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Living in Columbus


You will be eligible to apply for Ohio State’s “Graduate, Professional and Non-Traditional Aged Housing”. The costs of on-campus housing may be higher than off-campus, but it is more convenient to live on-campus. Visit the website of the University’s Housing Office to see all details related to locations, costs, and steps and deadlines for applying for graduate & professional housing. There is high demand for on-campus housing, so please apply as soon as possible.


If you decide you want to look at off-campus housing instead, our Office of Off-Campus & Commuter Student Services is a great resource:


View our Housing Guide here for more details about on-campus and off-campus housing.

Columbus is just as dynamic as its coastal counterparts, with a vibrant arts, food and music sensibility.  Home to many immigrants, and to one of the largest public universities in the country, Columbus is also diverse.  What distinguishes us is a blend of sophistication and sincere friendliness, which we believe is our greatest asset.  Learn more about this fun and affordable city here.

Transportation is easier with a car. However, most students do not buy a car and manage fine without one. Ohio State students may ride on the city buses at no charge with their student ID card.

Many LL.M. students have brought young children with them to Columbus and have been very pleased with the local childcare options.  Attendance at a particular school is determined by residence, so you should plan to investigate schools in tandem with researching apartments; the LL.M. program staff can help with this. There are many activities available for families, including public parks and pools, weekend activities, the Columbus Zoo, and the excellent Center for Science and Industry (COSI).  Families are often included in our program outings, because they are an important part of the Moritz family as well.

Visa & Immigration

International students at The Ohio State University are subject to U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations. Prospective non-immigrant students applying to enter this institution from abroad, or who are already in the U.S., are personally responsible for complying with DHS regulations.  For questions on getting a visa, students should rely on information from Ohio State’s Office of International Affairs (OIA).

After you have been recommended for admission to the Moritz LL.M. program, you must complete steps to receive official admission from the university.  The first step is for the university’s Professional Admissions Office to review your financial documents, to assure your ability to pay tuition and living expenses.  If your documents are complete and the funds adequate, they will generate an official notice of admission and your I-20, which will be sent to you by courier.   You can then use the I-20 to secure your visa.

The Ohio State University recently updated the vaccination requirements for all incoming students. All new students attending the Columbus campus, both international and domestic, must comply with these requirements. Details can be viewed here (refer to Component C: New International Student).

Career Opportunities

Training in American law and legal institutions will aid international lawyers involved in an increasingly global legal and economic market, particularly in arranging international transactions. The training offered in the legal reasoning process employed in American law, unfamiliar to lawyers outside the United States without such academic training or experience, will broaden career opportunities for LLM graduates. This degree is an important and widely recognized credential for professional advancement throughout the legal world.

Yes, however, the LL.M. program is full-time and rigorous. Students should be cautious before over-committing themselves with additional work of more than 10 hours per week.

Students with F-1 visas may apply for OPT (optional practical training) to work up to one year in the U.S. in a field related to their studies.

Most employers who recruit at the Moritz College of Law are primarily interested in interviewing students in the JD program. LLM students are eligible to interview only with employers who request LLM students.

Foreign-trained LLM students are encouraged to pursue graduate study at Ohio State for intellectual growth, exposure to the US legal system, and career advancement. Long-term job opportunities for foreign attorneys in the U.S. are limited and job search, therefore, is a year round effort. Most frequently reported sources of employment are self-initiated contact with employers.

The staff of the International and Graduate Affairs program offers assistance to LLM students with their job search strategies. This includes resume and cover letter guidance, networking, and interviewing skills. Students must be proactive in their job search and begin early. Program staff can offer advice on how to proceed.

Program Costs and Living Expenses

Estimated costs of the program are listed under Tuition and Fees. Tuition has risen in recent years and applicants should expect a slight increase every year. Note that applicants who have resided for a significant period of time in the state of Ohio may qualify for in state tuition, please read more here.

Please plan for additional costs for the school year for the purchase of books and supplies, health insurance, housing and food, and other miscellaneous expenses. Please see estimated costs for each of these items under Tuition and Fees. If accepted, students must show the ability to pay for both tuition and these estimated expenses (please see Visa & Immigration section below).

Tuition is assessed and paid by semester. Tuition and fees are due one week before the start of classes.  Information on payment methods can be found here. Please visit the Bursar’s website for information on TOPP, the tuition option payment plan.

Yes. Please see Scholarships page for information on scholarship types and application deadlines.

U.S. citizens and permanent residents may apply for federal financial aid.  Foreign students attending on an F-1 or J-1 visa do not qualify for federal financial aid.  You can learn more here.

U.S. citizens or permanent residents may qualify for reduced tuition if they are Ohio residents.  Follow the step-by-step instructions listed here to determine if you meet the criteria.

All Ohio State students are required to purchase Ohio State Student Health Insurance and are automatically enrolled in the Comprehensive Plan which includes medical, prescription, dental, and vision coverage. Very few exceptions are made to this policy. If you receive health insurance through a government sponsorship, or believe that you may be exempt from this requirement, you will need to complete a waiver request form.  Learn more about this requirement here.

About the Program

The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law Master of Laws (LLM) Program draws upon the excellence in teaching and research at the best law school in Ohio and one of the best public law schools in the U.S. The LLM program is designed for foreign law graduates and foreign lawyers who wish to advance their legal education and careers in a stimulating academic environment.


The LLM program features a career-oriented curriculum with combined offerings of doctrinal courses in major legal practice areas and experiential learning courses. The program equips LLM candidates with essential lawyering skills and real-life work experience that meet the demand of the global legal market. LLM students also have the opportunity to sharpen their legal analysis, research, and writing skills through a broad array of seminar courses and participation in a number of journals.


A flexible degree, the LLM program allows students to design their curriculum that best suits their career goals. Students may select from over 120 courses in all major areas of U.S., transnational and international law, and pursue a general curriculum or a specialized curriculum in six academic concentrations.


The LLM program also offers courses that foreign-trained lawyers are required to take to qualify to sit for the bar exams in the U.S., such as Ohio, New York, California, and Washington D.C.

As long as you will have completed your degree by the time you would begin your LLM studies at Ohio State, you may be considered for admission. You must submit academic records of all coursework completed at the time you apply. If admitted, you will be required to submit final transcripts and a degree certificate, showing that your degree was awarded, before starting your first semester at the Moritz College of Law.

The LLM class is purposely designed to be a moderate size – approximately 30-35 students, allowing us to provide exceptional support services and personal attention, as well as individualized course and career counseling.

We offer a general LLM as well as a custom LLM designed to allow students to choose courses to meet their interests. Students interested in a specialization can earn a concentration certificate in one of the following areas (at least 12 credit hours required):

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Corporate Law
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Employment and Labor Law
  • Intellectual Property and Technology Law
  • International and Comparative Law

Students who are U.S. permanent residents, living in the Columbus area, may attend the program part-time over a two-year period. Students attending on an F-1 or J-1 visa must complete the program within one year.  The Moritz LLM program cannot be completed as a distance learning program.

Most students begin the program in August and complete the full-time degree in May the following year. It is possible to begin the program in January and graduate the following December. Students who begin in January will take the two required courses for LLM students in the fall semester.

The Fall semester classes begin at the end of August and end early December. The Spring semester starts the second week of January and ends around the middle of May. Contact if you need further information on our law school's academic calendar.

Yes, our LLM program offers a 3-semester option for international students. Incoming LL.M. students are eligible to enroll in the 3-semester option at the beginning of their admissions process or during the first semester of the 2-semester program. If a student plans on enrolling in the 3-semester option, they will have to complete at least 30 credits of courses (3 semesters of 10 credits per semester for full-time status) to complete their degree. The student will receive the same LLM degree as a student who is enrolled in the 2-semester option, even though the 2-semester option only requires 24 credits. Additionally, the cost of the LLM for the 3-semester option is greater than the 2-semester option. You will still be charged for the full-time course load each of the 3 semesters.


For international applicants:

  • June 1 for Fall admission
  • October 15 for Spring admission


For domestic applicants (U.S. citizens; U.S. permanent residents; non-F1/J1 visa):

  • July 15 for Fall admission
  • December 15 for Spring admission


We encourage you to start your application for the Moritz LLM program early, especially to meet the deadline or priority dates for scholarship application. In addition, 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.

The Moritz College of Law makes admission decisions on a rolling basis, until seats in the class are filled.  We encourage students to apply early, to allow adequate time for document preparation and visa processing.

We commit to having a decision within six to eight weeks; however, most decisions are made in a shorter timeframe.


Any student who applies to start the LLM program as of Fall 2015 will be eligible to apply to transfer from the LLM program to the JD program at The Moritz College of Law without taking the LSAT. The program will be very competitive, but students who are admitted will be able to transfer all of the credits where they receive a B grade or above to the JD program (except the two mandatory LLM courses: US legal systems and LLM Legal writing). We welcome all of our LLM students to consider applying for the transfer program during the Fall semester of their LLM program here at Moritz.

One-year deferrals are granted on a case-by-case basis.

Full instructions are found on our Application Instructions page.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete 24 credit hours to graduate.

Students may take up to 30 credit hours with permission from the assistant dean for international and graduate affairs.

Writing a thesis is not required, and most students choose instead to take additional courses, often concentrating courses in a field of particular interest.

Each student meets in early summer via Skype with the assistant dean for international and graduate affairs to design his/her individual schedule.  They will work together to ensure that courses planned will provide both a broad introduction to U.S. law and legal theory, as well as advanced training in specialized areas of the law that are relevant to the student’s planned career and interests.

Students may enroll in both first-year and upper-class courses, including two of the clinics (mediation and legislation), as well as in the public externship program.

There are two:  U.S. Legal Systems and Legal Traditions; and LLM Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing.

Moritz does not accept transfer credits in the LLM program. Students currently in another LLM program may apply to the Moritz LLM program, but must take the required 24 credits to graduate.

English Programs

Applicants who wish to improve their English skills before beginning the LL.M. program can attend Ohio State’s excellent American Language Program (ALP).  ALP offers three 12-week terms: autumn, spring and summer, with nine levels of instruction.  You can also opt for an intensive seven-week summer course. 

Bar Exam Information

Several states in the U.S. permit eligible foreign-educated law graduates and lawyers to sit for their bar exams. Review the National Council of Bar Examiners’ Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements for a snapshot of each state’s bar admission requirements. For specific advice and information, please contact Moritz’s Assistant Dean of Graduate and International Affairs.


Many LLM students attending Moritz’s LLM program choose to take the New York Bar Exam, the Ohio Bar Exam, the California Bar Exam, and the DC Bar Exam. Our program allows LLM students to take courses on all subjects tested on the New York bar exam as well as in other U.S. jurisdictions. This is an advantage since these courses not only allow foreign-trained students to meet the course requirements to qualify to sit for these bar exams, but also lay important foundations that help them prepare ahead of time for the bar exams. 


View a summary of bar exam eligibility requirements for New York, DC, California, and Ohio here.

Contact Information

You are welcome to contact us directly with any questions you may have:

LLM Program
International and Graduate Affairs Office
Moritz College of Law
The Ohio State University
55 W. 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH  43210  USA