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Center for Animal Law Studies

Animal Law LLM Frequently Asked Questions


What are the application requirements?

Please see our admissions page for details.

Do I need a law degree to apply to the LLM program?

Domestic: All applicants must have earned a JD from a fully accredited U.S. institution by the start of the academic year they will begin taking courses. They need not be barred in any jurisdiction.

International: All applicants must have graduated with a law degree that would qualify them to take the professional examination to become a lawyer or judge in the country in which they earned the degree. To see the full list of qualifying degrees, go here. The applicant need not be practicing. 

When is your LLM application deadline?

The program considers applications on a rolling basis and accepts applications throughout the calendar year. However, for primary consideration for admission and scholarship support, the following dates for the submission of applications should be observed.

U.S. Applicants: 

Fall and Summer Admission: February 1
Spring Admission: September 1

International Applicants:

Fall Admission: February 1

Do I need to submit official transcripts with my application?

No. Students may submit scanned copies of their transcripts. However, all students who have been offered admission to the program must send official transcripts to the Program Director before they are eligible to begin classes.

What are the English language requirements for international applicants?

In order to be successful in our program, students must have excellent English comprehension and writing ability. Like most US law schools, our program requires extensive reading and writing on a daily basis.

If you are from an English-speaking country, have received a degree from an English-speaking school, or can submit acceptable alternative evidence of a high-level of proficiency in English, then you may speak with the Program Director to establish your fluency.

Otherwise, the minimum scores required are below.

Internet-based TOEFL: 100


Is it possible for an international students to submit their application by the deadline and send their English comprehension score after the deadline?

Yes, this is possible. The admissions committee will still review applications without proof of English proficiency. However, applicants must send in their satisfactory TOEFL or IELTS score within 2 weeks of the application deadline.

Do you require interviews for admission?

Interviews are generally not required but may be requested by the Director to gather more information about an applicant. Applicants are encouraged to visit the campus at any time to meet with faculty and staff. Please contact us if you are interested in visiting. For those who cannot visit, our Admissions Office has created a virtual tour to give you an idea of our campus.

How many students do you accept into the program?

The program is intentionally kept small (approximately 10-15 students per year) to give students the opportunity to work closely with animal law faculty and staff.

When are admissions decisions made?

Admissions are made on a rolling basis. If admitted to the program, you will be notified by email. This letter will detail the manner and time frame in which to respond and confirm your acceptance.

If I am offered admission into the program, how long do I have to accept?

Due to the considerable need for scholarship support to make the LLM program feasible for many of our applicants and the time needed to process visa applications for international students, admitted students who have been offered a scholarship will be given 10 days to accept or decline an offer of admission.

Students who have not been offered a scholarship or who have been offered financial support in the form of a tuition reduction will be given 2-3 weeks to alert the program as to their decision.

Are deferrals granted?

Deferrals may be granted on a case-by-case basis, but for no longer than one year. In those cases, a non-refundable deposit will be required. If an applicant is awarded a scholarship and chooses to defer, the scholarship will not automatically transfer. Rather, the applicant will be considered for a scholarship again for the year they intend to begin the program.

Program Costs

How Much Is Tuition?

Up-to-date tuition & additional cost information can be found on the Law School Tuition and Fees page.

How much are living expenses?

Please refer to the Law Student Living Expenses page for a general idea of living expenses in Portland. Applicants may also refer to the Campus Housing page for the costs of living on campus.

What scholarship opportunities are available?

The Center for Animal Law Studies strives to minimize the cost of the Animal Law LLM program to make this unique, high-quality legal education a possibility for all accepted students (both U.S. and international). CALS is pleased to be able to offer scholarships and tuition reduction on the basis of need and/or merit.

What proof of financial ability do international students need to demonstrate to process their visa?

Whether they have been awarded a scholarship or not, international students must demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to study under an F-1 visa in the United States. The exact number changes slightly from year to year as tuition and other costs rise.

In recent years students awarded a full scholarship had to demonstrate that they had approximately $16,000 USD in funding to meet the F-1 visa requirements.

Students who have not been awarded a full scholarship had to demonstrate that they had approximately $31,000 USD for non-tuition expenses and approximately $47,000 USD for tuition expenses, for a total of $78,000 USD.

The amount that students who have received a tuition reduction or partial scholarship will have to show can be reduced by the amount of their award. 

For all international students, this financial burden can be met with the student being sponsored by family members, friends, or an employer.