Students accepted to CILI are required to complete course work and gain practical experience through externships in the field of international law. The Institute's basic curricular requirements include five mandatory and elective courses in the international law curriculum. In addition, students must also complete an externship for at least one semester, for a minimum of 120 hours, in a Washington-area law firm, organization or governmental agency that focuses on international law. The externship carries a mandatory classroom component entitled Legal Externship: Becoming a Lawyer. Participation in the Institute does not carry a scheduling priority for any course. Students must, however, plan their academic programs with care and in consultation with the program director.

Students select courses based on individual interests, which range from the private arena of business and trade to the public sector of various governmental and nongovernmental organizations focused on diplomacy, constitutionalism, human rights and other areas of public interest. Typically, students enrolled in the certificate program dedicate 16 of the 87 credits required for graduation to the study of comparative and international law. Students plan their academic programs by selecting from the following mandatory and elective courses:



  • Public International Law (Spring 2023)
  • One Externship for academic credit

ONE of two required

  • Comparative Law (Fall 2023)
  • *Law of the European Union (Cracow-Summer 2022)

ONE of two required

  • *Comparative and International Trade (Cracow-Summer 2022)
  • *International Business Transactions (Cracow-Summer offered on rotating basis)

*With the permission of the Director, students may substitute another course to satisfy this requirement.


Minimum of TWO required
Students may choose from all international course offerings to fulfill the elective course requirement.

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (offered on rotating basis; must include international component) 
  • Art Law (offered on rotating basis)
  • Conflict of Laws [course taught by Professors Destro, or Perez] (Fall 2022, Spring 2023)
  • Cyberlaw (Fall 2022)
  • Entertainment Law [course taught by Professor Fischer, only] (offered on rotating basis)
  • Foreign Relations and National Security (Fall 2022)
  • Human Trafficking Seminar (offered on rotating basis)
  • Immigration Law: Deportation and Asylum (Spring 2023)
  • Immigration Law: Employment, Family and Naturalization (Fall 2022)
  • International Communications Law (Fall 2022)
  • International Corruption and Compliance (offered on rotating basis)
  • International Human Rights Law (Spring 2023)
  • International Criminal Law (Spring 2022)
  • International Legal Issues in Protection of Cultural Heritage & Sacred Space (Spring 2023)
  • International Religious Liberty (offered on rotating basis)
  • Law and the Holocaust (taught on rotating basis)
  • Music Law (offered on rotating basis)
  • Space Law (offered on rotating basis)
  • Statutory and Regulatory Interpretation in the Administrative State (Fall 2022)
  1. EXTERNSHIP - One Required
Practical training is a required component of the certificate program. Students may fulfill the externship requirement in one of two ways.
Externship: Students must complete one externship in the area of comparative and/or international law for academic credit. To earn academic credit, students must be enrolled contemporaneously in the one credit course:
Becoming a Lawyer (1 cr.) (classroom component) and Legal Externship (2 or 3 cr.):
                i. 2 credit hours = 120 hours of work at placement, or
                ii. 3 credit hours = 180 hours of work at placement
Each student must consult with the Director before undertaking to select an externship and must obtain approval from the Director for the field placement proposed to satisfy the experiential learning requirement.
    2. CCLS: Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Clinic (3 to 6 cr.) may be taken in lieu of an externship.
Students interested in pursuing a legal externship for academic credit should review the handbook on the Legal Externship Program
CUA Law: Summer Abroad Law Programs - Optional 
Students may satisfy CILI curricular and externship requirements by participating in the International Business and Trade Summer Law Program in Krakow, Poland, and/or the International Human Rights Summer Law Program in Rome, Italy.
Courses offered in the summer of 2022 include:
  • Advanced Issues in Corporate Law: Corporate Responsibility (Krakow)
  • Art, Cultural Property, and Human Rights (Rome)
  • Comparative and International Trade (Krakow)
  • Directed Research/Topics Related to the Holy See and Human Rights (Rome.)
  • International Investment Law (Krakow)
  • Human Rights and Liberal Society (Rome)
  • Law and the European Union (Krakow)
  • Tax Policy and Human Rights (Rome)
PLEASE NOTE: The Director of the Institute has the authority to revise the curriculum, make any adaptations or grant exceptions to the current requirements. Additional courses with a comparative or international focus may be introduced into the law school curriculum on a rotating basis and may also count toward the certificate requirements. Students are advised to check the current semester’s course offerings for additions or changes to the curriculum. In special circumstances, students may, with the permission of the Institute director and the associate dean for academic affairs, substitute a graduate level course in international economics or political science for an elective course. Detailed descriptions of all courses appear in the law school Announcements and on the law school website at

Updated -2022-September 9