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Master of Laws (LLM) Degree

Our scholarly yet practical approach ensures that you will gain the skills and perspective every lawyer needs to practice, teach, enter public service or work in business.

Only two courses are required for the LLM degree — Introduction to U.S. Legal Systems, which provides a survey of American law and familiarizes you with the history and foundational values of the legal system, and Legal Research. You will satisfy your remaining course requirements with electives of your choice. Course selection varies each semester depending on interest and availability.


USC Gould offers LLM students the option of earning a certificate in alternative dispute resolution, business law, compliance, media and entertainment law, transnational law and business, or technology and entrepreneurship law. Each certificate requires 12 credits and you have the option of earning multiple certificates. Some courses count toward more than one certificate.

In some circumstances, you may enroll in courses outside of the law school, for example in the USC School of Cinematic Arts or the USC Marshall School of Business. However, courses taken outside the law school will not count toward the LLM degree.

We can assist you with choosing courses that help prepare you to sit for the New York, California or District of Columbia (D.C.) bars. Prior to registration, our office of Graduate & International Programs will offer you guidance in determining which classes are needed to comply with bar and graduation requirements as well as meeting your specific interests and goals. See the Career and Bar page for more information.

Degree Requirements

The on-campus LLM is offered on a full-time basis only and begins in the fall semester. To earn the degree, you must attend all classes in person and successfully complete 21 academic units over two semesters. You may not transfer credit from work completed at other law schools.

USC Gould offers an online LLM for students who want to attend part time or study remotely.