International Litigation and Arbitration

Master’s in International Litigation and Arbitration

General information

Master’s in International Litigation and Arbitration

2 years
Courses: 25
Total credits: 46
Academic hours: 2145

Class sessions
3 days a week.

On-site classes on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 18h00 to 21h00.
Specialized seminars will have a specific schedule.

Form of payment: 5 modular payments of US$3,000 each one, due at the start of each module. Includes registration, academic materials, access to the electronic resources of USFQ, and attention during the program.

Start of classes:
January 2019

Dates of entrance examination:
4 August, 15 September, 20 October, 17 November.


The Master’s in International Litigation and Arbitration is aimed at Ecuadorian and foreign lawyers who wish to specialize in the prevention and resolution of international controversies in relation to commercial, investment, and human rights matters.

The study program includes topics that will provide students with knowledge and tools that are essential to managing the different methods used for resolution of international controversies. In addition, the program will endow students with skills and abilities necessary for litigation before national and international tribunals.

Arbitration, known as a third-party method of conflict resolution, has won recognition and prominence as the most efficient and effective way to resolve national and international conflicts in a timely and economic manner. It is of required study for any lawyer who wishes to participate as a professional in a globalized economy. Litigation, which is the conduit that implements arbitration, must also be studied. The objective is to have students acquire theoretical knowledge and appreciate how to use it in actual cases.

The program will be taught by national and foreign professionals of recognized international prestige, who, due to their globalized legal practice, face problems that require sophisticated knowledge regarding arbitration, human rights, and litigation.

Candidate profile:

  • Professionals with fundamental knowledge regarding law and that have obtained a lawyer’s university degree that is recognized by SENESCYT.
  • Candidates must be disciplined and honest people, that can work both independently and as group members, and that can deliver under high academic demands.
  • In addition, candidates must have the maturity and emotional stability necessary to meet the expectations of this institution, of his or her teachers, and of his or her tutors.

Program contacts:

For further information:


Johanna Frohlich
Program Director
Telephone: (+593 2) 297-1700 ext.2120

Santiago Tapia
Postgraduate Coordinator – Admissions
Office: G-100
Telephone: (+593 2) 297-1700 ext. 1824

Occupational field

Recent public policies created for the Ecuadorian justice system by the Council of the Judiciary have placed particular emphasis and priority on the promotion of alternative conflict resolution methods. This change in the legal order of Ecuador, coupled with the continuous internationalization of mercantile transactions and the growing importance of foreign investment, have created a market need for lawyers who are specialized in international arbitration and litigation

The legal market has undergone changes, presently requiring lawyers that are competent in sophisticated litigation procedures which incorporate parties from multiple origins and contracts subject to diverse jurisdictions. Thus, the occupational field of graduates from the Master’s in International Litigation and Arbitration program encompasses diverse fields, including: arbitrators, arbitration secretaries, arbitration assistants, officials in arbitration institutions and the public sector, lawyers to contending parties, experts in legislation before international tribunals, etc.


The program approaches arbitration in all its forms: national, international and investment-related, as well as litigation before international courts and tribunals. In developing each of these areas, the program includes classes that entail study of procedural norms and relevant substantive law, as well as the development of practical skills and abilities. This with the objective of developing and maximizing students’ capabilities as relate to critique, opinion, application, and assessment of litigation and arbitration.

The master’s program aims to distinguish the most important judicial institutions involved in the solution of controversies by way of international commercial, investment, and human rights arbitration, so that students may understand how to use them in practice.

Analyze, organize, and distinguish universally accepted judicial concepts and contrast them with those that are still being developed

Resolve problems posed by national and international arbitration practice and law, not only from an academic perspective, but also from a practical one.

Critique the way in which controversy resolution systems are constructed in actuality and propose solutions.


Basic requirements:

  • Hold a lawyer’s degree (university level, issued by a university accredited and recognized in the country where it was granted) that is registered with SENESCYT.
  • Proficiency in English sufficient for reading, understanding, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating legal articles in that language. MCER Level A2 at minimum.
  • Copy of national identity card or passport.
  • Degree certificate with final grade.
  • Official grade transcript.
  • Printed SENESCYT registration of degree.
  • Approve the USFQ postgraduate entrance examination. Please refer to the postgraduate admissions process at USFQ:

Program-specific requirements:

  • Updated curriculum vitae.
  • Two recommendation letters: one professional, another academic.
  • Letter of intent towards program admission.
  • Interview with the Program Director.

Funding and scholarships

This master’s program provides scholarships of a 20% discount to those who demonstrate academic excellence during the application and selection process. To apply for this scholarship, a candidate must have completed all admission requirements, and request this aid in his or her letter of intent, explaining the reasons for doing so.

Cooperation agreement with the Office of the General Attorney of Ecuador

The Master’s in International Litigation and Arbitration has institutional support from the Office of the General Attorney of Ecuador, entity which is charged with legal representation of the Ecuadorian state and its institutions. The program’s academic activities will thus be complemented by international lawyers and teachers, specialized in the subject matter, invited by the Office of the General Attorney.

Institutional support from the International Chamber of Commerce

The program is backed by the Arbitration Court of the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris (ICC), which is one of the most well-reputed international arbitration institutions in terms of commercial and investment arbitration. ICC will arrange international expert panels to discuss topics related to arbitration, and will provide internship opportunities at one of the ICC venues in recognition of the program’s best students.


“There isn’t another master’s program in the country with such a broad and specialized group of professors as this one. It is invaluable to be able to acquire knowledge and experience from those who have actually litigated in international arbitrations, including in the defense of Ecuador. I love this master’s program for everything I am learning, and thus highly recommend it. It is a luxury!”

Carlos Torres Salinas
USFQ Lawyer
Master’s in International Litigation and Arbitration

“Beginning the master’s program in International Litigation and Arbitration at USFQ has been a rewarding learning experience at the hand of great teachers and experts on the subject matter. Having the support and backing of the best university in the country, which provides an academic and organizational structure of the highest level, completes this academic experience characterized by excellence.”

Patricia Vera Nieto
Master’s in International Litigation and Arbitration

“If I had to describe my experience in the International Arbitration and Litigation Master’s program I would say it represents significant growth in my professional life. The program is staffed by first-rate teachers and offers academic resources that enable learning and the formation of high-quality professionals. I can affirm that this has been a rewarding experience and a gratifying investment.”

Juan Andrés Espín Escorza
Master’s in International Litigation and Arbitration