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Application Instructions - Master of Comparative Law (MCL)
USC Gould School of Law

Apply now for Fall 2021!

  • Waive your $75 application fee and receive priority scholarship consideration if you apply by March 1
  • Waive your $30 LSAC report fee if you complete our survey by December 31

Eligibility

To qualify for MCL admission, applicants must have earned their first law degree (LLB or the equivalent) outside of the United States and must have earned a Master of Laws (LLM) degree or the equivalent in the U.S.

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).

We do not require work experience or an LSAT score to be considered for admission to any of our graduate degrees. If you are applying for the MCL as USC Gould LLM student, you must have earned a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the fall semester of your LLM studies.

Application Process

To apply for admission, complete an online application through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). After you create your LSAC account, follow the instructions for applying to USC Gould. To apply for the MCL degree, scroll to the application labeled Spring or Fall 2021 "GENERAL LLM FOR FOREIGN LAWYERS" within the USC Gould page on LSAC.

Click here to apply online through LSAC.

Please refer to the LSAC Checklist for instructions on the LLM application process. If you experience technical issues with your application, contact LSAC for assistance at 215-968-1315 or llminfo@lsac.org.

We highly recommend that you only submit one application to the degree of most interest to you. We would be happy to consider you for one of our other degrees. Once you have submitted your application to your first-choice program, please email gipadmissions@law.usc.edu to let us know you have applied and to indicate any additional degree for which you would like to be considered.

Among the required information and documents you will submit through LSAC are:

  • transcripts and degree verification
  • a two- to three-page statement that describes your personal, academic and professional background, and your reasons for applying
  • a résumé or curriculum vitae
  • TOEFL or IELTS report (no minimum score is required)
    • Have your official test scores sent to LSAC if you submit your application through LSAC. LSAC's institutional code is 8395.
    • Test scores are valid for two years from the date taken.
    • TOEFL or IELTS waivers may be granted in exceptional circumstances; if you feel you should be allowed to waive this requirement, please submit your waiver request as an attachment to your application.
    • 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.

Letters of recommendation are not required, but we will accept up to two letters of recommendation at gipadmissions@law.usc.edu.

For your convenience and to streamline the application process, USC Gould requires prospective students to use LSAC's Document Assembly Service and International Transcript Authentication and Evaluation Service, which allows you to apply to multiple law schools while submitting only one set of materials. 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.

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).

Application Fee

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

Fees charged by LSAC for utilizing its services are payable to LSAC. Please visit LSAC's website for more information about fees charged by LSAC, including its refund policy.

Application Deadlines

For the 2021 calendar year, USC Gould School of Law is offering two starts in spring and fall. Below are the start dates and application deadlines:

Program Start Date Priority Deadline Final Application Deadline
Spring 2021: January 11, 2021 September 1, 2020 October 1, 2020
Fall 2021: August 23, 2021 March 1, 2021 June 1, 2021

Students who apply by our priority application deadline will receive priority consideration and will receive a $75 application fee waiver. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis as space is available until our final application deadlines listed above.

Our Admissions Committee will provide admissions decisions within 2-3 weeks upon receipt of complete applications. Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible so that they have the option to apply for USC Housing prior to their priority deadline, and so that, if applicable, they do not experience any significant delay in the processing of their I-20 documentation for their student visas.

All applicants will be automatically considered for a scholarship award and do not need to submit any further documents to request an award. If you are planning to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam afterour priority application 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.

Please contact the Graduate & International Programs Office by email at gipadmissions@law.usc.edu if you have any questions about submitting your application.

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 LSAC 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. We encourage you to apply early, as our Admissions Committee expedites admissions decisions within two to three weeks for complete applications received by our priority deadline. 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 feels that a telephone or an in-person interview is necessary.