About USC Gould
USC Gould is a top-ranked law school with a 120-year history and reputation for academic excellence. We are located on the beautiful 228-acre USC University Park Campus, just south of downtown Los Angeles.
Learn about our interdisciplinary curriculum, experiential learning opportunities and specialized areas.
Participate in an unparalleled learning experience with diversity of people and thought. Get involved in the law school community and participate in activities that enhance your studies.
We work closely with students, graduates and employers to support successful career goals and outcomes. Our overall placement rate is consistently strong, with 94 percent of our JD class employed within 10 months after graduation.
Our faculty is distinguished for its scholarship, as well as for its commitment to teaching. Our 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio creates an intimate and collegial learning environment.
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Application Instructions - Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR)
USC Gould School of Law
- MASTER OF DISPUTE RESOLUTION (MDR) DEGREE
- APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS
- CAREER OPPORTUNITIES
- CAMPUS HOUSING
- TUITION AND FINANCIAL AID
- MASTER OF LAWS (LLM) IN ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
- ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (ADR) CERTIFICATE
- MASTER OF STUDIES IN LAW (MSL) DEGREE - ON CAMPUS
- MASTER OF STUDIES IN LAW (MSL) DEGREE - ONLINE
- MASTER OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE LAW AND ECONOMICS
- ORGANIZATIONS, EVENTS AND NEWS
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We are still accepting applications for Fall 2022. Apply now to waive your $75 application fee!
You can also receive a $30 LSAC report fee waiver by completing our form.
To be eligible to apply, you must have earned or plan to earn a bachelor's degree before enrolling at USC Gould School of Law. No degree or experience in law is required. We seek applicants whose academic background, professional aspirations, personal commitment, and communication skills align with the focus of USC Gould School of Law Center for Dispute Resolution and meet the demands of a rigorous legal graduate certificate program. While the university does not require a GPA minimum, our Admissions Committee will strongly consider those applicants who have earned an overall 3.0 (based on a 4.0 grading scale) or B average or higher. Our Admissions Committee will consider GPAs below our recommendation, provided that you meet our other admissions criteria.
Note: Our MDR degree is not recommended for students intending to practice law. Pursuant to the American Bar Association Standards and USC's graduate transfer policies, credits earned in our MDR program are not eligible for transfer to a Juris Doctor (JD) program at USC or other universities. In addition, students in our MDR program are not eligible to apply for our LLM-JD Transfer program. For students who wish to become attorneys, we advise that they learn more about our JD degree.
Dates and Deadlines
USC Gould School of Law offers two starts in fall and spring with the option to enroll on a full-time or part-time basis. International students who require a student visa may only enroll on a full-time basis. Below are the upcoming start dates and application deadlines:
|Program Start Date||Priority Deadline||Final Application Deadline|
|Fall 2022: August 22, 2022||March 1, 2022||June 1, 2022|
|Spring 2023: January 9, 2023||September 1, 2022||November 1, 2022|
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis as space is available until our final application deadlines listed above. 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.
To apply for admission, the following information and documents must be submitted:
- 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.
- 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 MDR degree. If you have prior education or experience in alternative dispute resolution, please take a paragraph or two to tell us about it.
- 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.
- Official Transcripts and Degree Verification
You must have earned your bachelor's degree by the time you enroll at USC Gould School of Law. No law degree is required.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Official transcripts must be received directly from the institutions.
Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR) 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. Please note that the fee for ITAES is $135 and that LSAC will charge you $30 for sending your Law School Report to USC. You must also subscribe to LSAC's Document Assembly Service (DAS). The fee for DAS is $85 and is effective for a period of five years. 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.
- English Proficiency
If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you must 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 from an institution in which English is the primary language of instruction.
- 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 are valid for two years from the date taken.
- 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.
You will receive an admissions decision within four weeks of submitting your completed application. Admission decisions are sent by email and postal mail. No admission decisions will be released by telephone.