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LLM Application Process

The LLM program is limited to students who have:


  • obtained an LLB (or its equivalent) from a foreign country;
  • completed, in a foreign country, the university-based legal education required to take the equivalent of the bar examination in that foreign country;
  • qualified to practice law in a foreign country; or
  • the equivalent thereof as determined by the LLM Admissions Committee.


In admitting students, the LLM Admissions Committee will consider, among other things, outstanding academic performance, professional experience, and quality of the degree-granting institution.

Fall application deadline: April 15

Spring application deadline: October 15


The fall application cycle for admission to the LLM program is from September 15 to April 15 for enrollment the following August. Although we encourage early applications for an early decision, we continue to process applications received on a rolling basis until approximately April 15. The spring application cycle for admission to the LLM program is from August 1 to October 15 for enrollment the following January. We encourage applications for spring admission as soon as possible in the application cycle.


We recommend that you start your application to the Moritz LLM program early. Part of the application process necessitates that you work with third parties, whether they be your recommenders, or institutions that will need to provide documents or scores to complete your application. Moreover, it may often take up to three months to obtain a student visa, if needed, once you have been officially accepted to the program.


Please read the instructions for each section carefully. All required materials must be received before you will be considered for admission to the Moritz LLM program. If you have any questions about the application process, please contact the Office of International & Graduate Affairs at (614) 292-1241 or

  1. Orientation: Spring admit students’ orientation is considerably shorter and less comprehensive due to timing and a smaller cohort. Spring admit students interested in specific programs and services such as journal participation, LLM-JD transfer, student health insurance coverage, and Student Bar Association, among others, shall request one-on-one meetings with International & Graduate Affairs staff.
  2. Academic Considerations: Spring admit students will take the two foundational and mandatory courses (LLM Legal Analysis & Writing and U.S. Legal Systems), during their second semester as these courses are only available during the fall semester.
  3. Courses: While spring admit students have access to academic counseling by the Assistant Dean for International and Graduate Affairs at any time, they will be assigned a faculty resource advisor in the fall semester. Spring admit students also might face limited course selection in the spring semester due to the late registration date. However, spring admit students will have priority in course selection for the fall semester.
  4. Student Organizations: Spring admit students are welcome to join Moritz student organizations in January, although they will then transition (in fall) to the new board/membership/planning. Spring students may serve as Student Bar Association representatives but will only be able to serve during the fall semester as that is when the term starts.
  5. International Commercial Arbitration LLM Moot Competition: Spring admit students will not be able to participate as the competition in Washington D.C. takes place during the spring semester. The teams are selected through an internal competition the previous semester and prepare throughout the fall.
  6. Summer break: Spring admit students will have a long summer break between the two semesters (May-August). If on an F-1 student visa, students will only be able to work on campus during the summer (up to 40 hours a week), but are not permitted to do any work off-campus (unless registered in the public externship program and pay summer tuition to work). Spring admit students on F-1 visas are not permitted to apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for summer work as they will not have fulfilled the academic requirements to apply. U.S. permanent residents and U.S. citizens have no work restrictions.
  7. Hooding: Moritz’s graduation (hooding) ceremony only takes place once a year, in May. Spring admit students can choose to participate in the May hooding after their first semester at Moritz, or in May the following year (one semester after they completed graduation requirements). Students can still get a diploma in either May or December, however, there is no Moritz hooding ceremony in December.
  8. Housing: Students that are moving to Columbus from out of town should note that less housing options are available before the start of spring semester as most students have already secured their housing for the entire academic year. Please see Housing Guide for more information.
  9. Cohorts: Spring admit students will have a smaller group or cohort of students since the fall cohort is generally much larger as that is when the majority of LLM students choose to start the program and when the academic calendar begins.
  10. LLM-JD transfer: Students that start the program in January are welcome to apply to transfer to the JD program, but please note that the timing makes the process more difficult.
  11. Scholarships: All LLM students, regardless of the semester they begin the program, are eligible for the same scholarship ranges. Significantly different scholarship ranges apply for students who qualify for in-state tuition as supposed to students who are paying out-of-state tuition. Scholarship amounts are rolled-over for students who choose to enroll in a 3rd semester, regardless of their enrollment term.
  12. Writing Sample for Externships: All LLM students have the opportunity to apply for the Public Externship Program, which allows students to gain practical legal experience during the academic year. In order to apply for this program, LLM students should work with the Assistant Director to create a US-style resume and should also be prepared to submit a 5-page writing sample along with their Externship application. The writing sample should demonstrate the student’s ability to research and analyze legal issues. As spring admit students have not yet taken LLM Legal Analysis and Writing, it is also acceptable to submit a shorter writing sample, such as a case briefing.

There is a $50 application fee for international students and a $40 application fee for U.S. citizens or permanent residents; both are nonrefundable. You must pay this application fee by credit or debit card in U.S. dollars at the time of online application submission. (You can request an LSAC fee waiver code from our office by sending an email to

It is required to apply online through LSAC and use their credential service (there is a fee for this service). Applications will not be reviewed prior to receipt of all transcripts.


In addition, if an applicant is admitted and decides to matriculate at OSU, official transcripts (and English translations) from all previously attended academic institutions should be sent either electronically or in sealed envelopes directly by the applicant to LSAC to be evaluated.

Because the LLM program requires large amounts of analytical reading and writing, as well as being able to participate in very interactive classes, we require that you have sufficient knowledge of the English language to succeed in your program of study. Candidates whose native language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).


NOTE: To accommodate applicants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, The Ohio State University will accept Duolingo, the IELTS Indicator and the TOEFL internet-based test Home Edition from any international student applying for spring 2022 or autumn 2022 admission. All Duolingo test takers are required to take an English placement exam upon arrival to campus. TOEFL Home Edition and IELTS Indicator test takers are required to take an English placement exam upon arrival unless they qualify for a TOEFL or IELTS score exemption.


  • TOEFL Home Edition (minimum score 80)
  • IELTS Indicator (minimum score 6.5)
  • Duolingo (minimum score 105)


TOEFL iBT and IELTS will also be accepted following Ohio State’s existing English proficiency policies.


TOEFL ITP will not be accepted unless a student takes this exam as part of Ohio State’s American Language Program.


Applicants who are permanent residents or citizens of or who have completed a degree in one of the following countries are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement: Australia, Belize, the British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Guyana, Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Scotland, the United States and Wales.


Minimum Acceptable Total Scores

TOEFL: 550 paper-based; 213 computer-based; 80 IBT

IELTS/IELTS Indicator: 6.5

Duolingo: 105


You must have taken the test within the past two years. Please arrange to have your TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo scores sent directly from the testing center to LSAC. Information and registration materials for the tests can be obtained by contacting or

You are required to submit two letters of recommendation in support of your application for admission.


The LLM Admissions Committee is especially interested in two aspects of your letters of recommendation: how well your recommenders know you, and what those people tell us about you. Recommenders should address topics such as:


  • performance in independent study or in research groups
  • intellectual independence
  • research interests
  • capacity for analytical thinking
  • ability to work with others
  • ability to organize and express ideas clearly
  • drive and motivation


Please visit the LSAC website to see the requirements for letters of recommendation and instructions for how to submit these letters. Alternatively, letters can be sent to the Office of International & Graduate Affairs (address below). If the recommenders can send the letters directly to the Office of International & Graduate Affairs via email, they can do so by using the office email address (


Please keep in mind it is your responsibility to ensure that your recommenders have submitted their recommendations by the deadline. Applications will not be reviewed prior to receipt of all letters of recommendation.

All applicants must submit a resume that contains the following:


  • all post-secondary educational information;
  • all relevant past and present work experience;
  • volunteer, service and/or extracurricular activities with which you have been involved in the past three years; and
  • a list of any honors and/or awards you have received.


You must submit your resume as an attachment to the LSAC online application. Remember, this is an opportunity to give us additional insight into what you will contribute to both the LL.M. class and the Moritz community. If you are unsure how to format a U.S.-style resume, feel free to use this resume template as a guide.

Your personal statement is especially valuable to the LLM Admissions Committee. It should provide a thoughtful reflection on your reasons for seeking an LLM in the United States and on your longer-term career and personal goals.


Please address the following questions in your personal statement (2 pages max):

  1. What are your reasons for seeking an LLM degree in the United States? How will an LLM degree further your professional and/or personal goals? What do you hope to gain from your experience as an international student?
  2. Given your unique background, what specific contributions are you prepared to make to the Moritz community, both in and out of class? How will your membership in the LLM class enrich our community of scholars?


You must submit the personal statement as an attachment to the LSAC online application.

All applications for fall admission that are completed and received by February 1 will receive priority consideration for scholarship awards (September 1 for spring applications). There is no separate scholarship essay required. All applicants will be automatically considered for all applicable scholarships. Applications received after the priority deadlines will be considered if funding allows.


Moritz LL.M. Scholarship
The Moritz LLM Scholarship is awarded to outstanding LLM applicants who will contribute to the intellectual diversity and strength of the LLM program. All applicants, regardless of citizenship, or country where their LLB was earned, are eligible for this scholarship. This scholarship awards outstanding applicants up to $20,000.


Scholarship for the Americas
Lawyers who have obtained their LLB degree in law from Central or South America will be automatically considered. The Scholarship for the Americas is merit-based and offers two (2) 40% tuition waivers per year. We are looking for candidates who demonstrate strong academic aptitude, work experience, and who will contribute to the intellectual diversity and strength of the LLM program.


Scholarship for Africa
Lawyers who have obtained their LLB degree in law from African countries will be automatically considered. The Scholarship for Africa is merit-based and offers two (2) 40% tuition waivers per year. We are looking for candidates who demonstrate strong academic aptitude, work experience, and who will contribute to the intellectual diversity and strength of the LLM program.


Scholarship for Europe
Lawyers who have obtained their LLB degree in law from European countries will be automatically considered. The Scholarship for Europe is merit-based and offers two (2) 40% tuition waivers per year. We are looking for candidates who demonstrate strong academic aptitude, work experience, and who will contribute to the intellectual diversity and strength of the LLM program.


Scholarship for Southeast Asia
Lawyers who have obtained their LLB degree in law from Southeast Asian countries will be automatically considered. The Scholarship for Southeast Asia is merit-based and offers two (2) 40% tuition waivers per year. We are looking for candidates who demonstrate strong academic aptitude, work experience, and who will contribute to the intellectual diversity and strength of the LLM program.


China Excellence Scholarship
Lawyers who have obtained their LLB degree in law from China will be automatically considered. The Scholarship for China is merit-based and offers two (2) 50% tuition waivers per year. The scholarship seeks to support students who show promise through a record of community service, academic or professional achievement, leadership and/or overcoming hardship.


Scholarships Offered with Other Partners


The Moritz College of Law offers half tuition waivers to COLFUTURO award winners from Colombia. Applicants must apply directly to the Moritz LL.M. program. COLFUTURO award recipients must provide proof of their award to the Moritz College to be awarded the tuition waiver. This award is limited to four applicants per application cycle. For full details, visit the COLFUTURO website.


Fulbright Grants
The Moritz College of Law offers partial tuition waivers to Fulbright award winners, effectively lowering the tuition amount to Ohio resident rates. Applicants must apply through the Fulbright program in their home countries. Often applications must be received one year in advance of planned matriculation. For full details, visit the U.S. State Department’s Fulbright Program for Foreign Students website.


Financial Aid Offered by the OAS through the Rowe Fund Program
The Rowe Fund grants interest-free student loans to citizens from Latin America and the Caribbean countries to help them cover a portion of their educational costs in universities across the United States.  With this supplementary support, of up to $15,000 per student, the OAS through the Rowe Fund program continues promoting diversity, cultural exchange, and integration in the Americas.  The Rowe Fund’s website ( offers a short informative videoFAQs, brochure, and a financial guide listing other financial resources for studies abroad.  For more information about scholarship opportunities and study abroad programs, visit:


Once the Office of International & Graduate Affairs has received all of the documents required for admission, the LLM Admissions Committee will schedule a Skype interview with the applicant and make a decision within two to four weeks.


A. Provisional Admission (for students seeking F-1 or J-1  visa)
Once an applicant has properly submitted all of the documents required for admission, a provisional admittance decision will be made. If it is favorable, a "recommended for admission" email will be sent to the prospective student from The Ohio State University Graduate and Professional Admissions Office. Attached to this email will be an Affidavit of Financial Support form. This form must be completed and submitted with appropriate documentation to the Graduate and Professional Admissions Office.


B. Official Notice of Admission (for students seeking F-1 or  J-1 visa)
Once a student's financial status has been ascertained, the Graduate and Professional Admissions Office sends a letter of Official Notice of Admission, along with an I-20 or DS-2019 if applicable, to the student. The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services requires that international students requesting an I-20 for an F-1 visa or a DS-2019 for a J-1 visa provide an address outside the United States (see application form). The student will use the I-20 or DS-2019 to obtain a visa.


C. Acceptance Statement and Fees (for all students)
Accompanying the Official Notice of Admission is an Acceptance Statement notifying the newly admitted student that he or she must pay a nonrefundable $25 acceptance fee and a nonrefundable $200 tuition deposit. The tuition deposit will be credited to the LLM student's tuition charges for the incoming semester. Receipt of the fee/deposit guarantees a seat in the entering class.


D. Final Transcript (for all students)
New law school graduates must submit a final transcript to LSAC.

The application and supporting documents become the property of The Ohio State University and may not be returned to the applicant nor forwarded to another institution. All application materials are retained for one year.


An applicant who wishes to reapply for admission for the following year may do so by submitting a new online application and application fee. Transcripts and letters of recommendation may be carried over to the new year, but the applicant will be required to provide the LLM Admissions Committee with an updated resume and personal statement.


Admitted applicants who wish to delay enrollment into the LLM program may request a deferral of admission. Such requests must be in writing (email is acceptable) and should outline the reason(s) for the request. Deferral requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the LLM Admissions Committee. An applicant who is granted a deferral must pay the $200 tuition deposit in order to hold his/her seat for the coming year and will be asked to provide updated information prior to February 1 (fall applications) and September 1 (spring applications) of the following year.

The Ohio State University is committed to building a diverse faculty and staff for employment and promotion to ensure the highest quality workforce, to reflect human diversity, and to improve opportunities for minorities and women. The university embraces human diversity and is committed to equal employment opportunities, affirmative action, and eliminating discrimination. This commitment is both a moral imperative consistent with an intellectual community that celebrates individual differences and diversity, as well as a matter of law.


Discrimination against any individual based upon protected status, which is defined as age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status, is prohibited. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination. Title I and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 provide equal employment opportunities and reasonable accommodation and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in education programs and activities. Equal access to employment opportunities, admission, educational programs, and all other university activities is extended to all persons.


For further information, contact the Office of Human Resources at 1590 North High St, Columbus, OH 43201-2190-1174, (614) 292-1050 or visit You can access the Cleary Act Annual Crime Report for The Ohio State University.

Applicants with any documented disability who may require special assistance are urged to contact the Office for Disability Services (ODS). This office coordinates academic support services and accommodations for individuals who have special needs as a result of a permanent or temporary disability. Individuals eligible for services include, but are not limited to, those with attention deficit disorder, mobility, hearing, visual, speech, psychiatric, or learning disabilities. Academic accommodations, auxiliary aids, and support services are individualized and based on disability documentation, functional limitations, and a collaborative assessment of needs. As ODS is the designated campus office to determine appropriate accommodations and auxiliary aids for students with disabilities, documentation of the disability for eligibility determination should be submitted to ODS as early as possible in the admissions process.


For more information about these support services and accommodations:


Office for Disability Services
098 Baker Hall
113 W. 12th Ave
Columbus, Ohio 43210
001-614-292-3307 (V/T)
001-614-429-1334 (VRS)
001-614-292-4190 (FAX)

Use this checklist to be sure you have completed all necessary steps to apply for admission to the Moritz College of Law LLM Program at The Ohio State University.


Please submit the following items to LSAC:

  • Completed electronic application
  • Nonrefundable application fee ($50 for international students and $40 for U.S. citizens or permanent residents) or fee waiver code
  • Official transcripts (and English translations) in sealed envelopes from all previously attended academic institutions
  • TOEFL/IELTS scores sent from the testing center
  • Resume 
  • Personal statement
  • Two letters of recommendation, on letterhead and with original signature, in sealed envelopes from the recommender


All items must be received by the deadline.