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Application Instructions for ADR Certificate

USC Gould School of Law


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.

We do not require work experience or an LSAT/GRE score to be considered for admission to any of our graduate programs. Should you elect to submit an LSAT or GRE score report to supplement your application, such score will not play a key role in our admission decision-making process to ensure an equitable process for all applicants.

Dates and Deadlines

USC Gould School of Law offers two starts in fall and spring on a part-time basis. International students who require a student visa must enroll in a full-time degree program, and therefore we encourage them to consider our LLM in ADR or MDR degree.

Applications become available in September for Fall semester and in June for Spring semester. To receive priority consideration and a $75 application fee waiver, apply by our Priority Deadline as listed below. After our Priority Deadline, applications will only be accepted on a rolling basis as space is available until the final application deadline.

Below are the upcoming start dates and application deadlines:

Program Start Date Priority Deadline Final Application Deadline
Spring 2024: January 8, 2024 September 1, 2023 November 1, 2023
Fall 2024: August 26, 2024 February 1, 2024 June 1, 2024

All applicants will be automatically considered for a scholarship award and do not need to submit any further documents to request an award.

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 [email protected]. 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.


Admissions decisions are made upon receipt of complete application files. Incomplete applications are not reviewed. We encourage you to apply by our Priority Deadline to provide sufficient time for you to complete your application file. Our Admissions Committee will provide admissions decisions generally within 2-3 weeks upon our receipt of completed applications, beginning in January for Fall semester start and beginning in July for Spring semester start. Admission decisions are sent by email and postal mail. No admission decisions will be released by telephone.

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