LL.M. in International Human Rights Law – Full Scholarship

Nearly 300 lawyers from over 80 countries have graduated from our LL.M. Program in International Human Rights Law. Our graduates’ commitment to human rights — as well as the rigor and richness of their academic life at the CCHR — has established our LL.M. Program as among the most prominent in the world.

Applicants to our LL.M. are inspired by their compassion for victims of human rights violations, but often lacking in the technical skills and theoretical grounding required for strategic human rights lawyering. Ensuring that our students gain competency in the substantive and procedural aspects of international human rights law is our first priority. As Fr. Hesburgh said of lawyers during the dedication of the Notre Dame Law School library, “compassion without competence would be a cruel hoax upon those they serve.”

For questions about the LL.M. program or application process, please contact the LL.M. Program Director, Sean O’Brien, at

Applicants to the LL.M. in International Human Rights law MUST possess a J.D. degree from an American law school approved by the ABA Section of Legal Education or an LL.B. (or equivalent degree) from an accredited law school in a foreign country.

PLEASE NOTE: Our program is carefully crafted to meet the intellectual and practical needs of lawyers practicing human rights law in their home countries and in regional or international institutions. Therefore, our curriculum is not designed for those seeking admission to the bar in the United States.

The Center for Civil and Human Rights (CCHR) uses the online Graduate School Application. Online applications and accompanying materials are due by January 15. Decisions will be made on a rolling basis and transmitted to applicants as soon as they are available. Acceptances will normally be sent out by April 15. When a decision is ready, you will receive an email with instructions to log back into your online application to view the decision letter.

A complete application will include:

1) University of Notre Dame Graduate School Application
2) CCHR Supplemental Application
3) Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)
4) Statement of Intent
5) 3 letters of recommendation
6) Transcripts with proof of J.D. or LL.B. or equivalent degree (and English translations if necessary)
7) TOEFL or IELTS (for non-native speakers of English only)
8) Application fee (online by credit card or check by mail)

Submission procedure instructions

Important: Your name should be entered as it appears on your passport. Please capitalize your Last Name (family name or surname) when completing the application forms.

1) University of Notre Dame Graduate School Application
All applicants must complete the online application. Your Supplemental Application, Resume/CV, and Statement of Intent should be submitted in the “Uploads” section of the online application. When completing the online application, if a required field does not apply to you, enter the word “none” in the field. Required fields cannot be left empty, but any text you enter in the field will be accepted by the system. The online application can only be submitted once. However, you do not have to complete the application in one sitting. You may access your application and change your responses as many times as you like with your PIN and password from any computer with Internet access.
Once you have completed the application, click the “Submit” button at the top. This will take you through the steps to pay the application fee and submit your application electronically to the CCHR. Remember: Each online application can only be submitted once. After you submit your application, you will not be able to go back and make changes or additions using the online application system. However, you will be able to access your online application in order to check which materials have been received.

2) CCHR Supplemental Application
Download the form from the CCHR website, complete, save and submit in the “Uploads” area of the online application under “Program Upload” located directly after the Curriculum Vitae section.

3) Résumé or CV
Submit a document showing the chronological progression of your work and studies via the “Uploads” section of the online application.

4) Statement of Intent
Submit a statement of intent (maximum 1000 words) that outlines your reasons for wishing to pursue the LL.M. The statement of intent plays a critical part in the evaluation of applicants, so we encourage you to dedicate sufficient time to prepare a clear, well-written and informative personal statement. Submit your statement of intent in the “Uploads” section of the online application.

5) Three letters of recommendation
Recommendations play a critical role in evaluating applications. Your recommendations should come from faculty members, professors, lecturers or others who can substantively comment on your academic performance, intellectual capacity and personal character.

Your recommenders should submit their letters electronically through the online application system. Please enter the full name, email address and complete contact information for each provider in the “Recommendation” section of the online application.

Once the recommendation provider information is saved, an e-mail will be sent to each recommender with instructions on how to proceed with the online recommendation.
When the recommendation provider submits the form online, it will become a part of your application.
You can view the status of your online recommendations each time you log into your application account.

The online system contains a set of questions for your recommenders to answer and a method by which the recommenders can upload a letter. The CCHR prefers letters on letterhead from your recommenders.

6) Transcripts
Important: Unofficial copies of all your (university level) transcripts should be uploaded to your online application in the “Academic History” section. (Please include a certified English translation, if necessary.) If your J.D. or LL.B. is currently in progress, upload transcripts for all coursework completed. If an undergraduate transcript does not show proof of degree and date earned, a diploma showing award of the degree should also be uploaded. Your unofficial transcript copies will suffice for the purposes of the Admissions Committee. The university only requires official transcripts from accepted students.

7) TOEFL or IELTS score
All applicants must submit TOEFL or IELTS score unless:
the applicant is a native speaker of English or
the applicant has completed a degree in which English was the medium of instruction (i.e. all classes were taught in English).

To have your TOEFL scores sent directly to the University, use institution code 1841. TOEFL scores are valid for up to two years after the test date. The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) does not have or use institution codes.

The CCHR does not have a minimum requirement for TOEFL or IELTS scores; however, successful candidates typically score 600 (paper-based), 250 (computer-based) or 100 (Internet-based) on the TOEFL or 7.0 on the IELTS.
Please upload a copy of your TOEFL or IELTS score to your online application.

Remember: If the test is taken after your application is submitted, please email your self-reported TOEFL or IELTS score to as soon as it is available.

8) Application fee of $75
Applicants may pay the fee online by credit card after completing the online application, or by sending a check to: Office of Graduate Admissions, Attention: Center for Civil and Human Rights, University of Notre Dame, 502 Main Building, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA. Checks should be made payable to the “University of Notre Dame”. If the check is not written by the applicant, or is mailed separately, the name of the applicant must be included with the check. International applicants who do not have access to a credit card or a U.S. checking account may pay using an International Postal Money Order or a bank draft on a U.S. bank. It is not possible to pay by bank transfer.

Applicants who are not able to pay the application fee may request a fee waiver from the CCHR. To do so, email a letter outlining your circumstances to prior to submitting your application. If you request for a fee waiver is granted, the CCHR will provide you with a code to enter during the fee payment stage of your application.

Note: The CCHR does not require a GRE score.

Once you have submitted your online application, you will receive a confirmation email listing the materials received. After the initial notice, you will be able to log back into your online application to check the status of recommendations received, etc.


Many of our students receive full tuition scholarships and living stipends from the Office of the Provost. For those students not applying for or not receiving a scholarship, the full tuition for the 2012-2013 academic year is $45,500. In addition to tuition, students will incur fees in the amount of $480. It should be noted that, due to increasing costs, annual increases in tuition are possible.


Most participants in the LL.M. Program live in a privately-owned apartment building within walking distance of the Law School. These apartments are fully furnished and accommodate two students per apartment. Information regarding these apartments is available here.

Students whose children accompany them to Notre Dame for the LL.M. Program may apply for accommodations in the University-owned University Village, which is located adjacent to the University and linked through a regular shuttle service. These apartments are unfurnished.

Upon admission to either program, the Center staff will assist students in securing appropriate housing.

For more information, please, visit the website.



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