USC Gould Search

Application Instructions
Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR) Degree

To apply for admission, complete an online application through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). After you create your LSAC account, follow the instructions for applying to USC Gould.

Click here to apply online through LSAC.

Please Note:

Even if you are not applying to our LLM degree, you must still create an LLM account through LSAC, as LSAC does not issue alternate accounts. After you create an LLM account, you will be able to select our MDR degree via the USC Gould online application.

Before You Start:

Please download our step-by-step instructions for completing your application to help you during the application process.

Among the required information and documents you will submit through LSAC are:

  • Transcripts from all institutions attended, including bachelor's degree, and degree verification
    • Students must have earned their bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
  • Personal Statement - two to three pages that describe your personal, academic and professional background, and your reasons for applying
  • Two letters of recommendation, drawn from academic or professional contacts
    • We recommend, but do not require, that one letter be from a professional contact who has observed your work, and the other letter be from an academic who has observed you in a classroom setting
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae

The following additional items are required for applicants educated outside the United States:

  • TOEFL or IELTS report (no minimum score is required) for internationally educated applicants
    • USC's TOEFL institutional code is 4852 and the department code is 03.
    • Test scores are valid for two years from the date taken.

We do not require work experience or an LSAT score to be considered for admission to any of our graduate degrees.

For your convenience and to streamline the application process, USC Gould requires prospective students to use LSAC's Document Assembly Service and International Transcript Authentication and Evaluation Service, which allows you to apply to multiple law schools while submitting only one set of materials.

International applicants also are required to submit a financial statement and other additional materials. If you are an international student and you are admitted, you will be required to provide a financial statement that certifies that you have sufficient funds available to meet your living (housing, meals, etc.) and tuition expenses while at USC (unless you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, or have been granted political asylum). At that time, you also must submit a copy of the photo page of your passport (and passport copies of any dependent(s) traveling with you).

If you opt to submit your financial documents after you receive an admissions decision, please note that your application status will remain "incomplete," even though your file will have been reviewed by the Admissions Committee.

Application Fee

USC Gould requires a $75 application fee. The application fee is waived for those who apply by the priority deadline.


Full-time students may apply for the fall semester only. Part-time students may apply for the fall or spring semester.

We are no longer accepting applications for Fall 2017 semester. We are accepting applications for Spring 2018 semester for part-time students, and the Priority Deadline is October 1.

Admission decisions are normally released within two to four weeks of application submission. Admission decisions are sent by email. No admission decisions will be released by phone.

Upcoming application deadlines are listed below, and are subject to change.

Fall 2017 Spring 2018
Priority Application Deadline April 1, 2017 October 1, 2017
Application Deadline June 1, 2017 November 1, 2017
Courses Start August 21, 2017 January 8, 2018
Tuition Deadline August 18, 2017 January 5, 2018
Courses End December 15, 2017 May 10, 2018

Application Status Check

After you submit your application through LSAC, we will send you a confirmation email that provides you with a username and password for the LSAC Online Status Check system. Then you may log in and create a new, personalized password, and periodically check your application status.

Returning visitors click here to check your status online.

Admission Decisions

Admissions decisions are made four to six weeks after we have received your completed application. We accept applications on a rolling basis, as space is available. You will be notified via email and postal mail. No admissions decisions will be released over the phone. We will contact you if the Admissions Committee feels that a telephone or an in-person interview is necessary.