University of Vienna: Vienna, Austria

a. General Information

The University of Vienna

Founded in 1365 by Duke Rudolf IV of Habsburg, the University of Vienna is one of the oldest universities in Europe with a long and outstanding academic tradition. Established in Austria’s capital Vienna in the heart of Central Europe and the European Union, the University of Vienna has regularly been ranked among Europe’s top universities and is proud of having been the home of nine Nobel Prize Laureates. The University of Vienna traditionally has strong international relations in research and education with over 300 partner universities all over the world.

The Vienna Law School

The University of Vienna’s School of Law (Vienna Law School) was founded in 1365 and was one of the first law schools established in Europe. Today, its research and teaching activities comprise all traditional fields of legal studies as well as 38 special concentrations, some LL.M. programs and a doctoral program. For centuries, the Vienna Law School has been internationally renowned for its innovative power in pioneering legal frontiers and educating lawyers. Challenged by globalization and European integration as well as the many new legal questions arising out of the intersection of law, science and cutting-edge technology, European Union law and technology law are among the current priorities of the Vienna Law School in research and education. Its faculty and scholars have been contributing significantly to the national and international exchange of ideas in both fields. Vienna is a vibrant internationally oriented city with its many international organizations, its international business community, its nearby technology clusters, and its dominant cultural emphasis.

The J.D./LL.M. Option in EU-U.S. Law

An important area of specialization at the University of Vienna is the transatlantic economic relationship between Europe and the United States. To address the growing need for a sound understanding of the legal system of the EU, especially for business and technology lawyers, Stanford Law School and the University of Vienna have established – in addition to the standard opportunity for Stanford students to study abroad – an internationally unique, combined “J.D./LL.M. Option in EU-U.S. Law.” This program allows students to receive a comprehensive legal education and to earn two distinct law degrees, i.e. in U.S. law (J.D.) and EU law (LL.M.), from two world-renowned universities in two major jurisdictions in a total of only three years. The J.D./LL.M. Option in EU-U.S. Law is described further in Section b below.

b. The Exchange Program

The University of Vienna has an extensive network of student exchange relationships, both with European Universities under the auspices of the ERASMUS program and a network of leading non-European Law Schools. The program reflects the University of Vienna’s commitment to internationalization of higher education and its goal to prepare students, who are globally competent.

Stanford Law students, who petition to study abroad in Vienna, can choose among two options:

(1) The traditional option

Students can go as regular exchange students to Vienna. In this case, students can freely choose and enroll any of the classes offered at the University of Vienna School of Law, according to their personal interests and their home university’s requirements.

(2) The J.D./LL.M. Option in EU-U.S. Law

In addition to the opportunity for Stanford Law students to participate in a traditional study abroad program for which they receive credit towards their Stanford Law School J.D. degree, the exchange program with the University of Vienna offers an internationally unique, combined “J.D./LL.M. Option in EU-U.S. Law.” This program allows students to receive a comprehensive legal education and to earn two distinct law degrees, i.e. in U.S. law (J.D.) and EU law (LL.M.), from two world-renowned universities in two major jurisdictions in a total of only three years. This option is possible for Stanford Law School students who: (a) complete necessary prerequisites at Stanford Law School; and (b) pursue a prescribed course of study during a quarter abroad at the University of Vienna through Stanford’s Foreign Legal Study Program. Stanford Law School students pursuing the J.D./LL.M. Option in EU-U.S. Law have the privilege to select their courses from Vienna’s LL.M. Program in European and International Business Law, which is offered in English to an international student body, and to earn an LL.M. degree at the University of Vienna during the exchange quarter, if they wish to do that. This J.D./LL.M. option is of special interest to those students who wish to specialize in and include EU and international business law and/or EU and international intellectual property & technology law in their legal education.

c. Academic Calendar

The fall semester starts on October 1 at the University of Vienna. Although the fall semester runs through January 31 at the University of Vienna, all required courses for the J.D./LL.M. option and most of the elective courses will be finished until mid-December.

d. Language of Instruction

The language of instruction is English.

e. Academic Requirement for Admission to Exchange Program

The exchange program is open to Stanford J.D. students who want to study at the University of Vienna during their second or third J.D. year.  The J.D./LL.M. Option in EU-U.S. Law is open to Stanford J.D. students otherwise eligible students who also have completed the European Union Law course (LAW 5005).

f. Standard Course Loads & Eligible Courses

(1) The J.D./LL.M. Option in EU-U.S. Law

In order to be eligible for Vienna’s LL.M. degree, J.D./LL.M. exchange students must observe certain LL.M. graduation requirements and enroll the following required courses:

  • European Union Law (Stanford)
  • International Trade Law (WTO Law) (This course can be enrolled at Stanford or in Vienna)
  • European Internal Market Law (Vienna)
  • European Antitrust Law (Vienna)
  • Elective courses: minimum of 3 units (Vienna)
  • LL.M. master thesis (Vienna)

Students who have previously completed the International Trade Law (WTO Law) course at Stanford must enroll 4 units of elective courses in Vienna. Students who complete the International Trade Law (WTO Law) course as part of their course of study in Vienna must enroll 3 units of elective courses in Vienna.

The LL.M. master thesis is a 4-unit directed research paper, and can be written during the exchange quarter in Vienna, or at Stanford after the exchange student has returned to Stanford.

Students can find a list of elective courses here: Vienna LL.M. elective courses. Please contact Professor Siegfried Fina (siegfried.fina@univie.ac.at), which elective courses will be offered in the autumn quarter.

Exchange students interested in the J.D./LL.M. Option in EU-U.S. Law can complete all LL.M. graduation requirements in the fall semester in Vienna, i.e. in one semester. The workload is comparable to that of a regular full-time LL.M. student at the University of Vienna.

Since Stanford University and the University of Vienna have been partner universities for many decades, the University of Vienna accepts the transfer of a limited number of business law-related J.D. credits as LL.M. electives.

J.D./LL.M. exchange students will earn Vienna’s LL.M. degree, when they complete the J.D. program at Stanford and after they have completed all LL.M. graduation requirements.

(2) The traditional option

For students who wish to study at the University of Vienna School of Law but who do not wish to pursue the J.D./LL.M. Option in EU-U.S. Law, exchange students typically take 30 European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits per semester (which corresponds roughly 15 units). There are no required courses for exchange students. Therefore, incoming students can enroll in any of the classes offered at the University of Vienna Law School, according to their personal interests and their home university’s requirements.

g. Course Enrollment and Registration

Students register for LL.M. courses at the first class meeting of each LL.M. course. Course registration of all other University of Vienna Law School courses is to be completed online.

h. Grading System

Courses are graded in accordance with the Austrian Universities Act as “pass, excellent (1),” “pass, good (2),” “pass, satisfactory (3),” “pass, passing (4),” “fail (5).”

i. Application Procedure

Please file a petition with Stanford Law School’s Foreign Law Programs Committee to study abroad for the autumn quarter as an exchange student at the University of Vienna in line with the procedures established by Stanford Law School’s Foreign Legal Study Program.

In addition, you will have to complete Vienna’s regular LL.M. application form and mail it as a single pdf document (together with all required attachments) to Professor Siegfried Fina (siegfried.fina@univie.ac.at).

j. Application Deadline

The application deadline for the academic year 2022-2023 is April 15, 2022.

k. Housing Information

Information on housing in Vienna is available here: Vienna housing.

l. Visa/Immigration Information

Non-EU citizens are required to apply for a student visa for Austria. More information is available here: Student visa.

m. Fees

Students will pay their regular tuition to Stanford for the quarter during which they study in Vienna.

(1) The traditional option

Regular exchange students do not have to pay any tuition at the University of Vienna.

(2) The J.D./LL.M. Option in EU-U.S. Law

J.D./LL.M. Option in EU-U.S. Law exchange students do not have to pay tuition for the semester during which they study in Vienna.

In addition, J.D./LL.M. Option in EU-U.S. Law exchange students are eligible to apply for a full LL.M. Tuition Scholarship at the University of Vienna, which will cover all LL.M. tuition-related expenses beyond those associated with the cost of study for the semester during which they study in Vienna . The University of Vienna will provide two full LL.M. Tuition Scholarships for incoming J.D./LL.M. exchange students from Stanford Law School for the academic year 2022-2023 (application deadline: April 15, 2022).

Scholarship applications for Vienna shall be mailed as a pdf document, together with Vienna’s LL.M. application form, to Professor Siegfried Fina (siegfried.fina@univie.ac.at).

n. Estimated Cost of Living

Students will find some basic information on the cost of living in Vienna on the following webpage of the University of Vienna: Cost of living.

o. Health Insurance Requirements

Exchange students will need health insurance in Austria. Students are required to make their own health insurance arrangements.

p. Vienna Program Advisor

Professor Siegfried Fina (siegfried.fina@univie.ac.at).