LL.M. in Finance facts

Tuition 18,000 EUR

Duration 10 mths

Intakes October

Int'l Students 92%

Women 50%

Minimum TOEFL 100

Minimum IELTS 7.0

Class Size 46

ILF Institute for Law and Finance at Frankfurt University

Campus Westend
House of Finance
Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 3

60323 Frankfurt am Main


School Website

ILF - Full Profile

The University

Goethe University Frankfurt am Main is one of Europe’'s leading institutions of higher education. Although the current organization was founded as a university in 1914 by prominent citizens of Frankfurt, its actual origins go back to 1763. The Faculty of Law and Faculty of Business and Economics are among the largest and best known in Germany. Frankfurt has earned an excellent reputation in the field of international business law. The well-known Institute of Foreign and International Business Law, which was founded in 1953 by Helmut Coing, Walter Hallstein, Heinrich Kronstein and Hans-Jürgen Schlochauer, has now been integrated into the ILF. Its extensive library has been incorporated into the ILF library.

With currently more than 46,000 students, including over 7,200 international students representing more than 130 nationalities, the University prides itself on a rich tradition of intellectual and cultural excellence.

The Law School

The Institute for Law and Finance is a non-profit foundation established in 2002 by Goethe University with the support of many prominent institutions. Leading commercial banks and international law firms, the Frankfurt Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the City of Frankfurt and the State of Hesse, as well as the European Central Bank and the Deutsche Bundesbank have been actively involved in the ILF right from the planning stages until today.

Recognizing that young professionals require advanced training in both law and finance so as to excel in today’s financial world, the ILF offers a unique postgraduate program leading to a Master of Laws in Finance (LL.M. Finance). This Master’s program is aimed at students interested in combining theoretical knowledge and practical training in the specialized fields of law and international finance. Major banks, international law firms and public institutions, including the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, the German Bundesbank and leading financial regulatory institutions, play a significant role in the development and implementation of the program.

The ILF, which is located in Frankfurt, the major financial center in Europe, provides the ideal location to train young professionals to deal with the legal and financial challenges facing a Europe of 28 states and beyond.

In addition to its educational role, the ILF is also a center of competence for research and policy-making in the areas of law and international finance.

In addition to the flagship LL.M. Finance program which has been running since October 2002, the ILF has launched a second LL.M. International Finance program for graduates holding a first degree in law, business or economics from from Asia (especially PR China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau). The Master of Laws in International Banking, Securities and Finance (LL.M. International Finance) program offers excellent interdisciplinary and practice-oriented training in the areas of international and European banking, securities and finance law. It strives to provide students from Asia (especially PR China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau) with a solid and comprehensive legal and financial education set in a dynamic learning environment, thereby giving them the legal training they need to excel in their careers.

The Program

A.) LL.M. Finance
B.) LL.M. International Finance for Graduates from Asia (especially PR China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau) (which started in October 2014)

A.) Master of Laws in Finance (LL.M. Finance)
In order to obtain the LL.M. Finance, students must have:
* a minimum of 60 credit points through coursework. Credit points are obtained by fulfilling the requirements of each course (e.g. prepared attendance, presentations and exams).
* a total of 12 graded courses for the year. To receive a grade for a course, you will have to attend the class regularly AND have to pass the appropriate examination(s).

Master’s Thesis
Students must submit a thesis of approximately 65 text pages on a subject agreed in consultation with the student’s thesis adviser. The candidates should show in the dissertation that they can carry out independent academic work and present the results appropriately. The final thesis will be reviewed by the student’s thesis advisor and by one additional examiner according to the regulations of the program. Recent LL.M. theses have included subjects such as financial relationships in the European System of Central Banks (ESCB), legal and regulatory issues of credit derivatives and the structuring of venture capital or private equity funds for the German market. Theses could potentially be on any subject related to course and/or internship work.

The LL.M. Finance degree program includes a two-month internship. The internship experience gives students an opportunity to test and deepen their understanding of the coursework. Thanks to our location in Frankfurt and the high caliber of our sponsors, students benefit from such unique internship opportunities. Internships are offered by leading international law firms in Frankfurt, major banks, accounting firms, the German financial regulatory body BaFin, the German Bundesbank, and the ECB. Internships expose students to the working environment and professional expectations of leading firms and institutions. The valuable opportunity to form contacts for potential career development is also highly appreciated by students. Internships are usually undertaken during the break between the winter and summer semesters (i.e., February/March). It is, however, possible to organize an internship during the summer break by prior arrangement.

Students, in consultation with the ILF, may apply to the law firm, financial institution or other organizations of their choice. The ILF assists students in finding suitable internship positions. Positions are awarded on a competitive basis, with student initiative and interest being the primary criterion for placement. Internships are not necessarily restricted geographically and positions outside of Germany are possible if a student takes the initiative to organize such an opportunity.

B.) Master of Laws in International Banking, Securities and Finance (LL.M. International Finance)
In order to earn the LL.M. International Finance degree, students must acquire a minimum of 45 credit points through graded coursework. Credit points for a course are successfully acquired by receiving a passing grade as a result of fulfilling the specific requirements of the course (e.g. prepared attendance, presentations and exams). Students are required to attend all 11 courses offered in the program and have to pass at least 9 of the courses.

Master’s Thesis
Students must submit a thesis on a subject agreed in consultation with the student's thesis adviser. With the approval of the examinations committee, a thesis may also be completed by two students, provided that the part of each student allows for an individual grading of his or her work.

Extra-Curricular Courses
Basics of Financial Mathematics
Basics of European Union Law

Beginners' German Langauge Course

The Faculty

The program overcomes the traditional separation of the academic disciplines of law and business/economics. The program teaches you aspects of both law and business/economics and focuses on their intersection and interplay. Thus, you will gain the competence and insights to appreciate the legal framework, constraints on economic decisions and economic consequences of legislative directives and legal practice. You will be taught by prominent academics and leading practitioners from both areas of expertise. Many of our faculty members comprise top-qualified practioners from the industry, being partners working in major law firms and experts in banks, regulatory authorities and consultancies.

Entry Requirements

A.) Master of Laws in Finance (LL.M. Finance)

The LL.M. Finance program is specifically designed for graduates who already have a first degree in law, business or economics from an accredited or recognized university. Therefore, if you possess a first degree in any of these subjects and have outstanding academic records, we would be happy to receive your application. Previous professional experience is not a requirement but an advantage. We admit a mix of students with and without prior working experience who will equally benefit from the program. Your proficiency in English must proven to surpass a level of TOEFL 600, CBT TOEFL 250, IBT TOEFL 100, Cambridge CAE (grade C or above) or IELTS 7.0 unless your native tongue is English.

The ILF limits its admissions to 60 students each year in order to ensure academic excellence and direct, personal contact between students and the faculty.

B.) Master of Laws in International Banking, Securities and Finance (LL.M. International Finance)

Graduates from Asia (especially PR China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau) holding a first degree in law, business or economics and who have good academic records are eligible to apply to join our LL.M. International Finance program. Your proficiency in English must proven to surpass a level of TOEFL 580, CBT TOEFL 237, IBT TOEFL 92 or IELTS 6.5 unless your native tongue is English.

Application Procedure

Admissions will be conducted on a "rolling" basis, meaning that applications will be considered by the Admissions Committee as soon as they are complete. Admissions will be given on a "first come first served" basis. No application fee is required.

The following must be submitted:

1) Application form
2) Letter of Motivation
3) Curriculum vitae
4) University Entrance Qualification
e.g., high school diploma, Abitur, Baccalauréat or other similar diploma.
Documents qualifying university entrance and the transcripts must be submitted in English or German or as certified translations into one of these languages. All copies must be certified by a notary public or other appropriate public institutions.
5) Academic Degrees
Degree certificates and transcripts must be submitted in English or German or as certified translations into one of these languages. All copies must be certified by a notary public or other appropriate public institutions.
6) English Proficiency
Proficiency in English must surpass a level of TOEFL 600, CBT TOEFL 250, IBT TOEFL 100, Cambridge CAE (grade C or above), or IELTS 7.0 (for LL.M. International Finance: TOEFL 580, CBT TOEFL 237, IBT TOEFL 92 or IELTS 6.5) unless your native tongue is English. You should request the test center to directly send a copy of the official test results to the ILF. If the testing schedules do not allow the results to be available by the application deadline, you should state in your application when the results will be available and then forward the results to the ILF by such date.
7) References
At least two sealed and confidential letters of recommendation, preferably from university professors and/or employers must be submitted. The letters may either be included together with the application materials (as long as they are in a sealed envelope preserving confidentiality) or sent to the ILF directly by the referees. References should be current. More than two references may be included.
8) Class Rank
A written confirmation from the relevant university indicating your class rank should be included in your application. This confirmation shall state your relative standing in the year of graduation and where possible, broken down into the relevant majors (e.g. in top 5% of law graduates in the class of 2012). The total number of students should also be stated. This information is required to assess the performance of the applicant in relation to his/her peers. If a given university does not provide such information, we need a written statement by the university to that effect.
9) Two Passport-sized photographs
10) Photocopy of Passport
11) Optional: Application for Financial Aid (if applicable and only for LL.M. Finance)
Any application for financial aid must be made at the same time as the application for admission. Subsequent applications for financial aid will not be considered. Documents supporting the application for financial aid may follow the application itself, but they should be submitted prior to the consideration of the Admissions Committee of the main application itself.
12) For applicants from the People's Republic of China, an APS certificate from the Akademischen Prüfstelle (https://www.aps.org.cn/web/) in Beijing
13) For applicants from Mongolia and Vietnam, an APS certificate from the Akademischen Prüfstelle in Ulan Bator and Hanoi (http://www.hanoi.diplo.de/Vertretung/hanoi/de/06/APS__Hanoi) respectively

Tuition and Fees

The tuition fee of the LL.M. Finance program is set at 18,000 Euro (full-time) and 22,000 Euro (part-time).

The tuition fee of the LL.M. International Finance program is set at 16,000 Euro (full-time), Scholarship of 10% (1,600 Euro) for applications received by 28 Feb of the year of the start of studies.

The fee covers tuition, the use of the ILF facilities, the use of the facilities at Goethe University, the conferment of the degree upon the successful completion of the program requirements, transcripts, degree certificates as well as selected extracurricular activities. It does not cover the costs of living (i.e. board and lodging), health insurance, teaching materials or computer consumables.

All enrolled students are subject to our Terms of Enrolment.

Financial Aid

In exceptional cases, for the LL.M. Finance program, a limited amount of financial aid in the form of scholarships granted for the tuition fees is available. Such scholarship funds are made possible by the generosity of the ILF sponsors. Financial aid usually takes the form of a partial funding of the tuition fees. It is awarded at the discretion of the ILF Admissions Committee based on merit as well as the applicant’s proven financial need.

The ILF does not provide any grant to students for the costs of living. Before being admitted to the ILF program, every student must satisfy the Admissions Committee that he/she is able to meet reasonable living expenses for the entire duration of the program.

As financial aid from the ILF resources is limited, we strongly recommend that you contact the international office of your home university for information on scholarships and grants for nationals of your country to study in Germany.

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) awards scholarships to university graduates from all academic disciplines. We recommend that students consult the DAAD website early in their application process: www.daad.de.


The ILF is located in the House of Finance at Campus Westend of Goethe University Frankfurt am Main.

With this location, the ILF aims to offer the most modern equipment and facilities and state of the art technology for the use of its students during their studies at the ILF. In addition, our students will benefit from the increased contact and network opportunities available due to the presence of researchers and experts working in the field of law and finance at the House of Finance. The change of location does not in any way affect the constitutional structure of the ILF or the programs which are offered by it - in other words, the ILF will remain the same as before.

The House of Finance will amalgamate the university's interdisciplinary research on finance, monetary economics, and corporate and financial law under one roof. About 130 researchers with special interests in various aspects of finance coming from eight academic research and training units will be working together. The concentration of experts and leading academics at one location will result in direct and unlimited exchange of information and ideas not only among themselves but will also enhance networking and collaboration with the community and at the international level.

We look forward to making our contribution towards establishing a leading European center for education and research in the field of finance.

You can find us at:

Institute for Law and Finance
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
House of Finance, Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 3
60323 Frankfurt am Main


There are several accommodation options available to students in the Frankfurt area. The ILF offers a limited number of dormitory rooms owned by the university’s student services. Since the demand for these rooms is usually greater than the number of rooms available, they are reserved to students from abroad and allocated by lottery. Students interested in one of these rooms should let us know that they wish to enter the allocation lottery.

Other options include student housing facilities offered by various church organizations and other non-profit housing facilities. We recommend strongly that students contact such organizations as soon as they receive notice of acceptance to the program, as these rooms are also very sought after. The ILF is able to provide a list of these organizations and further information to help you find private accommodation in Frankfurt.

Student Life

Student life at the ILF is very vibrant due to the different nationalities and cultural backgrounds represent by our students. The ILF organises extra-curricular activities for its students every year such as excursions to cities such as Heidelberg, Berlin Brussels, Luxembourg or Straßbourg, a visit to the Deutsche Börse (Frankfurt Stock Exchange) and Commerzbank Tower, receptions at our sponsors, seminars, guest lectures etc.

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