The information below is specific to our in-person Animal Law LLM program. For details regarding our online Animal Law LLM program, go here.
In-Person Animal Law LLM Program Length and Curriculum
The Animal Law LLM degree requires 26 credit hours to complete. Program requirements can be completed in as few as two semesters. U.S. students have a total of two and a half years to complete the degree. Under U.S. Homeland Security regulations, international students must ordinarily complete the degree within 18 months and contact the International Students and Scholars Office well in advance if an extension is needed. The in-person Animal Law LLM program admits students for the Fall term only. International students without a background in U.S. law must start in the Fall and take an Introduction to U.S. Legal Studies course, which is offered in an online format that both precedes and runs into the beginning of regular Fall courses.
Check out our full catalog of animal law course offerings and review the courses that will be offered in a given year. If a specific area of interest is not represented, a student may request to design an individual research project under the supervision of a faculty member or develop a reading group with fellow students under the supervision of a faculty member.
Degree Requirements for U.S. Students
To obtain the Animal Law LLM degree, U.S. students must earn a minimum of 26 credits with a cumulative GPA of 2.50 or better. U.S. students who have not taken an Animal Law survey course at the JD level must take Animal Law Fundamentals (3 credits). At least 18 of the 26 required credits must come from the animal law curriculum. Assuming seats are available, U.S. students may request to dedicate up to 8 credits from non-animal law courses to the Animal Law LLM degree.
Degree Requirements for International Students
To obtain the Animal Law LLM degree, international students must earn a minimum of 26 credits. Unlike U.S. LLM students, however, international students are graded on a “credit / no credit / honors” basis. As such, they do not receive letter grades (e.g., A, B+, C-, etc.) on assignments or for their work in any of their courses. However, they may receive an “HR,” or Honors, designation for courses in which they would have earned a B+ or higher.
International students without a background in U.S. law must take an online Introduction to US Legal Studies course, which both precedes and runs into the beginning of regular Fall courses. International students must also take Animal Law Fundamentals regardless of whether they have taken a similar course in their home country. Finally, at least 18 of the 26 total credits must be come from the animal law curriculum. Note that Introduction to US Legal Studies (2 credits) and Animal Law Fundamentals (3 credits) both count toward this 18-credit requirement. Assuming seats are available, international students may request to dedicate up to 8 credits from non-animal law courses to the Animal Law LLM degree.
In addition to the requirements listed above, LLM students must register for a minimum of 5 credits each semester, except for the Summer term and the student’s final term if fewer than 5 credits are needed to complete the degree. If a U.S. student wishes to take fewer than 5 credits in any semester that is not the Summer term or their final semester, they must request permission to “underload” from the Animal Law Program Director. Note that a student must be registered for at least 5 credits each term to be considered a full-time student. Being less than a full-time student may impact a student’s ability to defer federal loan repayments, so students should plan accordingly.
The law school is on the semester system, with 13 weeks of classes and two weeks of exams in each semester. The Fall semester usually begins the week before Labor Day and ends the third week of December; please note that international students may begin taking the Introduction to U.S. Legal Studies course, which is required for all international students who have not studied law in the U.S., two weeks before the regular Fall semester start date. The Spring semester begins in early January and ends in May, with a one-week spring break in March. For specific dates, see the school’s academic calendar.
For more information, please contact the Animal Law Program Coordinator, Danielle Lopez, at firstname.lastname@example.org.