Graduate Tax Program

Required Curriculum

The LLM program in International Taxation is limited to students who are graduates of law schools outside of the United States. There will be considerable interaction, however, between students in this program and those in the Graduate Tax Program who are concentrating in international taxation.

General Course Requirements:

All International Tax Program students are required to take Introduction to US Law, a non-tax course that is designed to introduce foreign lawyers to US legal concepts. Introduction to US Law is a class that is offered in the two weeks before the regular fall term begins. An additional summer class called Introduction to US Legal Practice will also be held concurrently with Introduction to US Law. Both can count towards the NY state bar examination eligibility requirements for foreign-trained attorneys. Students may be allowed to waive out of these 3 credits of summer courses depending on their prior legal training and experience. Waiving out of these courses reduces the total number of credits required for the degree from 27 credits to 24 credits. However, students who waive out of the introductory courses should note that the required course Corporate Tax for ITP typically begins meeting during the second week of the Introduction to US Law course, a week prior to the start of the fall semester.  We do this so that students have the US tax background they need to start their other classes. We based this on feedback from past students.  

Of the 24-27 credits needed to graduate, students must take 17 credits in the required courses listed below. The remaining 7 credits may be satisfied by either tax or non-tax courses.

New York Bar exam

Due to changes in the section 520.6 eligibility requirements for the NY state bar exam (which began affecting test-takers in July 2013), we successfully petitioned the NY State Dept. of Education to lower the number of tax credits required from 20 to 17 in order to allow students to take additional courses which are required to be eligible to take the NY state bar examination. Many students ask if it is possible to pursue this degree while taking the 12 credits of coursework required for the New York bar examination. It is, though these students must take 2 extra credits to accomplish this--29 in total. This entails taking the three credits of required summer coursework, and averaging 13 credits in both the fall and spring semesters.  Beginning in 2018-2019, students are required to meet an additional skills and values competency requirement under section 520.18 of the bar admission rules. This requirement need not be fulfilled in order to sit for the bar exam, but must be fulfilled in order to gain admission to the bar. Many students in the ITP have worked for one year or more as an attorney prior to the LLM, and this work will often fulfill this requirement under "pathway 5." It is also possible to fulfill this section 520.18 requirement by working for six months following graduation in a "law office" under "pathway four."  Questions about pathways four and five are addressed in an FAQ provided by the court on pages 15-18. Additionally, the bar requires applicants to complete 50 hours of pro bono work and also pass a character and fitness evaluation. We provide assistance to students seeking to find pro bono opportunities. 

Required, but waiveable courses (held prior to the first semester)

  • Introduction to US Law (2 credits); and
  • Introduction to US Legal Practice (1 credit)

Required Courses (These cannot be waived)

  • International Tax I & II (4 credits); and
  • Corporate Tax for ITP Students (4 credits, often meets several times in the week before the start of the first semester)
  • Taxation of International Business Transactions (3 credits); and
  • Tax Treaties (4 credits); and
  • One of the following policy courses: Comparative Tax Policy Seminar (2 credits) or International Tax Policy Seminar (2 credits) or Tax Policy and Public Finance Colloquium (4 credits)

Some of our courses are available online, but generally full-time students are very limited in which ones they can take by rules set by our law faculty, the NY bar examiners, and the USCIS. (For those students studying on a visa.)  The 2020-2022 academic years did allow for more online courses to be taken, but we do not expect this regulatory flexibility to continue beyond spring 2022.  Again, if you are taking the NY bar exam or are studying on a visa, there may be additional restrictions. Specifically, the NY bar does not consider online courses to count towards eligibility for taking the bar examination (aside from spring 2020 through spring 2022). Additionally, foreign-educated students should consult with OGS to determine the effect of online classes on their visa status. Prior to fall 2020, students in F visa status can only take a single online class up to a maximum of three credits, and must clear any online class they take with the Director of the Graduate Tax Program. Students on a J visa historically could not apply any online courses towards their degree. Stay tuned for communications from our Office of Global Services for any updates on this issue.