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We request that all LL.M. applicants thoroughly read the Admissions section of the website before applying. The list below provides a general overview of the LL.M. application requirements.

Join us in January! 

We know many students’ study plans have been changed or put on hold due to the pandemic. In light of that, for this year only we’re excited to offer a January start date for LLM candidates. Student will study in the spring (January-May) and fall (September-December) 2021 semesters, and receive their diploma in January.  

We are already expecting a number of students to join us as part of this class, so you’ll be part of an interesting cohort of students from around the world. Fletcher has offered this option to other degree students for many years, and is well-equipped to help students get settled and plan their course of study when they arrive. 

The application deadline is October 10th, with notification by November 15th. You can find FAQs about starting in January on the Admissions website.

Application Checklist

  • Application for Admission
  • Application Fee of $80
  • Official Academic Transcripts
  • Two Letters of Recommendation (a third is optional)
  • Personal Statement
  • Supplemental Essay
  • Resume
  • Official TOEFL/IELTS test scores: required of international students whose native language is not English and who have not earned a university degree where English was the primary language of instruction.
  • Evaluative Interview (optional)
  • Scholarship Application (if applicable)

Application Deadlines

Deadlines for applicants wishing to enroll in Fall 2020 are as follows:
November 10 - Early notification; non-binding
January 10 - Scholarship Priority
February 20 - Round 3

April 1 - Round 4

All supplemental materials including recommendations, transcripts, and test scores must arrive at the Office of Admissions by the application date.

For more information about the admissions process at Fletcher, please visit Fletcher Admissions or contact us at

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the LL.M. in International Law?

Fletcher's Master of Laws (LL.M.) in International Law is a post-graduate, full-time academic degree for legal professionals who wish to obtain specialized education in a particular area of international law. Fletcher's LL.M. in International Law is intended to provide a broader understanding of the context in which international law is made, interpreted, and applied, as well as the broader international and societal environment in which law is practiced. The Fletcher LL.M. Program does not offer courses in domestic U.S. law, except for those aspects of U.S. law that are particularly relevant to international law.

Will a Fletcher LL.M. degree qualify me to take a bar examination in the United States?

No. Some states do permit application to the bar by an applicant who does not hold a J.D., if the applicant has taken a minimum number of credit hours in courses offered in a J.D. program in an A.B.A.-approved law school and/or is qualified for the bar in a foreign jurisdiction. Rules for bar admission vary from state to state, and applicants interested in admission to a U.S. bar should make their own enquires.  However, credit hours earned in connection with a Fletcher-granted LL.M. degree would not, by themselves, qualify an individual to apply for bar admission in any state of the United States.

What are the qualifications for admission?

The LL.M. program is limited to students who meet at least one of the following requirements: (1) have obtained a J.D. degree from an A.B.A. approved law school in the United States; (2) have completed in a foreign country the academic (university-based) legal education required to take the bar examination in that country; or (3) are qualified to practice law (admitted to the bar) in a foreign country. Applicants will be selected on the basis of law school and undergraduate grades, legal and other professional experience, exam scores, TOEFL or IELTS scores (where applicable), and recommendations. A waiver of these requirements is granted only in exceptional circumstances.

Who is likely to be admitted to the LL.M. Program?

Admission to the program is highly selective. Successful applicants generally possess strong academic credentials, a record of professional achievement, and a demonstrable interest in international issues. Our applicants include a number of Fulbright scholars, and approximately 80% of our applicants reside outside the United States.

How do I apply for admission to the LL.M. program?

Applicants should use our online application.

What materials do I need to submit with my application?

Applicants to the LL.M. program must submit the following materials:

  • Application form
  • Application fee of $80
  • Official academic transcripts from all previously attended institutions
  • Two letters of recommendation (a third is optional)
  • Resume/CV
  • Personal statement
  • Supplemental essay
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS scores (if applicable)
  • Financial aid application (if applicable)
  • Evaluative interview (optional)

Additional details and instructions can be found with the online application form.

Do I need to submit test scores (LSAT, TOEFL, IELTS, etc.)?

Non-native English speakers will succeed in Fletcher's rigorous LL.M. curriculum only if they are fluent in English. If your native language is not English and you have not earned a university degree where English was the primary language of instruction, then you are required to take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

A minimum TOEFL score of 100 (with subscores of 25 on each section) on the internet-based test, or a score of 7.0 (with sub-scores of 7.0 on each section) on the IELTS examination, is the minimal level of English language ability required for graduate study at The Fletcher School. Proficiency in English weighs heavily in the LL.M. admissions process, and applicants whose scores are just below these scores may be required to take an ESL or Legal English course prior to enrolling. The LSAT is not required for admission to the LL.M. program.

Are students permitted to begin their studies in the spring semester?

No. The program is a full-time, one-year program that begins in late August.

How large is the LL.M. class?

Class size usually falls in the range of 15-20, ensuring that students benefit from an extremely attractive faculty-to-student ratio and are able to fully engage with Fletcher's intellectual environment and academic community.

Is work experience required for admission to the LL.M. program?

On average, applicants have two to five years of professional legal experience. We do consider applicants coming directly from undergraduate legal studies, provided that they have a demonstrated interest in international law and have excelled in their coursework. The LL.M. Admissions Committee carefully reviews each applicant's personal and professional experience to assess readiness for graduate study at Fletcher. Voluntary positions, internships, and part- and full-time experience all play a role in preparing students for study.

Is international experience required for admission to the LL.M. Program?

There is no rigid requirement as to length or nature of international experience, but because the LL.M. is focused on international law, students should have a demonstrated interest in international issues. For some students, this could mean experience living and/or working abroad. For others, a working or research environment where international issues are the focus could be sufficient. International experience includes time spent living, studying, working, volunteering, or traveling outside the applicant's home country. The nature of each applicant's international experience is assessed in the context of his or her application and professional goals.

Do you offer scholarships?

Yes. Fletcher offers scholarships to help defray tuition costs. Applicants who complete the Fletcher scholarship application are considered for scholarship aid on the basis of both need and merit. However, the pool of financial aid that we have to offer is limited, and successful applicants should assume that they may have to secure alternative sources of funding to meet all of the costs associated with the program. Accordingly, we encourage applicants to seek outside sources of funding, including scholarships and loans, as early as possible in the application process. We are unable to offer scholarships to prospective applicants until they have formally applied to the program.

Can I do an independent study project?

Yes. An independent study project consists of directed reading and/or research for credit and provides an opportunity for students to study particular issues within the discipline of international law and organizations, under the guidance of a member of the faculty. An independent study course may be used to write the required LL.M. thesis or to complete any other research project agreed to by the faculty supervisor. Independent study projects require the consent of the professor and formal approval by the Registrar's Office.

Can I cross-register for classes at other schools?

Yes. Fletcher maintains formal cross-registration agreements with other graduate schools at Tufts and Harvard universities. LL.M. students are allowed to cross-register for up to two courses outside Fletcher, one of which may be taken at Harvard Law School. Since other schools' academic calendars and schedules frequently conflict with Fletcher's, students should confirm before cross-registering that the class and exam schedules for their proposed course(s) do not conflict with required components of the LL.M. program, capstone or the Wednesday High Table luncheon series. Furthermore, if courses are taken outside of Fletcher in the final term, the Registrar's Office cannot always guarantee that the grades will be forwarded to Fletcher in time for the student to graduate.

Can I pursue a joint degree in conjunction with the LL.M.?

Yes. Students can pursue a joint degree with Fletcher's Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) program. A joint LL.M./MALD degree requires 2 ½ years (5 semesters) to complete. MALD students who wish to pursue a joint MALD/LL.M. degree must apply separately for the LL.M. program by the end of their first academic year. The five semesters of study must be consecutive. Please keep in mind that the LL.M. program is a full academic program for a complete academic year beginning in the fall. Students may not start the program in January or during the summer.

If I do a joint LL.M./MALD degree, will I be responsible for writing two theses?

No. A single thesis can satisfy the degree requirements, so long as the thesis meets the technical requirements of both degree programs.

Is the LL.M. program available part-time or during summers? Does Fletcher offer the LL.M. through long-distance learning?

No. Fletcher does offer a program through long-distance learning, which is described on the site for the Global Master of Arts Program (GMAP).