Welcome to Santa Clara Law! On this page, you will find information specifically for international students interested in studying law in the heart of Silicon Valley.

If you have any questions about the following information, we encourage you to contact a law admissions counselor at lawadmissions@scu.edu.

LLM Student Testimonials

Choosing to enhance your law degree with an LLM from Santa Clara Law is a great way to find new career opportunities.

Below are some words about Santa Clara Law from international students:

RafaelRafael ’18 – LLM student
“I chose Santa Clara because it is located in the Silicon Valley and I want to get involved in the many programs SCU offers in tech!”

AntoniaAntonia ’18 – LLM student
“Santa Clara is a welcoming university for foreign students! It has great nature in one of the world’s most progressive economies.”


SuvraSuvra ’18 – LLM student
“The professors at Santa Clara change and shape the conversation outlines in the field of IP.”

SabrinaSabrina ’17 – exchange student
“You have a lot of clubs and events at SCU. You have the chance to get involved even as an LLM or exchange student.”

Why Santa Clara Law?

When you earn your LLM at Santa Clara Law, you will be immersed in one of the most vibrant business centers in the world: Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. Here are a few reasons why an LLM at Santa Clara Law is a smart choice.

Silicon Valley Map

Santa Clara Law is located in the heart of Silicon Valley. This gives our students many opportunities for networking, experience, and employment with many of the world’s top technology companies.

  • Reputation: Santa Clara Law’s program in intellectual property law has been regularly ranked for the past ten years as among the top ten in the United States by U.S. News and World Report. Santa Clara’s Journal of Computer and High Technology Law is one of the first and most widely cited journals in the field. An LLM in Intellectual Property from Santa Clara will be recognized in the profession.
  • Quality: Santa Clara’s outstanding, nationally prominent full-time faculty, coupled with our adjunct faculty of judges and the nation’s leading practitioners of intellectual property law, provides exceedingly rich and diverse course offerings. Santa Clara is the oldest university in the State of California, is fully accredited by the American Bar Association, is a member of the American Association of Law Schools, and has been awarded a chapter in the prestigious Order of the Coif. Candidates will receive an excellent academic experience.
  • Location: Santa Clara is located in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley. This enables us to draw from our immediate neighbors, securing outstanding, practically experienced teaching faculty; rich, cutting-edge conferences, programs, and speakers; and networking and career opportunities with some of the world’s most prominent companies and firms, such as Yahoo!, Google, eBay, Sun, and more.
  • Flexibility: Santa Clara allows two years to complete the degree, on a full-time or part-time basis. Since we offer classes in both day and evening, as well as in the summer, candidates may continue employment while completing their studies.
  • International Study Opportunity: Santa Clara offers fourteen distinct summer abroad programs (more than any other U.S. law school), and a number of cooperative graduate programs with foreign universities. LLM candidates have the option to undertake some of their degree requirements in a foreign setting. Get more information on our summer abroad programs.
  • Career Services: Candidates may utilize Santa Clara Law’s Office of Career Management. Extensive contacts with leading California law firms and high tech companies assist candidates in finding a career path. Get more information about Office of Career Management.

Programs for International Students

JD Program

The JD program is a 3-4 year program known as the primary US law degree. This program is known as the primary degree in law in the United States. The JD program requires that students complete a minimum of 86 units of coursework. Students who receive the JD degree will often go on to sit for a state bar exam in an effort to be licensed to practice law within a specific state within the US.


Santa Clara Law invites new applicants to enter during the fall semester only (start date in August).


Students from outside of the US for whom English is not their first language must supply an official TOEFL score with their application. To be eligible to apply, an applicant must have completed the equivalent of a US bachelor’s degree and must sit for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Learn more about applying to the JD program.

LLM Program

The LLM is an advanced degree in law; therefore, in order to apply, we require that the applicant have a primary degree in law, as opposed to any other subject area. The applicant need not be a practicing attorney in order to apply to the program.

The LLM program is popular for international applicants because of the following:

  • Short duration (1-2 years)
  • Flexible curriculum (students may elect to use the program to prepare for a US state bar exam or participate in specialization programs which include our widely-recognized intellectual property program or our international & comparative law program.
  • Aggregate tuition is less than the tuition for the JD program.

Application Process

Santa Clara Law invites new applicants to enter during the fall or spring semesters. The fall semester begins in August (with an Introduction to US Law course beginning in July) and the spring semester begins in January (students who are admitted to start in the spring semester will need to request a waiver of the summer ‘Introduction to US Law’ course).

Program Requirements

The LLM program is a 1-2 year program that requires the student to complete a minimum of 24 units of coursework. To be eligible to apply to the LLM program, an applicant must have completed or is in the process of completing their primary degree in law (for most applicants, this is a Bachelor in Law degree or its equivalent).

Which Program Should I Choose?

The degree program you choose depends on whether you are looking to practice in the United States and/or already have a law degree from an accredited institution.

  • If you already have a law degree but want to pursue new career opportunities, the LLM program is probably right for you.
  • If you do not already have a law degree and want to pursue a career practicing law, the JD program is most likely your best choice.

If you still aren’t sure which program would best fit your career goals, contact a law admissions counselor at lawadmissions@scu.edu.

LLM Application Timeline

Santa Clara Law has rolling admissions, meaning we will make an admission decision on an LLM applicant when the applicant has submitted all application requirements. Those who apply in November may have a decision by December. The application deadline is May 1 for the fall semester and December 1 for the spring semester.


If you are admitted, you will receive an email with important contact information, next steps, and other information for newly-admitted students.

Once you receive this email, you should start to do the following:

  1. Become familiar with the curriculum at the Law School, asking our Graduate Legal Programs team any questions you may have.
  2. Begin making decisions about your own educational goals (ie., bar exam track, intellectual property focus, etc.).
  3. Log in to ECampus, the primary online portal for SCU students.
  4. Visit the area around the Law School to make decisions about housing. Admitted students are also are eligible to apply for on-campus graduate student housing located in close proximity to the Law School.
  5. Review the Santa Clara Law website to find out information about the Office of Career Management and how that department can help support your job search either within or outside of the US.
  6. Complete the process of requesting an I-20 if you require an F-1 visa for study within the US (International law students are also allowed to study in the US while on a J-1).
  7. Santa Clara University’s International Student Services (ISS) Office will work with you to ensure the timely issuing of immigration documents. For more information about ISS or the F-1/J-1 visa types, please visit the visa information page.

Before April:

  1. Submit a tuition deposit which will hold your seat in the fall semester entering class.
  2. This deposit is $1000 (US) and a non-refundable pre-payment of tuition that will be applied to your individual student account.
  3. Deposits can be paid online through ECampus.


  1. Register for fall semester classes and summer Introduction to US Law course.
  2. Only students who have submitted their deposit will be permitted to register for classes.
  3. Students who enroll in the “Introduction to US Law” course will receive a course descriptions as well as information about course meeting times/locations.
  4. Health insurance
  5. All SCU students are required to have health insurance. Deposited students will be asked to purchase the SCU health insurance plan or show proof of being enrolled in a comparable plan. For more information, students can review information on the Cowell Health Center’s website.


  1. Deposited student will receive information about New Student Orientation events taking place in July and August.
  2. Students may be asked to subscribe or join various social media groups, including LLM (or JD) new student groups so that students can communicate with one another prior to the start of New Student Orientation.


Prepare to Attend Santa Clara Law

  1. Review fall semester registration and make changes if necessary
  2. Pay fall semester tuition


  1. Take part in New Student Orientation Program!
    • Students who are admitted to the LLM program who have accepted the offer of admission will need to attend orientation activities prior to or during the first week of classes. Dates and locations of orientation meetings will be announced in June via email for Fall entering students. Spring entering students should expect orientation information within the month of November.
    • Fall semester classes begin in August. Please click here for the academic calendar.
    • LLM in United States Law students are required to enroll in the Introduction to U.S. Law course which starts during the first week of the fall semester. There will be academic classes taking place during New Student Orientation week.
    • Spring semester classes begin in January. Please click here for the academic calendar.
    • LLM students are required to complete all graduation requirements by the end of two academic years from the date of matriculation. Any special requests with regard to extending the time permitted to complete the LLM program must be made in writing to the Office of Law Student Services at lawstudentservices@scu.edu.

Do You Have Any Questions?

Our Law Admissions team is ready to answer any questions you may have about applying to Santa Clara Law as an international student. Contact us today, and we will respond as quickly as possible.