulation, Litigation and Arbitration, International Taxation for Foreign Students, and Legal Theory are only available on a full-time basis. The JSD program is also offered only on a full-time basis. Some courses for specializations offered on a part-time basis take place during the day only, and certain required courses for some programs are not offered in the evening.
How long from the time my application is complete may I expect to receive a decision by mail?

Applications for all degree and certificate programs are not reviewed until all required materials and the application fee have been received. Applicants currently enrolled in non-US law schools that use a final examination result (such as a final state examination) or a final degree classification as a measure of academic performance may not receive a decision until those results are received by the Committee on Graduate Admissions.

After filing an application and submitting materials, applicants are encouraged to check the status of their application periodically by visiting the Applicant Online Status Check.

The review process takes time. The Committee provides thorough consideration to all applicants and follows an on-going process of reviewing and re-reviewing the vast majority of the applicant pool. Most candidates’ applications require significant comparison with the applicant pool as a whole before a final decision can be reached. For many candidates, the Committee is not able to reach a decision until they have a clear picture of that year’s entire applicant pool.

In an effort to communicate in a timely fashion with applicants, all decisions regarding application to the Graduate Division will be released electronically. Applicants may expect an e-mail from when their decisions have been released. An official offer of admission to any degree or certificate program of the Graduate Division of NYU School of Law is a mailed letter sent to the address stated on the application. Decisions other than admission will only be released electronically and will not be mailed.

Full-time LLM Program

Decisions regarding the full-time LLM program will be communicated as they are made. Note that, while applications are sent to the Committee on Graduate Admissions in the order in which they are completed, decisions are not necessarily made in the order in which applications are first reviewed. Foreign-educated applicants who apply for entry in the Spring semester will receive decisions no later than mid-October. Foreign applicants who do not submit complete materials by the Spring deadline will be moved to consideration for entry in the Fall semester. The majority of foreign-educated applicants who apply for entry in the Fall semester will receive decisions no later than early May, and most applicants with a US JD will receive decisions no later than early June. Applicants who do not supply complete materials to LSAC by the deadline may not receive decisions until after all other applicants have been notified.

JSD Program

JSD applicants who supply all materials required to complete their files by the February 1 deadline may expect a decision by late April. Interviews may be required of some applicants in April. If necessary, applicants must make themselves available for an interview shortly after being contacted by the Office of Graduate Admissions. Interviews may be conducted at the Law School, via videoconference, or by telephone; the mode chosen will depend on the applicant's circumstances and the needs of the Law School.

Part-time LLM, E-LLM, MSL, and APC in Taxation Programs

Decisions for Spring and Fall semester entry will be made as soon as possible following completion of an applicant’s file and typically no later than about two weeks before the start of each semester.

Is the LSAT required for admission to an LLM program?
I am currently enrolled in an LLM program at another law school; may I transfer credits to an NYU School of Law LLM program in New York City?
Please view the LLM Student Handbook on the Office of Graduate Affairs website for an explanation of transfer credits.