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Scholarships and Financial Assistance

Each year, Duke Law School is pleased to offer financial assistance to a number of highly qualified LLM applicants. This financial assistance generally takes the form of varying amounts of tuition scholarships. Duke Law LLM scholarships include the Judy Horowitz Scholarship, offered to an outstanding student from a developing country; the Global Leaders Scholarship, offered to an outstanding student from China; scholarships for students from certain regions such as Africa, Australia-New Zealand, Israel, Scandinavia, and Southeast Asia; and scholarships for students with a proven commitment to Environmental Law. In addition, Duke Law Scholarships include general merit scholarships and scholarship collaborations with partners such as Fulbright, AMIDEAST, LASPAU, and Open Society Foundation. Applicants who wish to be considered for a Duke Law scholarship must submit a scholarship request letter with their LLM application. The request letter should be brief (no more than one page) and contain: (1) a short description of academic, professional and special accomplishments beyond what the student has already listed in their essay;  (2) possible contributions the student will make to the Law School community; (3) description of other planned sources for financing (e.g. personal, familial, company sponsored, government sponsored, outside scholarships); and (4) amount of scholarship support requested (if known). Scholarships are granted on a competitive basis for students who demonstrate exceptional merit or great need. 

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 2019-20 academic year for a single student was USD $91,000. 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.

Students should also consult with a relevant tax authority in their home country regarding the possibility of deducting their tuition payments from taxes.

Loan Options for International Students

Duke University has established a list of recommended private lenders available for incoming international students. View the list of lenders on the ELMSelect website and select “View Loans”.

Possible Funding Resources for International Students

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

Estimated Budget for LLM Program
Full Academic Year 2020-2021

 Living Expenses

Single Student

Married Student

Books & Supplies

$624

$624

Rent & Utilities

$10,404

$13,463

Food

$3,330

$6,187

Miscellaneous (local travel, entertainment, etc.)

$5,256

$9,049

Total Estimated Living Expenses

$19,614

$29,323

 

Educational Expenses

Single Student

Married Student

Tuition

$68,400

$68,400

Health Fee

$858

$858

Health Insurance

$3,535*

$10,024*

Law Student Activity Fee

$110

$110

Graduate Student Activity Fee

$38

$38

Graduate Student Services Fee

$20

$20

Transcript Fee

$120

$120

Recreation Fee

$326

$326

Total Estimated Educational Expenses

$73,407

$79,896

TOTAL ESTIMATED EXPENSES

$93,021

$109,219

 

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.  If dependents are joining you at Duke, proof of funding required to apply for your visa will need to include the additional amount noted above for your spouse, as well as $5,000 for each child.  

Bar application fees and the cost of bar exam preparatory courses are NOT included in the above amounts.  Bar preparation courses are offered by private vendors, not by the Law School, and can cost several thousand dollars.

*ALL F-1 and J-1 visa holders are REQUIRED to purchase the Duke University-sponsored health insurance.  The amounts listed above for heath insurance are for the current academic year. Rates for 2020-2021 will be available in April.  

Cost of Living Comparison to Durham, North Carolina

 

Housing

Food & Groceries

Overall Index

Ann Arbor, MI

64% more expensive

3% more expensive

23% more expensive

Berkeley, CA

417% more expensive

15% more expensive

147% more expensive

Boston, MA

160% more expensive

12% more expensive

71% more expensive

Charlottesville, VA

25% more expensive

2% more expensive

10% more expensive

Chicago, IL

1% less expensive

2% less expensive

12% more expensive

Los Angeles, CA

198% more expensive

5% more expensive

82% more expensive

New York, NY

194% more expensive

17% more expensive

97% more expensive

Palo Alto, CA

1174% more expensive

25% more expensive

395% more expensive

Washington, DC

141% more expensive

15% more expensive

60% more expensive

*Data derived from 2019 Cost of Living Calculator provided by Sperling's Best Places at https://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-living/.

Live Better on a Budget

The cost of housing and other living expenses vary significantly from city to city in the United States.  It is important to understand costs outside of tuition when picking the right school for you.  Choosing a place to live in Durham, North Carolina will be a pleasant and often more economical 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.

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.

Weather-Friendly City

Better weather equals more time to enjoy the beautiful outdoor experiences throughout North Carolina.  Whether you want to drive to the beautiful North Carolina beaches or to the amazing Blue Ridge Mountains, our moderate temperatures throughout the fall, winter and spring make North Carolina an ideal location for an LLM experience.

 

Annual High Temperature1

Annual Low Temperature1

Average

Snowfall2

Sunny Days Per Year3

Durham, NC

21°C

9°C

(Raleigh) 20 cm

(Raleigh) 217

Ann Arbor, MI

15°C

5°C

(Detroit) 109 cm

(Detroit) 180

Berkeley, CA

20°C

9°C

----

(San Francisco) 260

Boston, MA

15°C

7°C

112 cm

201

Chicago, IL

15°C

6°C

102 cm

189

Los Angeles, CA

22°C

13°C

----

292

New York, NY

17°C

9°C

76 cm

234

Palo Alto, CA

21°C

8°C

----

(San Francisco) 260

Philadelphia, PA

18°C

8°C

56 cm

205

Washington, DC

18°C

8°C

51 cm

----

1Annual High Temperature, Annual Low Temperature and Average Temperature provided by US Climate Data, https://www.usclimatedata.com.

2 Annual snowfall from NerdWallet article based data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/snowfall-totals-city/.

3 Sunny days per year by state provided by Current Results website based on data from the National Climatic Data Center and World Data Center for Meteorology, https://www.currentresults.com/Weather/US/average-annual-state-sunshine.php

 

Title
Global Leaders Scholarship Program
Content

Beibei Sun"Receiving the Global Leader Scholarship to study in the Duke LLM program opened up my three amazing years at Duke Law. I knew of Duke’s strong reputation in IP and Technology Law, and thanks to the unprecedented learning experiences and intellectual growth I experienced at Duke, my dream of becoming an international IP lawyer is finally coming true. The scholarship will also be a resounding reminder to me in the future to make a difference globally as a proud Duke Law graduate."

Beibei Sun, LLM 2014, JD 2016, Associate, Ropes & Gray LLP