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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. 

Students enrolled in the J.D. program at Loyola may pursue the LL.M. with a concentration in Immigration and Citizenship Law by completing the course requirements in an additional semester of 15 credit hours. Students must apply and be accepted into the LL.M. program by the beginning of their last semester in the J.D. program.


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Required Courses (14 credit hours)

  • Immigration and Citizenship Law (3 credit hours)
  • Asylum and Refugee Law (3 credit hours)

The remaining 8 credit hours to be selected from the following courses:*

  • Immigration Justice:  Practice, Policy & Process:  Selected Problems – (2 credits)
  • Selected Topics in Immigration (2 credits)
  • Detention and Removal Defense (2 credits)
  • Immigration Law Seminar (1 or 2 credits) (may be taken more than once)
  • Immigration Clinic – one semester (5 credits)
  • Law Workshop:  Immigration (2 credits) 
  • Independent Study (thesis or capstone) (2-6 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)

  • Administrative Law (3 credits)
  • Advanced Constitutional Law (3 credits)
  • Comparative Law Seminar (1, 2 or 3 credits)
  • Constitutional Law Seminar (2 credits)
  • Courts in a Federal System (3 credits)
  • Disaster Law and Policy (2 credits)
  • Employment Law (3 credits)
  • Employment Discrimination (3 credits)
  • Environmental Justice (3 credits)
  • Family Law (3 credits)
  • First Amendment (2 or 3 credits)
  • Gender Law in Practice (3 credits)
  • Health Law II – Access, Regulation, Compliance and Strategy (3 credits)
  • Human Rights Advocacy Project (3 credits)
  • Immigration Clinic – one semester (5 credits)
  • International Law (3 credits)
  • International Law Seminar (2 credits)
  • Introduction to American Indian Law (3 credits)
  • Law and the Climate Crisis (2 credits)
  • Law of the European Union I (3 credits) 
  • Law and Poverty (3 credits)
  • Academic Externship (up to 3 credits) (Academic externships must be approved by program faculty)

* Not all electives are offered in every academic year. 

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 Professor Isabel Medina.