Admissions and Program Overview

LLM in Taxation

Key Program Features

Recently ranked as the 8th best tax program and the 7th best graduate tax program in the country, the University of San Diego School of Law is proud to be among the finest institutions providing graduate education and skills training in tax law. As the top LLM in Taxation program west of the Mississippi, USD's Graduate Tax Program is the ideal choice for candidates who wish to study in the western United States. The LLM in Taxation prepares attorneys for the private practice of tax law, for in-house counsel positions, for positions in the tax departments of businesses or allied professions, as well as for academia.

Learn from current students about the benefits of USD's LLM in Taxation degree by watching our Student Perspectives: USD School of Law's LLM in Taxation Program video.

  • Candidates are provided with a strong fundamental basis in tax law, but also have the flexibility to select advanced tax electives from the core curriculum to create a course of study that focuses on their particular areas of interest
  • The strong core of distinguished faculty is comprised of a diverse range of scholars and practitioners, all of whom are leaders in their areas of teaching and practice and have a remarkable commitment to the academic and professional development of their students
  • More than 800 graduates are currently in practice in California, throughout the United States and around the world
  • Alumni include current and former U.S. Tax Court clerks, members of the judiciary, partners and associates in a variety of firms, sole practitioners and government officials

Application Process

Please visit our Application Checklist for detailed application instructions.

Program Timeline

  • Students may begin the program in the Fall, Spring or Summer term
  • Candidates may complete the degree requirements in as little as 1 year, or may take up to 4 years
  • Full-time (9 or more credits) and part-time (8 or fewer credits) options are available
  • Many courses are offered in the day as well as evening

Degree Requirements

  • A candidate for this LLM degree must successfully complete 24 credit hours of graduate tax coursework
  • Required courses: Tax I (Federal Income Tax), Tax II (Corporate Tax), Tax Research and Communication, and Tax Policy or International Tax Policy
  • Remaining credits may be chosen from our advanced tax course offerings
  • Please note that Tax I is a pre-requisite to all graduate tax courses and Tax II is a pre-requisite to many of the graduate tax courses
  • Candidates will not receive credit for taking courses substantially similar to those completed prior to entering the LLM program
  • The requirement to take Tax I and/or Tax II will be waived for candidates who completed these courses prior to enrollment
  • Full details of the degree requirements may be found in the School of Law Academic Rules in the Student Handbook

LLM Tuition, Fees and Scholarships

Please visit our Financial Aid page for tuition, fee and scholarship information

Diploma in Taxation

Key Program Features

The Diploma in Taxation is a non-degree program designed for attorneys seeking a shorter program of study or attorneys with no tax background seeking an opportunity to transition to the LLM in Taxation program.

  • Candidates for the Diploma in Taxation select courses from the same advanced tax curriculum available to LLM in Taxation candidates
  • Diploma candidates may apply to transfer to the LLM in Taxation program upon successful completion of the 10 credits

Application Process

Please visit our Application Checklist for detailed application instructions.

Program Timeline

  • Students may begin the program in the Fall, Spring or Summer term
  • Candidates may complete the degree requirements in as little as 1 semester, or may take up to 4 years
  • Full-time (9 or more credits) and part-time (8 or fewer credits) options are available
  • Many courses are offered in the day as well as evening

Program Requirements

  • A candidate for the Diploma in Taxation must successfully complete 10 credit hours of graduate tax coursework

Diploma in Taxation Tuition and Fees

  • Please visit our Financial Aid page for tuition and fee information
  • Please note that Diploma candidates are not eligible for financial aid or scholarship funding

JD / LLM in Taxation Option

Application Process

  • USD JD students or visiting JD students may apply to the LLM in Taxation program after completion of their second JD year
  • Please note that a JD student may apply for admission to the LLM program after their second year, but even if accepted would not officially enroll as an LLM student until after successfully completing the JD degree
  • USD JD students applying to the LLM in Taxation program have reduced application requirements. USD JD students and USD law school graduates are required to submit an application, a resume, and a personal statement. A letter of recommendation is optional
  • Please visit our Application Checklist for detailed application instructions

Key Program Features

  • JD students enrolled at the University of San Diego School of Law have the unique opportunity to earn an LLM in Taxation in just one additional semester after completion of the JD degree
  • Up to 12 credits of USD School of Law advanced tax courses (excluding Tax I), taken as a USD JD within 30 months of enrolling in the LLM in Taxation program, may be applied toward advanced standing for the LLM degree
  • This option is also available to JD students from other law schools who are admitted to the LLM in Taxation program and enroll as JD visitors at USD during their third year
  • Students considering this option should contact Graduate and International Programs for planning and advice

Important Information for International Applicants

  • Please note that international applicants who have not taken a substantive course in the law of U.S. Federal Income Taxation should apply to begin the LLM in Taxation program in the Summer term. For both academic and visa purposes, candidates are asked to take a course in U.S. Federal Income Taxation (Tax I) in the Summer term, prior to enrolling in a full course of study in the Fall and Spring semesters. Tax I will count toward the 24-credit LLM in Taxation degree requirement
  • Please contact Graduate and International Programs with any questions or concerns

Contact:

Graduate and International Programs
Warren Hall, Room 207
Phone: (619) 260-4596

Hours

M, T, Th, F: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
W: 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

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