Curriculum and Degree Requirements

Academic Requirements

Required Credits – in General
Students must earn a total of at least 24 course credits, as follows:

  • 12 Credits of mandatory course work (all offered in the fall semester)
  • 12 Credits of elective course work, at least 4 of which must satisfy the Practical Tax Skills (PTS) requirement. 

Mandatory Courses (Fall Semester)
The first semester of the Graduate Tax Program is entirely comprised of mandatory courses, and is intended to build foundational doctrinal and practical knowledge. The fall mandatory courses are as follows:

  1. Corporate Taxation – 4 credits
  2. International Taxation – 4 credits
  3. Partnership Taxation – 3 credits
  4. Tax Practice and Procedure – 1 credit (half-semester course).

Students who have completed their law degree outside the United States must also complete an intensive short course Introduction to United States Taxation. This course is offered during the orientation week, before regular classes start.

Elective Course Work and Practical Tax Skills Requirement
Students must successfully complete at least 12 credit elective classes offered in the spring semester. At least 4 of the elective credits must be completed in Practical Tax Skills (PTS) classes. The PTS requirement can be completed through a tax externship, a tax clinic, or classes that the program director designates or approves to meet  the PTS requirement. These classes contain a significant component of practical tax skills, such as drafting transactional documents or simulation of transactions. Qualifying classes are designated PTS in the program course catalog.

We strongly encourage students to apply for a tax externship position or a tax clinic, and to complete more than 4 PTS credits. Tax Clinics and Externships may also be completed during the summer following the regular academic year. In such a case, however, the student will graduate in the fall following the completion of the externship or clinic.

For a detailed discussion of the practical tax skills requirement, including externships and clinical opportunities, see Practical Tax Skills.

Tax Policy Colloquium
All students must attend the Tax Policy Colloquium speaker presentations (usually five or six presentations), offered in the Spring semester. Students may also choose to take the seminar for credit (this will require students, among others, to submit written comments), towards completion of the elective course requirement.

Other Requirements

Residency Requirement, Duration of Studies
Students must complete the Graduate Tax Program in an in-class format, while in residence on campus. Time spent in externships is considered “in-class” for such purposes. From time to time, certain courses may be offered in an online format. If online courses are offered by the Graduate Tax Program, students may earn up to 4 credits towards their degree requirements in online courses.

Students must be in full-time residence at the law school for a minimum period of two consecutive semesters. Absent a waiver from the Academic Director, students must complete all degree requirements within three academic years.

Minimum Grades
In order to be awarded an LL.M. degree in taxation, all students must complete the required course work with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.7 (B -) or higher.