FAQs: McGeorge Online Graduate Programs, LLM in Water & Environmental Law



What is an LLM degree?

The LLM is an internationally recognized post-Juris Doctor (JD) law degree, most commonly sought by legal professionals interested in specializing in a specific area of law. LLM is the abbreviation for Legum Magister, which means Master of Laws.


What would my diploma read?

The diploma awarded will be a Master of Laws degree with a concentration in Water & Environmental Law.


Who teaches the classes?

The classes are taught by a combination of McGeorge’s full-time faculty members and highly qualified adjunct instructors. Many of the adjunct instructors are practitioners in the fields of water law and environmental law. We encourage you to view the faculty bios and send us an email at graduatelaw@pacific.edu if you would like to connect with a McGeorge professor.


What can I expect in terms of workload?

The time required for each course depends on the units awarded for the course. For each unit of credit, a student can expect to spend two hours reading course text/materials, and an additional hour of time engaged in interactive course activities--i.e., time spent viewing lectures, listening to presentations, participating in discussion, completing assignments, and taking quizzes. Most courses in the McGeorge online program are three units; in a three unit class, students should expect to spend an average of six hours reading and three hours engaged in interactive learning, for an average of 9 hours per week per course. Students will typically take two courses per semester, requiring an average of 18 hours on a weekly basis.


How many courses must I complete in order to earn LLM in Water & Environmental Law degree?

Students must complete 24 credits to earn the LLM.


What is required as part of the application?

An application containing the following items is required: Official transcripts for all universities and colleges that you have attended, a resume or curriculum vitae, a personal statement, and two letters of recommendation.


How are admissions decisions communicated to applicants?

All decisions will be communicated to applicants via email. If you are admitted, a formal letter will be attached to the email.


If I am accepted, how much time will I have to decide whether to enroll or not?

Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis with a commitment required by April 1st (Fall start) or November 1st (Spring start). The sooner you apply, the longer span of time you will have to make a decision that will work best for you. If an applicant submits their application materials after these dates, they will have two weeks from the time a decision is rendered to pay a seat deposit and commit to the program. Extensions to this two-week rule may be granted on a case by case basis.


Is financial aid available?

Yes, LLM students may be eligible for financial aid. Please contact our Financial Aid office at 916.739.7158 or finaid@pacific.edu. We also offer a Dean’s Scholarship to highly qualified applicants.

Individuals who have earned educational benefits through the Veterans Administration can use their benefits at McGeorge. You are responsible for confirming your eligibility with the VA. McGeorge is a 100% Yellow Ribbon matching institution.


Is it possible for my employer to cover all or part of the LLM tuition?

Applicants should check with their individual employers. Of the companies that do assist with tuition payments, some have a limit on the amount of tuition that can be covered in any given year. We encourage you to reach out to your Human Resources department to see if this benefit is available to you.


When do classes begin?

The first cohort for the online LLM will be in Spring 2020. After that, students may begin the online program in either the Fall (August) or the Spring (January). The exact date that the academic terms begin varies from year to year so please reference the academic calendar. While you can continue your coursework through the summer, there is no new cohort start in the summer months.


Do I need to participate in an Orientation?

An online orientation program is required for all program participants. Orientation will be available the week before the start of each semester.


How are the online courses organized? Are they self-paced?

Most courses within McGeorge Online Graduate Programs are offered on a semester-long basis, with weekly modules. Although format may vary depending on the nature of the course, in most courses students should expect to be assigned new topics each week, with associated reading, lecture, discussion, exercises, quizzes, and other interactive activities. Individual topics that include a specific group of reading assignments, lectures, discussion, and exercises are called "modules." Most courses will release new modules each Monday and allow one week for completion. Within the weekly modules, most McGeorge online courses will be primarily asynchronous. This means that students do not necessarily need to be online at the same time, and will have the flexibility to complete module activities at a time convenient to their schedules, as long as they complete the activities by the assigned, typically weekly, deadline. Some assignments, such as weekly discussion, may have mid-week deadlines. Some papers or projects may be assigned over several weeks or the course of a semester. To facilitate planning, all deadlines will be announced in the syllabus prior to the beginning of a course.

McGeorge online courses are designed to provide regular and substantial interaction between faculty and students. For this reason, students will generally work on one weekly module at a time so that they are working at the same pace as their classmates. All students are required to participate in each course on a weekly basis.

Online courses may also schedule semi-regular or optional "live" classes, called synchronous classes, in which students would be required to be online at the same time using live conferencing technology integrated into the course. Faculty will also offer regular "live" office hours, and may from sometimes schedule guest speakers or special events on a synchronous basis. Any mandatory synchronous sessions will be announced at the start of each course to allow for proper planning.

McGeorge online courses are designed to provide students with substantial flexibility to manage other professional and personal commitments while also facilitating regular and substantial interaction with the professor and other students. To be successful in the online program, students will need to be self-motivated and organized.


What are the technical requirements for the online programs?

Students need to have regular and reliable access to a computer and high speed Internet. Note that mobile and tablet devices will not provide full access; students will need a laptop or desktop computer with videoconferencing capabilities (webcam & headset).


Are courses offered during the summer?

The program offers two units over one four-week summer session, spread over two 1-unit courses, Persuasive Public Speaking and Leadership in Organizations.


Is there a residential component?

There is no requirement that an online student come to our Sacramento campus. However, LLM students are eligible to enroll in the 1-unit Persuasive Public Speaking course, which will be offered during the summer with a hybrid (partially online and partially in-person) option. Space permitting, we encourage students to consider electing this option and visit McGeorge.


I live in a state outside of California, can I apply?

Per the Department of Education, we must be authorized to educate students in any particular state, therefore only students from pre-authorized states may participate in this program. If your state is not on the list below, please send us an email so that we are aware of interest from your state, for planning purposes. States where McGeorge School of Law has obtained state authorization:

Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.


As an online student, can I participate in on-campus events?

Yes – you are a part of our community and as such we invite (and encourage) you to participate in any way that is meaningful for you. LLM students will be alerted to opportunities to participate in on-campus events through live-streaming and similar technology. If you are able to visit campus, we are happy to provide a campus tour, to introduce you to faculty, to connect with professionals in your area of concentration, and to participate in academic and social events. If you are planning a visit, we encourage you to contact Graduate Law Programs at graduatelaw@pacific.edu in advance so that we can help make your stay meaningful and rewarding.


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