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Application Instructions

LLM in International Business and Economic Law


To qualify for an LLM in International Business and Economic Law admission, you must have earned your first law degree (JD, LLB or equivalent) within or outside of the United States by the time you enroll at USC Gould School of Law.

If you are currently earning your law degree and will complete it prior to the start of your studies, you may be admitted, but will be required to complete certain continuing registration requirements. You must submit final transcripts showing your degree was awarded before your studies.

If your degree was issued by an institution located outside the United States, you must have your transcripts authenticated and evaluated by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). If you hold a degree from a university within the United States, USC Graduate Admissions requires that it must be a regionally accredited institution. JD degrees must be earned from law schools accredited and approved by the American Bar Association.

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

Application Deadlines

USC Gould School of Law offers two starts in fall and spring. 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 (see date below for each semester). 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 start dates and application deadlines:

Program Start DatePriority DeadlineFinal Application Deadline
Fall 2024: August 26, 2024February 1, 2024June 1, 2024*
Spring 2025: January 13, 2025September 1, 2024November 1, 2024*

*Final Application Deadline for international students who require initial I-20 documentation for their student visas is May 1, 2024 for Fall semester and October 1, 2024 for Spring semester. 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, and to apply for USC campus housing.

If you are planning to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam after our Priority Deadline, we highly recommend that you go ahead and submit your application (and any other completed materials) prior to taking the exam and we will accept your test scores after you receive your official results. The Admissions Committee will make a final admissions decision upon receipt of your complete application file.

All applicants will be automatically considered for a scholarship award and do not need to submit any further documents to request an award. In addition, applicants who apply by our Priority Deadline will be automatically considered for a housing stipend.

Application Fee

USC Gould requires a $75 application fee, which will be waived if you apply by the priority deadline.

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 LLM in IBEL degree. 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 first law degree (JD, LLB or equivalent) by the time you enroll at USC Gould School of Law. Following the directions provided in your online application, submit official transcripts from all institutions attended.

Domestic Applicants: 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.

LLM in International Business and Economic Law (LLM in IBEL) Degree
USC Gould School of Law
699 Exposition Boulevard, Room 105
Los Angeles, California 90089-0071

International Applicants: 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 U.S. permanent resident (Green card), 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, master’s degree, or doctoral degree from an institution in which English is the primary language of instruction in accordance with the USC Graduate Admissions Policy.

  • 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. LSAC's institutional code is 8395.
  • Test scores must be dated within two years (24 months) of the application date.
  • USC does NOT accept MyBest TOEFL scores of applicants as valid proof of language proficiency. We will consider the single best total TOEFL or IELTS score you submit along with the sub-scores from that test.

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 through LSAC, 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.

Admission Decisions

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. 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 recommends an interview or additional submissions.

Financial Statement

If 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).

Next Steps

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We are still accepting applications for Fall 2024. Apply now to waive your $75 application fee!

You can also receive a $34 LSAC report fee waiver by completing our form.