Please note that the information on this page is specific to our online Animal Law LLM Program. For frequently asked questions regarding our in-person Program, go here.
Applying & Admissions to the online Animal Law LLM program
Domestic: All applicants must have earned a JD from a U.S. institution by the beginning of the academic term they will start taking courses. They need not be barred in any jurisdiction.
International: By the start of the term they will begin taking courses, 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.
Please see our admissions page for details. Please note that applicants must bear a degree that allows them to practice law in their home country by the start of the online Animal Law LLM program.
Oftentimes, the letter of recommendation comes from a current or former employer, professor, or colleague. In any case, the most helpful letters come from individuals who know the applicant well and can attest to their interest in animal law and ability to thrive in our program. Letters should be written to help the Admissions Committee evaluate a student’s academic capacity, ethical character, writing and research skills, and professional ability as a lawyer. Letters for international applicants should discuss their ability to study in a U.S. law school and facility with English, if known.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org before they are eligible to begin classes. Students who will be applying close to the beginning of the semester are advised to secure these ahead of time.
In order to be successful in our program, students must have excellent English comprehension and writing skills. Like most U.S. law schools, our program requires extensive reading and writing on a daily basis. Applicants can meet the English proficiency in one of two ways:
1) if English was the primary language of their legal education and the official language of the country in which the university is located or if the university is accredited by a U.S. regional accrediting agency; or
2) a minimum required IETLS score (8) or internet-based TOEFL score (100).
Yes, this is possible. The admissions committee will still review applications without proof of English proficiency. However, applicants must send in their satisfactory IELTS or TOEFL score within two weeks of the application deadline. Those who do should note that this may reduce the time they have to accept or decline an offer of admission.
Interviews are generally not required but may be requested by the Program 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 a feel for the campus.
Because the program is online and asynchronous, the number of students is not capped at any specific number.
Applicants will receive an admission decision within approximately two weeks after the application deadline. Please see our admissions page for application deadlines.
If offered a scholarship, an applicant must accept or decline the offer within approximately two weeks. The letter of admission will state how long the applicant has.
Program Costs & Scholarship Opportunities
Up-to-date tuition & additional cost information can be found on the Law School Tuition and Fees page. The full program is 26 credits for U.S. students and 27 credits for international students. Please note that tuition increases every academic year by approximately 4%. New rates go into effect at the start of each summer. As such, students in the online Program should expect a tuition rate increase at least once during their time in the Program.
The Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS) strives to minimize the cost of the online 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 scholarship support to well-qualified applicants. Depending availability of funds, these scholarships may take the form of a full or partial award. Candidates who submit their applications by the deadline are automatically considered for all scholarship support we offer. There is no separate application for scholarship consideration.
All eligible students should submit the FAFSA anytime after October 1of the year before they intend to start law school. Having a FAFSA on file ensures eligible students access to low interest federal loans and the federal work-study program. Loan amounts are determined by the Office of Financial Aid using the information you provide in the FAFSA form.
Although no financial aid award will be made until after a student is admitted, we strongly recommend filing a FAFSA at the same time as you apply for admission.
To learn more about the FAFSA and how to file, visit our Tuition & Financial Aid department page here.
Students take courses during the Fall, Spring, and Summer terms. Students take 2 to 3 courses per semester, for 6 or 7 credit hours each term and 26 credits in total. International students take an additional 1-credit course their first semester of study to prepare them for the nuances of U.S. legal studies and U.S. law. Students are able to complete the degree in four semesters and at a pace that provides for considerable flexibility.
Students who take the full offering of courses each term will complete the program in four terms (e.g., Fall, Spring, Summer, Fall).
The online Animal Law LLM program is offered in a 100% asynchronous format. This means students watch recorded lectures and participate with the professor and other students via discussion boards. While courses will often feature weekly readings, engagements, and assignments, students generally complete these at their own pace. There are no required virtual synchronous meetings via Zoom or otherwise. If a course includes a synchronous meeting, it will be optional.
The online program’s asynchronous structure ensures that working professionals and international students will be able to fully participate in the program offerings.
No. The answer ultimately depends on the course and professor, but the program as a whole is designed to be applicable for U.S. and international students, with some courses delving more deeply into comparative international frameworks than others. Additionally, some courses may explore animal law subject areas in a more general and less jurisdictional context.
Animals in the Law
Industrial Animal Agriculture Law
Introduction to US Legal Studies (for international candidates)
Emerging Topics in Animal law
Companion Animal Law
Crimes Against Animals
International Animal Law
Aquatic Animal Law
The Law & Ethics of Animal Testing
The online Animal Law program courses are generally structured as weekly “modules.” A module will open on a specific day of the week (e.g., Sunday night) and students have access to that module’s readings (20-30 pages) and lecture(s) (~30-60 mins). Usually, readings should be completed before watching the module’s lectures. Some classes may have a reading quiz to ensure students are keeping up with course requirements, which is otherwise difficult to track in an asynchronous environment. Finally, students will engage with the course professor and their peers via a discussion board by addressing one or more discussion prompts and then responding to another student’s post. There will be some variability with respect to each course. Overall, this framework mirrors as much as possible that of a regular course. On top of this, a professor may have a final exam or paper due at the end of the course.
The time commitment varies depending on the course and week. In total, students should expect to dedicate between 10 and 15 hours per week for their courses.
Some courses feature exams, which students can start within a set window (roughly one week). Once students start the exam, they will have the normal time that the professor has allocated for the exam; some exams may be three hours, others may be open for a full day. Some courses will feature short or long papers in lieu of exams.
No, the online program does not offer these options at this time.
We do not offer an MSL degree in Animal Law at this time. To be notified if this degree offering becomes available, please fill out this form to indicate your interest.
The ability for an international student to sit for a bar exam in the U.S. is determined at the state level, and students will need to research which states will allow them to sit for the bar with an LLM degree. The Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admissions Requirements is a helpful resource for students to consult if they wish to practice law in the U.S. Please note, however, that the Animal Law LLM Program is not designed to help students either sit or prepare for a bar exam.
No, the degree is the same. Graduates of the online Animal Law LLM program receive an Animal Law LLM degree. The only online notation on the graduate’s transcript will be in the titles of the courses.
Center for Animal Law Studies is located in Wood Hall on the Law Campus.