Program Structure

The University of Michigan’s Program in Refugee and Asylum Law

The University of Michigan Law School offers the world’s most comprehensive program for the study of international and comparative refugee law.


The foundation course of the Program is International Refugee Law (Law 724), an introduction to the legal definition of a refugee codified in international law, and adopted by nearly 150 states, including the United States. After coming to an understanding of who is entitled to asylum, students may enroll in the Refugee Rights Workshop (Law 845), which explains the way in which rights are guaranteed to persons who meet the international refugee definition, allows students to identify and analyze a current situation in which refugee rights are at risk, and gives each seminar member the opportunity to devise a legal intervention strategy that draws on refugee law and other branches of international human rights law. Students completing these two offerings will have a comprehensive understanding of international refugee law, both as designed and as implemented in the practice of states.

Michigan Fellows in Refugee and Asylum Law

In addition to the formal academic curriculum, Michigan Law School students who have completed the course in International Refugee Law are eligible to compete for a Michigan Fellowship in Refugee and Asylum Law. Michigan Fellows receive a grant from the Program to cover the living and transportation costs to undertake a one-on-one summer internship (6-10 weeks) with a recognized leader in the refugee law field.