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Immigration & Citizenship Law LL.M. Curriculum

The LL.M. with a concentration in Immigration and Citizenship Law offers practicing attorneys or students who have earned a law degree in the U.S. or overseas, the opportunity to explore in-depth the United States law of migration and citizenship, within the international framework.  The LL.M. program explores issues of migration through the lens of human rights, including the rights of persons who are members of racial and ethnic minorities, the rights of women and gender diverse persons, and social and economic justice.  Students are encouraged to think of migration in its global context as one of many interrelated forces, like climate change, economic stability, and political stability that pose continuing challenges for the United States in the 21st century.  The program emphasizes experiential learning, focusing on the work of attorneys in practice, whether in nonprofit, private or government practice.  The program offers students opportunities to develop more specialized knowledge through scholarship or projects primarily the result of the students’ design. 

LL.M. students complete 24 hours of coursework in immigration and citizenship law and related courses.  As part of their required course of study, students choose to author an academic research paper of high professional quality concerning immigration or citizenship law, or complete a capstone project.    


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**Please note: not all courses are offered every academic year.**

Required Courses (14 credit hours total)

  • LAW L832 Immigration and Citizenship Law (3 credit hours)
  • LAW L933 Asylum and Refugee Law (3 credit hours)
  • LAW L898 Independent Study (thesis or capstone - see below) (2-6 credits)***

     The remaining required credit hours are to be selected from the following courses:*

  • LAW L897 Immigration Clinic – one semester (5 credits)
  • LAW L932 Immigration Law Seminar (1-3 credits) (may be taken more than once)
  • LAW L934 Detention and Removal Defense (2 credits)
  • LAW L936 Immigration Justice:  Practice, Policy & Process:  Selected Problems (2 credits)
  • LAW L937 Selected Topics in Immigration (2 credits)
  • LAW L938 Health in Immigration and Citizenship Law (1-2 credits)

*Courses listed above are also available to complete the elective credit requirements, if they are not used to satisfy the required course credits.  These courses may not be offered every academic year.

Elective Courses (10 credit hour minimum)*

  • LAW L781 Law and Poverty (2 credits)
  • LAW L805 Law of the European Union (3 credits) 
  • LAW L816 Comparative Law Seminar (1, 2 or 3 credits)
  • LAW L820 Employment Discrimination (3 credits)
  • LAW L823 First Amendment (2 or 3 credits)
  • LAW L834 Environmental Justice (3 credits)
  • LAW L840 Employment Law (3 credits)
  • LAW L842 Courts in a Federal System (3 credits)
  • LAW L844 Administrative Law (3 credits)
  • LAW L847 Legislation and Regulation Law (3 credits)
  • LAW L877 Constitutional Law Seminar (1-3 credits)
  • LAW L878 International Law (3 credits)
  • LAW L884 International Law Seminar (1-3 credits)
  • LAW L885 Gender Law in Practice (3 credits)
  • LAW L886 Environmental Law Seminar: Law and the Climate Crisis (2 credits)
  • LAW L897 Immigration Clinic – one semester (5 credits)
  • LAW L900 Academic Externship (up to 3 credits) (Academic externships must be approved by program faculty)
  • LAW L911 Introduction to American Indian Law: Overlapping Jurisdictions (3 credits)
  • LAW L912 Health Law II – Access, Regulation, Compliance and Strategy (3 credits)
  • LAW L913 Disaster Law and Policy (2 credits)
  • LAW L924 Human Rights Advocacy Project (3 credits)
  • LAW L955 Advanced Constitutional Law: 14th Amendment (3 credits)
  • LCOM L800 Family Law (3 credits)

* Not all electives are offered in every academic year. 


*** Independent Study: LL.M. Thesis or Capstone Project

LL.M. Thesis  (2 to 6 Independent Study credits)

Students who choose the thesis option must complete an academic research paper of high professional quality concerning immigration or citizenship law.  Students fulfill this requirement in conjunction with one of the program’s required or elective courses and an independent study of two to six credits, under the supervision of program faculty.  The thesis paper is presented to program faculty and the law school community, and is advised or co-advised by program faculty.  Advance approval of the topic is required. 

Capstone Project (2 to 6 Independent Study credits)

Students may opt to complete a capstone project instead of a written thesis.  The project may take various forms including a performance essay, a case study, a data generating research project, surveys, or a product, and/or the presentation of a thesis or data through alternative media including film, cartoons, photographic series, posters or other types of presentations.  Projects may be undertaken in conjunction with an immigration and citizenship course under the supervision of the faculty member teaching the course, and through independent study of two to six credits under the supervision of program faculty.  Capstone projects are presented at the end of the course of study to program faculty and to the law school community.


For more information, please contact the Program Director, Professor Isabel Medina.