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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 2022
Spring 2023


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, and should refer to the materials provided by their academic advisors, as certificate requirements may be updated periodically.

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, Washington, 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 students may begin in the fall or spring semesters. 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.