Program Structure and Curriculum
The LLM program structure at Peking University School of Transnational Law (STL) is characterized by diversity and flexibility. Students can pick the courses, timeline and extra-curricular activities that best foster their academic interests and career goals.
The curriculum is designed to train lawyers who are comfortable working between multiple jurisdictions and different types of law and able to tackle complex and contemporary issues. STL offers the most extensive selection of English-language coursework of any law school in China, with more than 70 English-language courses covering subjects from international and comparative law to Chinese law to American common law. The curriculum includes a wide selection of specialty topics and electives ranging from Traditional Chinese Legal Thought to International Fintech Regulation.
STL is also one of the only law schools in the world where international students can take law courses in both English and Chinese. Additionally, STL offers one of the only LLM programs in China where international students study alongside their Chinese colleagues in nearly all their courses.
Whether you are a fresh graduate seeking specialized legal training, international experience and adventure, a mid-career professional ready to earn the credentials to promote your position or transition your field, an ambitious scholar excited to research in new fields, or even a partner at a law firm looking for opportunities to expand your network in China, STL’s LLM program can fit your goals.
Our LLM program can be completed entirely in English. Indeed, STL has the most diverse and extensive English language curriculum of any law school in China, offer more than 70 different courses in English. However, the program will also provide international students the opportunity to study the Chinese language, and even take law courses in Chinese if they have the requisite proficiency.
STL’s LLM is a two-year program. However, students can complete all the required courses and sufficient credits to graduate in one year. The main requirement during the second year is writing a thesis paper. Students can choose to return to their home country during the second year and write their thesis remotely. Alternatively, LLM students can remain in China during the second year and participate in a range of activities including: taking additional law courses, taking business courses at PHBS, studying Chinese, doing an internship or externship, competing in moot court, serving as a research assistant, or traveling.
Academic Calendar and Course Load
STLs academic year runs from mid-August to early July, with a month-long mid-year holiday for the Chinese Spring Festival in January/February. For details about the current academic calendar click HERE.
The academic year is divided into 4 quarters that are roughly 10 weeks each. Students select new courses each quarter and are assessed for those courses at the end of the quarter. LLM students typically take around 4 courses each quarter. This however is flexible. The exact number and type of courses are up to the student. We can advise students individually on what will work best for them.
To earn the LL.M. degree, candidates must:
1) Complete a minimum of 45 credits of course work (approximately 15 courses), including the following required courses;
a) China Studies (3 credits)
b) Chinese Language (2 credits)
c) Academic Research and Writing (1 credit)
d) Transnational Law Requirement (3 credits)
e) Advanced Transnational Law Requirement (3 credits)
f) Transnational Legal Practice Requirement (3 credits)
2) Draft a thesis paper (3 credits) on a topic of the student’s choice.
3) Spend at least three academic quarters in residence.
Other than the required courses listed above, most of the courses that LLM students will take to earn their degree will be electives that LLMs can select to build a personalized curriculum that best fits their individual academic interests and career goals. The elective courses change from year to year. For more information on the types and variety of courses STL offers, click on any of the concentration areas below:
Co-Curricular & Extracurricular Activities
In addition to completing LLM coursework during the program, students can participate in a wide range of additional activities for-credit and not-for-credit.
-Studying Chinese (through Peking University)
-Taking business law courses (through Peking University PHBS)
-Studying abroad (at one of our many partner schools around the world)
-Serving as a research assistant
-Studying Chinese (with a tutor or through a language school)
-General education courses (painting, Chinese calligraphy, etc.)
-Campus events, festivals and cultural excursions
-Participating in career fairs
-Visiting Chinese companies, law firms, etc.
Want to make your LLM experience even more international? LLM students have the unique opportunity to apply to study abroad at one of our many partner schools around the world during their second year in the program.
Working and Interning
An important feature of doing an LLM for many students is building some international work experience. Through STL’s LLM, students have a range of opportunities to intern and work in China. These can be for-credit or not-for-credit, paid or unpaid, during the program or after the program. Such opportunities are competitive and merit based. STL has a dedicated career services department that can help LLM students find internships and jobs.