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Curriculum - Master of Laws (LLM)
USC Gould School of Law

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.

You will find our course offerings for our recent fall and spring classes here:

Fall 2021
Spring 2022

As you review our curriculum, note that Graduate & International Programs (G&IP) students include those who are enrolled in our 1 Year LLM, LLM in International Business & Economic Law, LLM in Privacy Law & Cybersecurity, LLM in ADR, MDR, 2 Year LLM, MSL degree programs.

  • JD and G&IP students only enroll in law classes that are designated in this range: LAW 500 – LAW 899.

Note as well that law classes have sections. The sections distinguish the students who are enrolled in the class by their degree programs.

  • Any 5-digit section number beginning in “03” is a JD section.
  • Any 5-digit section number beginning in “04” is a G&IP section.
  • Classes that list only “03” JD sections are not open for enrollment to G&IP students.

Classes vary each semester and each academic year depending on interest and availability. Thus, not every class you find will be offered in a subsequent year.


USC Gould offers LLM students the option of earning a certificate in alternative dispute resolution, business law, entertainment law, transnational law and business, or technology and entrepreneurship law. Each certificate requires the completion of 12 units of law coursework specific to that certificate. This does not include classes offered outside of the law school. There are no additional tuition costs associated with the certificates. Students are limited to pursuing one certificate with their degree.

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.