USC Gould Search

Application Instructions
Master of Studies in Law (MSL) Degree

Application Process

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 MSL 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.

We highly recommend that you only submit one application to the degree of most interest to you. We would be happy to consider you for one of our other degrees. Once you have submitted your application to your first-choice program, please email to let us know you have applied and to indicate any additional degree for which you would like to be considered.

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

  • Bachelor's degree transcripts and degree verification
  • Personal statement — two to three pages that describe your personal, academic and professional background and your reasons for interest
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae

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

  • Transcripts in original language and translated into English
  • LSAC International Transcript Authentication & Evaluation Service
  • TOEFL or IELTS report (no minimum score is required)
    • USC's TOEFL institutional code is 4852 and the department code is 03.
    • Test scores are valid for two years from the date taken.

Admission to the online MSL does not require the LSAT or GRE exam. Prior exposure to or experience in law is not required. Nor do we require letters of recommendation to the MSL.

Application Fee

USC Gould requires a $75 application fee. The application fee is waived for those who apply by the application deadlines outlined below.

Admitted domestic applicants will receive a $85 credit for LSAC fees and admitted international applicants will receive a $220 credit for LSAC fees. This credit will be applied toward tuition upon enrollment.


You may choose to begin your degree in the spring, summer or fall. We highly encourage you to apply by our priority deadlines listed below in order to provide sufficient time to process your required documents, but we will continue to accept applications on a rolling basis for start in the spring (January), summer (May) or fall (September) semesters. Admission decisions are normally released within two to four weeks of application submission. Admission decisions are sent by email. No admission decisions will be release by phone.

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

Fall 2017 Spring 2018 Summer 2018
Priority Application Deadline July 5, 2017 November 15, 2017 March 14, 2018
Application Deadline August 2, 2017 November 29, 2017 April 11, 2018
Courses Start August 30, 2017 January 10, 2018 May 9, 2018
Tuition Deadline August 25, 2017 January 5, 2018 May 4, 2018
Courses End December 12, 2017 April 24, 2018 August 21, 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.