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Application Instructions & Requirements

USC Gould School of Law requires that all LL.M. and M.C.L. applicants apply online through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), which includes the USC Gould School of Law Electronic Application, the LSAC Document Assembly Service and International Transcript Authentication and Evaluation Service. To create an LL.M. applicant account, please visit the LSAC website at http://www.lsac.org/llm.

Please refer to the LSAC Checklist for instructions on the LL.M. application process.

Application Form

USC Gould's Electronic Application is available on LSAC's website via the link below:

If you experience technical issues with your application, please feel free to contact LSAC for assistance at: (215) 968-1315 or LLMinfo@lsac.org.

Application Deadline

Applications for the 2016-17 academic year are no longer being accepted. The application for the 2017-18 academic year will be available in early September, with a priority deadline of March 15, 2017. Please contact the Graduate & International Programs Office by email at: llm@law.usc.edu if you have any questions about submitting your application for 2017-18. Enrollment is limited to the fall semester, which begins in August.

Required Application Documents

USC Gould School of Law requires that applicants purchase the LSAC Document Assembly Service and the International Transcript Authentication and Evaluation Service via LL.M. CAS (LL.M. Credential Assembly Service). There are many benefits that these services provide to applicants. Applying to many law schools requires ordering individual sets of official transcripts and translations and ordering official TOEFL score reports for each law school. Upon comparing the total costs against the LL.M. CAS fees, we believe that you will find that they are reasonable. The service is highly convenient for applicants as it requires sending only one set of materials to LSAC when applying to multiple law schools. As you consider LL.M. programs, you will find that many of the law schools in which you are interested now require or strongly recommend LL.M. CAS.

The following items are required to complete your application for admission:

Applicants are not required to submit financial support documents and passport copies with their electronic application through LSAC. However, please note that upon admission, applicants will be required to submit financial support documents directly to USC Gould. The U.S. government requires that all international applicants provide proof of ability to pay tuition and living expenses for themselves and their dependents (if applicable) before an I-20 or DS-2019 Eligibility Certificate can be issued, a document required for obtaining a student visa. U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, and Political Asylees are not required to submit financial documents. In addition, admitted applicants are also required to submit copies of their passport page that includes the passport photo, passport number and expiration date, as well as passport copies for any dependents (spouses or children) who will be accompanying them to the U.S.

LSAC Electronic Application

Applicants are required to submit their Electronic Application online via Law School Admission Council (LSAC).

The USC Gould School of Law $75 application fee will be waived for all applicants who submit their applications via LSAC prior to our priority deadline, March 1. After this date, we will continue to accept applications on a rolling basis as space is available and applicants must submit their $75 application online. We are unable to offer application fee waivers after March 1.

TOEFL or IELTS Report

USC Gould School of Law requires that applicants who are not native English speakers, or who do not hold a law degree from an institution at which English is the primary language of instruction, submit a TOEFL score. Permanent residents of the United States and naturalized U.S. citizens are not considered international students at USC. They are waived of the TOEFL requirement.

USC Gould School of Law does not require a minimum score on the TOEFL or IELTS exam. Our Admissions Committee will evaluate each applicant’s English proficiency by evaluating the entire application file. We will evaluate all parts of the application, including writing skills and English proficiency, as demonstrated by the personal statement, GPA in the first law degree (or the equivalent), any legal work experience, letters of recommendation, etc. We will consider each sub-section of the TOEFL and IELTS exams, as well as the overall score. All TOEFL and IELTS scores will be considered for admission to our program, provided that the applicant has strong qualifications otherwise, and meets the other important aspects of our admissions criteria.

If you are planning to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam after our March 1, priority application deadline, we highly recommend that you submit your application (and any other completed materials) by our deadline and we will accept your test scores after you receive your official results. The Admissions Committee will make a final admissions decision upon receipt of your complete application file.

Applicants should submit their TOEFL scores through LSAC's Credential Assembly Service (CAS). LSAC’s institutional code is 8395. USC's TOEFL institutional code is 4852 and the department code is 03. Test scores are valid for two years from the date taken. There is no minimum TOEFL or IELTS score required for admission to the University of Southern California.

Applicants who would like to submit an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score in place of a TOEFL score should include their score on their application. You must request that your scores are sent to LSAC before or at the time of your exam so that USC will receive your official test report form (TRF) of your IELTS score. If you do not make this request, you will be required to send your official IELTS score report directly to USC Gould School of Law.

TOEFL waiver requests will only be considered if (1) your native language is English, (2)  if you possess an undergraduate law degree from an institution in which English is the primary language of instruction or (3) you are a permanent resident of the U.S. or a naturalized U.S. citizen.

TOEFL waiver requests from international students who have earned an LL.M. or another graduate degree in the U.S. will be subject to approval. If you would like to request a TOEFL waiver, please submit your request as an attachment with your online application.

Transcripts and Degree Verification

Applicants must submit their official transcripts through the LSAC Credential Assembly Service. This service is an easy and convenient means of submitting transcripts to a number of different institutions. LSAC, in cooperation with AACRAO (the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers), provides law schools with verification, authentication, and evaluation of transcripts and allows USC Gould to efficiently process your application. LSAC recommends applicants register for the LL.M. Credential Assembly Service four to six weeks before their first application deadline.

Official transcripts from all colleges, universities, or graduate schools from which you have received a degree must be submitted to LSAC along with the degree certificate/diploma. Transcripts must show all courses and subjects taken and all grades (marks) received along with a description of the school's grading system. All transcripts and degree certificates/diplomas must be written in the original language of instruction.

Applicants must hold a degree considered equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree, as evaluated by the USC Office of Graduate & International Admission. For a country-by-country breakdown of our requirements, please click here. While the university does not require a GPA minimum in the applicant's first law degree (or the equivalent), our Admissions Committee will strongly consider those applicants who have earned an overall "B" average (3.0/4.0 GPA) for admission. Our Admissions Committee will certainly consider GPA's below our recommendation, provided that the applicant has strong English skills and meets all of our other admissions criteria. We will evaluate all parts of the application, including English proficiency, reasons for seeking the degree, any legal work experience, letters of recommendation, etc.

Personal Statement

Personal statements must be submitted with your LSAC online application. Your personal statement should include personal, academic and professional background and your reasons for seeking an advanced degree. Limit to no more than three pages.

Two Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation must be submitted through the LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service. Ask two people, one law professor and one employer (current or former) OR two law professors OR two employers (current or former). Ask your recommenders to enclose their letter in an envelope, seal the envelope, sign across the seal and return it to you to be submitted, unopened, with your application materials. Recommendation letters must be submitted directly through LSAC's LOR Service and may not be mailed to USC Gould School of Law. USC Gould School of Law does not require a specific Letter of Recommendation Form.

Resume/Curriculum Vitae

Resumes must be submitted with your LSAC online application. Please list your educational and professional background, in addition to any scholarships, awards or honors you have received.

Submitting Your Application

Complete, sign and date the LSAC Electronic Application form. The following items should be submitted with your online application form:

1. USC Gould Electronic Application,

2. TOEFL Report or IELTS Report via LLM CAS,

3. Transcripts and Degree Verification via LLM CAS,

4. Personal Statement,

5. Letters of Recommendation via LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service,
6. Resume/Curriculum Vitae.

We will not review your application until all of your materials have been received. Please print a copy of your online application for your personal records, and maintain a copy of all documents you submit with your application. USC cannot return or provide you with copies of any part of your application, transcripts, translations, letters of recommendation, or supporting materials.

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