Academic Catalog 2024-2025

Master of Laws, LLM

Beginning in the fall of 2016, Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law offered a fully approved LL.M. program focused on immigration and naturalization law. 

This is the first LL.M. program of its kind in the nation devoted to immigration and naturalization law.

The mission of the degree program is to further the law school’s commitment to excellence by providing specialized academic and practical legal training for law graduates, to equip them with an array of skills required to effectively practice, identify and solve complex problems, and participate in policy making in the field of immigration and naturalization law. 

The LL.M. degree is a natural complement to Thurgood Marshall School of Law Juris Doctor (J.D.) program, which already is heralded for its institutional reputation for expertise in the field, including the continual success of its Institute for International and Immigration Law launched in the fall of 2002. By offering an advanced degree in immigration and naturalization law, TMSL maximizes its reputation such that the law school impacts the evolution of the law and polices that shape immigration and naturalization law and its practice.

Application deadline: Applications for fall 2023 will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the program is full.

The LL.M. in Immigration and Naturalization Law is a 24-credit degree program that can be completed in one academic year as a full-time student or in two academic years as a part-time student. Minimum semester course load, six (6) hours. Maximum semester course load, Twelve (12) hours. 

The LL.M. Program provides an intensive academic program focused on current and emerging practice and policy issues in immigration and naturalization law. Distance learning is available through online coursework. 

We welcome both US and Foreign Attorneys to this exciting and unique LL.M. Program! Applications for the LL.M. Program are accepted as of  September 15 each year and are considered until the Program is full.  An applicant for the LL.M. Program may apply for admission to begin in either the Fall or Spring semester, full or part-time.

Applicants to the LL.M. Program must hold a J.D. from an ABA accredited law school, or if a foreign applicant, either a J.D. or an LL.B. from an accredited law school in the jurisdiction where it is located.

While there is no LSAT requirement for LL.M. applicants, if the candidate has, in fact, taken the LSAT, the CAS report with scores should be submitted.

Domestic Applicants:
Domestic applicants to the LL.M. Program must furnish an official transcript showing the award of their law degree as well as the other required support documents (personal/narrative statement, current resume, letters of recommendation, transcripts from all colleges/universities attended, LSAT score and writing sample if the JD was earned in the US.

Foreign Applicants:
Foreign applicants to the LL.M. Program must register for LSAC’s LSDAS Service and furnish, for evaluation, an official transcript showing the award of their law degree with notarized translation if the transcript is not in English.  All international applicants must register for LSAC’s International Authentication and Evaluation Service and submit all foreign transcripts for evaluation through that Service.  If the transcript is not in English, a notarized translation must also be submitted.

Also required is a personal/narrative statement, current resume, and letters of recommendation.

All international applicants (JD & LLM) whose first language is not English, or whose academic instruction (undergraduate or law) was not in English, must furnish evidence of their language proficiency.

The Law School will accept any of the following:

TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo Scores:

The minimum TOEFL iBT score required for admission is 85 and writing score no lower than 24; Reading and Listening no lower than 15.

The Texas Southern University Institutional Code for TOEFL: 6824

The minimum IELTS score required for admission is a total score of 6.5 with a preference of no individual section score being lower than 6.5.

For IELTS select Texas Southern University

The minimum Duolingo score required for admission is a total score of 110

All international applicants must register for LSAC’s International Authentication and Evaluation Service and submit all foreign transcripts for authentication and evaluation through that Service.

Immunization Requirements

Immigration & Student Visa Information:
In order to complete an immigration file, all international students must provide the following:

Curriculum Summary

Recommend Fall Semester
LAW 755Immigration Law3
LAW 762International Human Rights3
LAW 561Crimes & Immigration Laws3
LAW 562Consular Practice3
Recommended Spring Semester
LAW 550Advanced Immigration Law3
LAW 563Immigration and Naturalization3
LAW 564Family Based Immigration3
LAW 565Asylum and Refugee Law3
LAW 970Admin Immigration Legislation3
Summer (Optional)6
LAW 934Admin Law Clinic4
LAW 933Admin Trial Practice2
LAW 552Advanced Practice 1-1403
LAW 975Consular Processing1
LAW 551Advanced Immigration Practice3

Foreign Students Intending to take the Texas Bar Exam:

Note: Exemption of law student for foreign applicants to the Texas Bar:

The Texas Board of Bar Examiners Rule 13, LLM Curricular Criteria, §8 (Applicants from other Jurisdictions) is strictly followed. Under the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas, an applicant must satisfy the law study requirement by graduation with a J.D. degree or its equivalent from an approved law school. (Rule III a). However, one of the exemption to this rule for the foreign applicant is that if they: (1) completed a coursework in an accredited foreign law school; (2) authorized to practice law in the foreign jurisdiction; and (3) completed an LL.M. degree that meets the curricular requirements of §9 at an approved U.S. law school. (Rule 8, §3-4).

The following is a simplified version of the LL.M. Criteria §9,(Rule 7-8) Minimum of 24 semester credit hours:

  1. Minimum of 700 minutes of instruction time per 1 credit hour given
  2. Two semesters of 13 calendar weeks each
  3. Not exclusively summer semesters, but maximum of 4 credits may be earned during summer.
  4. Must finish program within 24 months of matriculation
  5. All coursework to be completed on campus, unless Law school petition to the Board for an exception
  6. Must include at least:
    1. 2 credit hours of professional responsibility
    2. 2 credit hours in legal research, writing, and analysis
    3. 2 credit hours in course designed for introduction to fundamental U.S. Law
    4. 6 credit hours in subjects tested on Texas Bar Exam.
  7.   May include, toward satisfaction of 24 credits requirement:
    1. Up to 4 credits of clinical coursework
    2. Up to 6 credits of other coursework related to the law or legal training taught in  conjunction with a joint degree program by a member of the law school faculty
  8. Online courses must not count towards the 24 semester credit hours requirement.

Presently foreign students seeking this exemption under our program must  complete  the Texas exemption courses in addition to the required courses for the completion of the Immigration and Nationalization LL.M.