LLM in Tax Law

The law school has a long tradition of strength in the area of federal taxation. The graduate taxation program, for full-time or part-time students, is a comprehensive, advanced degree program designed for attorneys intending to specialize in tax practice. It focuses not only on technical mastery of the tax laws but also on wider issues of tax and fiscal policy. Most of the courses in the curriculum provide survey level instruction in subjects typically not addressed in J.D. level tax courses. In addition, advanced courses develop in-depth, practice-oriented expertise.

Courses are taught by the law school's faculty and by adjunct professors and lecturers who are experienced, practicing tax specialists in Dallas area law firms and corporate law departments. To accommodate employed students, many tax courses are offered in the early morning, the late afternoon, and during the evening.

Degree requirements

To receive the LL.M. (Taxation) degree the student must meet all of the following requirements:

(A) Residence in the School of Law for no fewer than two terms if a full-time student and no fewer than three terms if a part-time student. Full-time students in this program may begin their studies in the fall term or the spring term.

(B) Completion of 24 term-hours in courses, seminars, or research and writing. Of this 24 term-hours, 18 credit hours must be in the taxation area. Mandatory courses are Tax Accounting, Taxation and Fiscal Policy, and Tax Practice and Professional Responsibility. With prior approval of the Committee on Graduate Legal Studies, a student may take four of the required 24 term-hours in graduate programs of Dedman College (SMU's school of humanities and sciences), in Perkins School of Theology, or in the Cox School of Business. The student will receive law school credit on completion of all work to the instructor's satisfaction, but the grades will not be computed into the student's law school average. The student may be permitted to undertake directed research for a one- to three-hour graded paper if he or she can obtain a faculty sponsor.

(C) A student entering the program must have an average of C or 2.00 on all courses are taken. The requisite G.P.A. of C or 2.00 must be obtained in the first 24 credit hours. A student will not receive credit for a course or seminar in which his or her grade is below D or 1.00.

(D) Completion of all requirements within 36 months from the date of initial enrollment as a graduate law student. However, a candidate continuously enrolled as a part-time student has 60 months to complete all requirements.

How to Apply

Admission Criteria

Admission to this program is by selection. An applicant for admission to the LL.M. in Taxation degree program must hold a J.D. degree. If applying for this program and you are an international student, you will also have to comply with the admission criteria for the LL.M. for Foreign Law School Graduates.

Application Requirements

Applicants to the LL.M. programs (For Foreign Law Graduates, Taxation, and General) must submit the following:

  • personal statement (including why you are interested in entering the graduate degree program)
  • résumé
  • two letters of recommendation
  • certified undergraduate and law school transcripts. Transcripts must be mailed directly to the Admissions Office from your schools.

In addition, international applicants must submit personal and bank certifications of sufficient financial resources to cover anticipated tuition, fees, books, and living expenses. These certifications must be in U.S. dollars.

International applicants for whom English is not the first language also must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), administered by the Educational Testing Service, P.O. Box 6151 Princeton, New Jersey 08541 (www.TOEFL.org). The score must be reported to the Admissions Office directly from the Educational Testing Service. It is important when applying that you indicate on the TOEFL form the code number 6660, department code 03, to ensure that your score is sent to SMU Dedman School of Law. The minimum acceptable TOEFL score is 575 or its equivalent. Students whose TOEFL score does not meet these requirements can apply for conditional admission subject to the student successfully completing sufficient English as a second language course at SMU or another institution.

Application Deadline

Applications for LL.M. programs are processed on a continuous basis beginning in early December. It is in your best interest to submit your application as early as possible with all supporting documentation. Applications will be accepted on a space-available basis. Applications will be reviewed upon completion, and decisions will be made shortly thereafter.

Specialized Courses

The following listing illustrates the diversity and depth of courses offered at the Dedman School of Law in taxation and related fields. Applicants should note, however, that the law school does not offer all of these courses and seminars each term or even each year. Other related courses not listed below may also be offered each year on a one time only basis.

  • Advanced Corporate Taxation
  • Corporate Planning
  • Corporate Taxation
  • Criminal Tax Fraud
  • Directed Research in Taxation
  • Estate, Gift, and Income Taxation of Trusts and Estates
  • Estate Planning and Practice
  • Federal Tax Procedure I and 11
  • International Tax I
  • International Tax 11
  • Legal Accounting
  • Partnership Taxation
  • State and Local Taxation
  • Tax Accounting
  • Tax Practice and Professional Responsibility
  • Taxation and Fiscal Policy
  • Taxation of Deferred Compensation
  • Taxation of Professional and Closely Held Corporations
  • Taxation of Property Dispositions
  • Wills and Trusts

Learn More about SMU Dedman School of Law

Financial Aid

The SMU Financial Aid Office is available to assist students in obtaining student loans.


SMU Dedman School of Law typically will offer some scholarship aid to most of our LL.M. students. All applicants are automatically considered for partial scholarships. In addition to the partial scholarships, we do offer a few full scholarships. A separate application for these scholarships is not necessary. For further information, please contact the Office of Graduate Legal Programs by email at bheine@smu.edu or by telephone at 214-768-2758 or toll-free at 1-888-768-5291.


Founded in 1925, SMU Dedman School of Law is a top-ranked tier-one private law school located in Dallas, Texas, and is situated in a tree-lined neighborhood, just minutes from the city center. Established in 1949, the law school's graduate degree law programs have played an important role in training some of the foremost leaders around the world. We are proud our global alumni network - more than 2,000 graduates from 80 countries who hold prominent positions in government, legal practice, business, the judiciary, and legal education worldwide.

SMU Dedman Alumni Network

Exceptional Graduate Degree Programs

SMU Dedman School of Law offers graduate degree programs for both U.S. and foreign-trained lawyers.The LL.M. and S.J.D. Programs enhance careers in the private practice of law, teaching, and public service by teaching analysis and problem-solving skills for meeting the complex demands of our world. The programs increase the student’s understanding of legal theory and policies, broaden the student’s legal horizons, and encourage the development of legal research and writing skills.

Studying in Vibrant Dallas, Texas

SMU Dedman Law offers international students an opportunity to become part of a vibrant, diverse, scholarly community with the advantage of studying in Dallas - not only an international business center, but a dynamic cultural center situated midway between the east and west coast of the United States in a region known for its mild, sunny climate. Dallas is the ninth-largest city and the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex make up the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the United States. It is a sophisticated city with a thriving job market, high quality of life and relatively low cost of living. It is a great place to live and study!

Globally Recognized Faculty

The faculty includes scholars and innovators in a variety of fields, including constitutional law, corporate law, criminal law, environmental law, health law, intellectual property, national security law, oil and gas law, public interest law, and tax law. These scholars regularly engage the world by appearing before congressional committees, working with state and federal regulatory agencies, arguing before state and federal courts, working with corporate executives and nonprofits, and regularly appearing in the media to translate their research or offer commentary on important stories of the day. Studying law at SMU gives students access to an exceptional faculty engaged in timely and cutting-edge research often informed by years of experience.

Learning Experience

In addition to our diverse curriculum, students are invited to take advantage of the many activities outside the classroom. At SMU Dedman Law, your learning experience will be enriched through year-round international conferences and lectures, bringing prominent international figures to campus to discuss current global legal issues. International LL.M. students take classes with American J.D. students and participate in our of Court Program - a program that is introduced during orientation where students connect in small groups with fellow classmates, faculty, student leaders, career advisors, and alumni for a community experience throughout their time at SMU Dedman School of Law. A faculty member will serve as your personal academic advisor. Practicing lawyers from the Dallas Bar Association International Law section also serve as mentors for our students.

Internationally Prominent Alumni

International graduates of SMU Dedman School of Law have made an impact all over the world. Our international alumni network includes more than 2000 graduates in more than 80 countries. These professionals can be found at the highest levels of government, legal practice, and business. SMU’s international alumni represent a broad spectrum of legal systems, including those from Central and South America, Mexico, Canada, Europe, Africa, India, Southeast Asia, China, the Middle East, and the Pacific Rim. We strive for global geographic diversity in our student enrollments and provide a high degree of individual attention and support for each international student.

Sobchok Sukharomna ’81

Supreme Court President, Thailand

Dr. Shen Shiaoming ’81

International Legal Consultant for Mackenzie & Albritton LLP

The Honorable S.M. Krishna ’59

Minister for External Affairs for India (2009-2012)

Siriporn Chaiyasuta ’85

General Counsel, Chevron Europe, Eurasia and Middle East Exploration & Production Limited

Moath Alhussain ’11

Assoc. Counsel, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation

Antonio M. Garza ’83

Former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico

Dr. Helmut Sohmen ’66

Chairman and President, BW Group

Dr. Hassan Okour ’07

Former Dean, Qatar Law School

Jinsung Lee ’88

Justice, Constitutional Court of Korea

Yukio Horigome ’71

Justice of the Supreme Court of Japan

Hans Heppe‘97

International Partner, Locke Lord LLP Honorary German Consul

Student Life

The law school is located on the northwest corner of SMU’s main campus – with the classroom buildings, administration building, and law library forming what is called the “Law Quad.” This ideal location provides easy access to many of SMU’s wonderful student resources, including dining services, a premier fitness center, and health services center.

Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated September 12, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Jan 2020
Aug 2020
36 - 60 months
54,094 USD
2018-2019 Tuition and Fees. Estimated Expenses: Living Expenses ($17,700) + Miscellaneous ($3,000) = Total Tuition, Fees and Expenses ($74,794)
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