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. If you hold a degree from a university within the United States, USC Graduate Admissions requires that it must be a regionally accredited institution. 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.
We do not require work experience or an LSAT/GRE score to be considered for admission to any of our graduate degrees. Should you elect to submit an LSAT or GRE score report to supplement your application, such score will not play a key role in our admission decision-making process to ensure an equitable process for all applicants.
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.
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|
|Spring 2024: January 8, 2024||September 1, 2023||November 1, 2023*|
|Fall 2024: August 26, 2024||February 1, 2024||June 1, 2024*|
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:
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.
Following the directions provided in your online application, provide a record of your employment history and list of any distinctions, publications, and licenses/credentials.
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 [email protected]. 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. Fees charged by LSAC for utilizing its services, including for ITAES,are payable to LSAC. Please visit LSAC's website for more information about fees charged by LSAC, including its refund policy. USC Gould requires a $75 application fee, which will be waived if you apply by our priority deadline.
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.
Admissions decisions are made upon receipt of complete application files. Incomplete applications are not reviewed. We encourage you to apply by our Priority Deadline to provide sufficient time for you to complete your application file. Our Admissions Committee will provide admissions decisions generally within 2-3 weeks upon our receipt of completed applications, beginning in January for Fall semester start and beginning in July for Spring semester start. Admission decisions are sent by email and postal mail. No admission decisions will be released by telephone.