FAQs for All LLM Programs

FAQs for All LLM Programs

Campus Tours

Can I Visit Campus?

If you are visiting Chicago and would like to visit campus, please contact the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. If you are unable to visit in person, Virtual Tours of the Law School campus and nearby Chicago area are available to watch on our website.


Application Process

Am I eligible to apply to your LLM programs?

Applicants to the general LLM and LLM in International Human Rights Programs must have a first degree in law (e.g., LLB) from a university outside of the United States with comparable requirements as Northwestern’s, or a JD from an ABA-accredited law school. Additional LLM eligibility guidelines by country are also available from LSAC.

Tax Program applicants must have a JD from a U.S. law school, or a first degree in law from their home country.  Current second year law students may also apply to the joint JD/LLM in Tax Program.


How do I apply?

All applications must be submitted through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) online application service. Application instructions and a link to the online application can be found on the apply page for the General LLM, LLM IHR, and LLM Tax programs. 


Can I apply to complete the program online, part-time, or start mid-year?

All of our graduate programs are residential.  We do not offer any online programs. There is no part-time, evening program, or mid-year entry for our General LLM and LLM in International Human Rights Programs.  We do offer a part-time Tax LLM program.


When are the application deadlines?

Applicants can apply through LSAC starting September 1, 2023. Please check the chart below for application deadlines for the Fall 2021 admissions cycle:



Application Deadline

General LLM 

January 15, 2024

LLM in International Human Rights (LLM IHR)

January 15, 2024

Two-Year JD for International Lawyers

February 15, 2024

Tax Program

June 1, 2024


Do you accept late applications?

Provided that the application is available on the LSAC website, you are welcome to apply after the deadline. Please know that priority for review and decisions will go to those who submitted their applications by Northwestern Law’s application timeline. Additionally, you will not have the opportunity to complete an online video interview.


What should I include in my application?
Please see the Application Checklist for your program for the most up-to-date application requirements.


English Proficiency (TOEFL/IELTS)

Is the TOEFL or IELTS required for admission? If so, what are the TOEFL codes for ETS?
Yes, applicants who are not native speakers of English should take the internet based (iBT) TOEFL or IELTS examination. Scores are valid for up to two years after the test date. Official score reports must be sent from the testing agency directly to LSAC LLM Credential Assembly Service. 

What is the minimum recommended score for the TOEFL or IETLS examination? Do you accept TOEFL MyBest Scores?
The minimum score for the internet-based exam is 100. We do not accept MyBest Scores from the TOEFL exam. The minimum score for the IELTS exam is an overall 7.5. If your score does not meet these requirements, we still encourage you to apply. If admitted, you may be required to enroll in LEAF, our summer Legal English program. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Scores, IELTS Indicator, TOEFL ITP Plus, TOEFL Essentials or Duolingo.

Will you accept TOEFL iBT Home Edition scores? What about the IELTS Indicator?
We strongly prefer applicants sit for exams at a testing center. However, we will accept TOEFL iBT Home Edition scores. Applicants submitting a TOEFL iBT Home test will be required to submit an online video interview to complete their application. We do not accept IELTS Indicator scores. 

How long are TOEFL and IELTS scores valid?
Scores are valid for two years after the test date. If the score will expire after applying, but before the LLM program begins, applicants must complete an online video interview to confirm that the score still accurately reflects current language abilities

How can I request an English Language Proficiency Exam waiver?
TOEFL or IELTS waivers are granted on a case-by-case basis and are generally reserved for international students who are native English speakers or students who have completed four or more years of post-secondary study at a strictly English-speaking institution.

Additionally, please note that students who receive a waiver are not eligible for extra time on exams and tests, whereas students who do submit a language proficiency score do receive this service.

Please contact the Admissions Office to learn more about the waiver request process, which includes participation in an online video interview as part of your application.



Tell me more about admissions interview?
Northwestern encourages all General LLM and LLM-IHR applicants to conduct an interview as part of the admissions process.  Interviews are conducted entirely online and can be done at your convenience. Interviews for Tax Program applicants are invitation-only.

Our interview platform will give you the opportunity to do as many practice questions as you wish prior to beginning the official interview.  We encourage you to take advantage of the practice questions in order to get comfortable with the platform.


Can I interview before I’ve submitted my application?
LLM online video interviews can only be completed after you have applied.  You will receive an email message with information about how to access the interview platform within one week of submitting your application.


I indicated that I did not intend to interview on my application, but have changed my mind. What should I do?
You must write to our office at admissions@law.northwestern.edu and indicate that you want your application to be held until you have completed your online video interview.


Can I interview multiple times?
Applicants are not allowed to interview more than once per cycle, unless otherwise indicated by the Admissions Office. 


What should I wear for the interview?
Treat the online interview similar to a job interview, so dress professionally and upload a copy of your resume.




What visa will I need to attend Northwestern Law?
International students will need either an F-1 Visa or a J-1 Visa to enter the United States, though most students enter under the F-1 status. It is your responsibility as an international student to apply, secure, and maintain your visa status while a student at Northwestern Law. The Office of International Student and Scholar Services (OISS) has many valuable resources for admitted students throughout this process and while you are on campus as a student at Northwestern Law.



Are deferrals granted?
One-year deferrals are granted on a case-by-case basis. Historically, the Committee has granted a deferral for compelling reasons, such as unforeseen hardships or extraordinary opportunities. The admitted student must (1) pay their initial $750 seat deposit that holds their seat in the entering class to which they have been admitted and (2) submit a written request outlining the reasons for seeking deferred admission. If the deferral is granted, a second deposit of $750 will is required. Both deposits, totaling $1,500, are non-refundable and will be applied towards the first tuition bill.

Scholarships are not deferred. Deferred applicants will be reconsidered for a scholarship in January of the year of matriculation.