Financial Assistance & Budget

Duke Law School has very limited financial assistance to offer international students. A small amount of scholarship assistance based on merit is awarded to a small number of outstanding applicants. Very qualified applicants should submit with their application a letter requesting scholarship consideration and explaining the basis for merit consideration.

Applicants are encouraged to seek scholarship information from the American consulate about available scholarships granted by the U.S. government and other sources. They should also seek information about scholarships in their home countries. A substantial number of Duke LLM students have been recipients of scholarships granted by the Fulbright Program, DAAD, the Rotary Foundation, the World Bank, and a variety of national, state, corporate, university, and law firm sponsors. Applicants should also use the web to search for other potential sources of funding. Please see Possible Funding Resources for International Students for suggestions. Some students are able to obtain students loans if they are able to present a U.S. citizen to co-sign the loan.

Duke Law School will be glad to provide any documentation necessary for sponsors and should be informed about any scholarship awards. Please let us know if sponsors request an early admission decision. In special cases, early decisions can be provided.

Once admission is offered and accepted, proof of financial support is necessary before the visa process can be started. The amount required for the 2015-16 academic year for a single student is USD $80,000. Accompanying family members will require additional funding. Once a student has matriculated, no scholarship assistance can be awarded. Some international students identify positions at the Law School as library or faculty assistants, but the remuneration is not substantial. Enrolled students may work at the University for no more than 20 hours a week. Students may not seek employment outside the University during the academic year.


Duke Law School does grant some tuition scholarships to outstanding applicants. Scholarship awards will depend on the applicant's potential for academic excellence and previous scholarly and professional performance. Scholarship applicants should submit with their LLM application a separate document with the following information: (1) a detailed summary of academic achievements and any honors, (2) a description of professional experience and special accomplishments, (3) possible contributions to the Law School community; and (4) names of any additional references who might comment on the applicant. Scholarships will be announced within a reasonable amount of time after admission decisions are given.

Duke Law offers a Global Leaders Scholarship each year to the most qualified applicant from China. The scholarship requires a separate application and may be used for full tuition in the LLM, SJD, or JD programs. To learn more, see the Global Leaders Scholarship website.

Possible Funding Resources for International Students

Possible Funding Resources for U.S. Students and Permanent Residents

Estimated Budget for LLM Program
Full Academic Year 2016-2017

 Living Expenses

Single Student

Married Student

Books & Supplies









Miscellaneous (local travel, entertainment, etc.)



Total Estimated Living Expenses




Educational Expenses

Single Student

Married Student




Health Fee



Health Insurance



Law Student Activity Fee



Graduate Student Activity Fee



Graduate Student Services Fee



Transcript Fee



Recreation Fee




Total Estimated Educational Expenses






PLEASE NOTE: This is an ESTIMATED budget and does not account for individual differences in housing accommodation, food selection, extensive travel, or owning a car during your stay. Please add $5,000 to the above figures for each accompanying child. Proof of funding, which is necessary for your visa, will need to include the additional amount for your spouse as well as for each child.

ALL F-1 and J-1 visa holders are REQUIRED to purchase the Duke University-sponsored health insurance. The amounts listed above are estimates; charged insurance rates will be based on age.

Bar application fees and fees for bar exam preparatory courses are NOT included in the above amounts. Bar preparation courses are offered by private vendors, not by the Law School.

Room and Board Budgets *

New York


Washington, D.C.


Los Angeles


Charlottesville, Va.






*based on 2014-15 budgets for room and board plus miscellaneous expenses at
selected law schools

Bring the Family

Many LLM students find Durham to be the ideal place for their families to live. Durham and nearby communities offer ample child-care options, high-quality schools, and endless opportunities for family fun and entertainment, including Durham's Museum of Life and Science, Chapel Hill's Kidzu, Raleigh's Marbles Museum, and myriad parks, lakes, forests, pools, and sports clubs — to name just a few.

Live Better on a Budget

Choosing a place to live in Durham will be a pleasant process, a nice change from living in a large, crowded city. Housing options are plentiful near Duke: You can choose from traditional apartment complexes (most come with pools, exercise facilities, and on-site laundry), urban lofts in transformed tobacco warehouses (also loaded with amenities and usually within steps of restaurants, coffee shops, and retail shops), and homes and condominiums for rent. Many students choose to share an apartment with a classmate; some rent their own place. Whatever your preference, Durham has something to offer.