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Application Instructions for ADR Certificate
USC Gould School of Law

We are still accepting applications for Fall 2023 until June 1 from applicants who will not need student visas with initial I-20s

We will also continue to waive our $75 application fee automatically until June 1. We will also continue to pay for your $30 LSAC report fee if you complete our form.


To be eligible to apply, you must have earned or plan to earn a bachelor's degree before enrolling at USC Gould School of Law. You may also apply if you have earned a graduate degree, including a Juris Doctor (JD) or Master of Laws (LLM). If you hold a degree from a university within the United States, USC Graduate Admissions requires that it must be a regionally accredited institution. No degree or experience in law is required. We seek applicants whose academic background, professional aspirations, personal commitment, and communication skills align with the focus of USC Gould School of Law Center for Dispute Resolution and meet the demands of a rigorous legal graduate certificate program. While the university does not require a GPA minimum, our Admissions Committee will strongly consider those applicants who have earned an overall 3.0 (based on a 4.0 grading scale) or B average or higher. Our Admissions Committee will consider GPAs below our recommendation, provided that you meet our other admissions criteria.

Dates and Deadlines

USC Gould School of Law offers two starts in fall and spring. Please note that as students enroll in this program on a part-time basis, international students requiring student visas are encouraged to consider our LLM in ADR or MDR degree. Below are the upcoming start dates and application deadlines:

Program Start Date Priority Deadline Final Application Deadline
Spring 2023: January 9, 2023 September 1, 2022 November 1, 2022
Fall 2023: August 21, 2023 March 1, 2023 June 1, 2023

Applications 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 any required documents, including I-20 documentation for student visas.

Application Process

To apply for admission, the following information and documents must be submitted:

  1. Online USC Gould or LSAC 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

    Following the directions provided in your online application, provide a two or three-page document that includes your personal, academic, and professional background and your reasons for pursuing the ADR certificate. If you have prior education or experience in alternative dispute resolution, please take a paragraph or two to tell us about it.

  3. Resume/Curriculum Vitae (CV)

    Following the directions provided in your online application, provide a record of your employment history and list of any distinctions, publications, and licenses/credentials.

  4. Official Transcripts and Degree Verification

    You must have earned your bachelor's degree by the time you enroll at USC Gould School of Law. No law degree is required.

    Following the directions provided in your online application, submit official transcripts from all institutions attended.

    Domestic Transcripts: If all of your degrees are from within the U.S., you must submit official transcripts directly to USC Gould at the address below or by email to Official transcripts must be received directly from the institutions.

    Graduate & International Programs
    USC Gould School of Law
    699 Exposition Boulevard, Room 105
    Los Angeles, California 90089-0071

    International Transcripts: If you hold any degree from outside the U.S, you must submit official transcripts to LSAC for evaluation using its International Transcript Authentication and Evaluation Service (ITAES). Credential evaluation takes 2-3 weeks to complete once LSAC has received all of your documents; there may be further delay during LSAC's peak processing periods or if LSAC determines that additional information is required to complete its review. We therefore suggest that you apply as early as possible so that there is no consequential delay in LSAC transmitting its evaluation report to us. Fees charged by LSAC for utilizing its services, including for ITAES,are payable to LSAC. Please visit LSAC's website for more information about fees charged by LSAC, including its refund policy. USC Gould requires a $75 application fee, which will be waived if you apply by our priority deadline.

  5. English Proficiency

    If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you must are take the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). TOEFL/IELTS waiver requests will only be considered if (1) your native language is English, or (2) you possess an undergraduate degree from an institution in which English is the primary language of instruction.

    • USC Gould does not have a minimum TOEFL or IELTS score; however, we recommend a 90 TOEFL iBT and a 7.0 IELTS or above.
    • Please have your official scores sent to LSAC if you submit your application through LSAC. Their institutional code is 8395. The institutional code for USC is 4852 and our department code is 03.
    • Test scores are valid for two years from the date taken.

    The LSAT or GRE exam is not required for admission. In addition, letters of recommendation are not required.

    The Admissions Committee will not review your application until all transcripts and supporting documents are received. It is your responsibility to ensure that all of your documents are submitted by the final application deadline. 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.

Application Status Check

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

Note for International Students: 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 be reviewed by the Admissions Committee.


You will receive an admissions decision within four weeks of submitting your completed application. Admission decisions are sent by email and postal mail. No admission decisions will be released by telephone.