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Application Instructions
Master of Studies in Law (MSL) Degree

Designed for seasoned and early-career professionals, the online Master of Studies in Law (MSL) helps meet the growing demand for non-lawyers to be familiar with numerous ways that law and policy influence business and industry. Ideal candidates are those who work in, or are seeking to enter, the fields of business, education, compliance, engineering, entertainment, health care, social work, law enforcement, human resources, government, and more. Both the applicant's professional experience and their academic background are taken into consideration for admission.

Dates and Deadlines

USC Gould School of Law offers three starts throughout the year in fall, spring and summer. Below are the upcoming start dates and application deadlines:

Program Start Date Priority Deadline Final Application Deadline
Spring 2018: January 10, 2018 November 15, 2017 November 29, 2017
Summer 2018: May 9, 2018 March 14, 2018 April 4, 2018
Fall 2018: September 5, 2018 July 11, 2018 August 1, 2018

Applications for Spring 2018 and Summer 2018 will be accepted on a rolling basis as space is available until our final application deadlines listed above. We highly encourage you to apply by our priority deadline in order to provide sufficient time to process your required documents. Our Fall 2018 application will open in December 2017.

Application Process

To apply for admission, please submit the following documents:

  1. Online Application

    Note: Once you start your application by clicking above, you may be directed to complete your online application through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) if you have earned (or will earn) a degree from outside of the U.S. Applicable instructions and links will then be provided within the USC Gould application.

  2. Personal Statement

    Provide a two or three-page document that includes your reasons for pursuing a graduate degree and how you plan to use this degree to advance your career. Include your personal, academic, and professional background and how the online format will help you to achieve your aspirations. Email your personal statement to msl@law.usc.edu.

  3. Resume/Curriculum Vitae (CV)

    Provide a record of your employment history and list of any distinctions, publications, and licenses/credentials by emailing your resume/CV to msl@law.usc.edu.

  4. Official Transcripts and Degree Verification

    You must have earned a Bachelor's Degree by the time you have enrolled at USC Gould School of Law. A law degree is not required.

    Official transcripts are required to be submitted from all institutions attended even if a degree was never received or credit was transferred from an institution and it appears on another institution's transcripts. If you are currently a student in an undergraduate or graduate program, we will need your current transcripts to date. Please have transcripts sent by postal mail to USC Gould School of Law at the address below or by email to msl@law.usc.edu. Official transcripts must be received directly from the university/college.

    Master of Studies in Law (MSL) Degree
    USC Gould School of Law
    699 Exposition Boulevard, Room 105
    Los Angeles, California 90089-0071

    While the university does not require a GPA minimum, our Admissions Committee will strongly consider those applicants who have earned an overall 3.0/B average or higher. Our Admissions Committee will certainly consider GPAs below our recommendation, provided that you meet our other admissions criteria.

  5. International Applicants: English Proficiency

    International applicants who native language is not English are required to take the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). We do not have a minimum TOEFL or IELTS score; however, we recommend a 90 TOELF iBT or 7.0 IELTS. Our official scores will be sent directly to the Law School Admission Council (LSAC); their institutional code is 8395. 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. In addition, we do not require letters of recommendation as part of our application requirements. A law degree is not required for admission.

The Admissions Committee will not review an application until all transcripts and supporting documents are received. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all of their documents are submitted by the final application deadline and before a decision will be made on the application. Be sure to regularly check the email address you have provided on the application in the event that the Admissions Committee request additional materials or information.

Decisions

Once your application and supporting documents have been received and verified, admissions decisions are normally released within two to four weeks of application submission confirmation. Admission decisions are sent by email. No admission decisions will be released by telephone.