Students who wish to do extensive research that culminates in a scholarly paper may choose this track.
Students are required to earn 17 to 25 credits over two semesters of coursework. In addition to elective courses, total credits must include the "Life of the Law" (1 credit) and "Introduction to Legal Research and Scholarly Writing in the United States," (2 credits), both of which all LL.M. students take during their first semester of study, and a substantial scholarly research and writing project (4 - 7 credits).
Only students with strong writing skills who are capable of doing extensive independent research should choose the thesis track. Students admitted to the thesis track must have strong English language skills. Applicants for the thesis track program should have a well-developed research focus and a strong interest in working closely with one or more Vanderbilt professors.
Students enrolled in the thesis track are paired with a faculty advisor with expertise in the subject area on which the student plans to focus. Working in close consultation with their advisors, thesis track students complete substantial scholarly research and writing projects during their year of study at Vanderbilt Law School.
To pursue the thesis track, students must list the faculty member(s) with whom they wish to pursue individualized research at Vanderbilt in the application for admission. Faculty profiles may be viewed at law.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/.
Students may enter the course track and apply for the thesis track during the fall semester of their year at Vanderbilt.