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Progressive Degree Program (PDP) - Master of International Trade Law and Economics (MITLE)

USC Gould School of Law

Set yourself apart with an understanding of how laws impact your chosen field by earning a progressive degree.

The Master of International Trade Law and Economics (MITLE) degree provides an interdisciplinary, global perspective for students with an economic or other quantitative background who wish to develop knowledge and skills related to relevant laws, policies and business practices that shape international trade and economics.

Master of International Trade Law and Economics students are required to complete 24* or 32 units of study. Students are required to enroll in 12 core units from Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and 12 core units from Gould School of Law, with an additional 8 units of electives chosen from a list of approved course offerings.

*Progressive Degree Program candidates with a GPA of 3.3 and above may qualify to have 8 units of electives waived.

Degree Outcomes and Career Paths

  • Understand relevant laws, policies and business best practices related to international trade and economics.
  • Develop a basic understanding of the quantitative methods and data sources used in economic and trade policy analysis.
  • Demonstrate a general understanding of the economic aspects and legal regulations involved with international trade.
  • Identify practical issues that arise when engaging in international trade law and economics.

Career Paths

  • Government Official
  • Economic Consultant
  • Risk Analyst
  • Research Economist
  • Trade Analyst

Potential Employers

  • Government agencies
  • Consulting firms
  • Multinational companies
  • International nonprofit organizations

Program Requirements

A total of 32 units are required to successfully complete the PDP/MITLE. PDP candidates with a GPA of 3.3 and above may qualify to have 8 units of electives waived.

  • 12 core units of required courses from Dornsife
  • 12 core units of required courses from Gould
  • 8 units of electives from a list of Gould and Dornsife courses (students with a GPA of 3.3 and above may qualify to have 8 units of electives waved)



Do I Qualify?

To apply to the Progressive Degree Program (PDP), you must:

  • Have a cumulative GPA of a 3.3 or above (during application and throughout program).

  • Completed at least 64 total units of undergraduate course work (excluding AP, IB, or transfer units earned prior to graduation from high school)

  • Students may apply in their junior (recommended) or senior year but no later than the semester prior to beginning graduate course work.

  • Strong mathematical background - at least a semester of calculus or statistics with minimum grade of B+

  • Applicants must have a grade of B+ or higher in ECON 303 and ECON 305 or ECON 351 and ECON 352

  • Applicants with a GPA of 3.3 and above qualify to have their units reduced from 32 to 24. 8 units of elective will be waived (4 LAW units and 4 ECON units)

Course List in the Master of International Trade Law and Economics

12 core units of required courses from Gould

LAW 520: Introduction to the US Legal System (2 units)

The basic structure of government in the U.S., including the constitutionally mandated division of power in the federal government and the federal system of power sharing between state and federal systems. A comparative perspective on selected substantive and procedural matters, such as common law reasoning, jury trials, adversary process, and various aspects of civil procedure.

LAW 637: International Trade Policy (3 units)

Examination of the institutions and laws that regulate international economic relations. Students will be introduced to the major international agreements and national laws that regulate international trade goods, services and capital.

LAW 764: International Business Transactions (3 units)

Survey of legal aspects of international trade and investment transactions, including tax considerations.

LAW 777: Administrative Law & Regulatory Policy (4 units)

Legal principles subject to judicial control and the alternative ways in which agencies can be organized to serve their purposes.

12 core units of required courses from Dornsife

ECON 500: Microeconomic Analysis and Policy (4 units)

Theories of the household and the firm; product and factor markets; perfect and imperfect competition; welfare criteria.

ECON 501: Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy (4 units)

Theories of aggregate economic activity; design and use of macroeconometric models; stabilization and control of inflation, unemployment, and growth.

ECON 550: Applied Trade Policy (4 units)

Introduction and exploration of quantitative methods and data sources used for applied trade policy analysis.

  • Prerequisite: ECON 303
  • Corequisite: ECON 500

8 units of electives from a list of LAW or ECON courses 

Gould LAW courses:
LAW 579: Global Regulatory Compliance (2 units)

Introduction to regimes that regulate business practices on a global level and compliance of such regimes, such as Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, and other regulations.

LAW 603: Business Organizations (3 units)

Organization of economic activity - especially the modern corporation - as institutions of social power. The roles of managers, owners, and public regulatory agencies in shaping processes of decision-making.

LAW 626: International Investment Law and Arbitration (1 unit)

Provides students with understanding of protection offered to foreign investment and investors through bilateral investment treaties and multilateral and regional investment and free trade agreements.

LAW 662: Public International Law (3 units)

Principles of international law involving relations among governments. The function of international tribunals and organizations.

LAW 697: Foreign Relations and National Security Law (2 units)

Principles of international law involving relations among governments. The function of international tribunals and organizations.

LAW 753: Antitrust Law (3 units)

Laws designed to preserve and promote business competition, with heavy emphasis on the federal antitrust laws.

LAW 770: Technology Transactions (2 units)

Provides students with the foundation for advising clients on transactions involving patents, trade secrets and other technology-related rights.

LAW 772: Intellectual Property (3 units)

The protection of intellectual property and encouragement of creativity. Explores copyright, trademarks, patents, and selected state law theories.

LAW 829: Cross-Cultural Dispute Resolution (2 units)

Brings an international perspective to understanding the impact of culture in the most commonly used international and domestic dispute resolution practices (negotiation, mediation, and arbitration).

Dornsife ECON courses:
ECON 513 - Practice of Econometrics (4 units)

Application of econometric tools using standard econometric software packages for microcomputers; empirical applications to selected economic problems of estimation and inference.

ECON 521 - International Macroeconomics and Financial Policies (4 units)

The balance of payments, macroeconomic policy in an open economy, exchange rate determination, exchange rate systems, currency crises, international financial arrangements and monetary history.

  • Prerequisite: ECON 501
ECON 572 - Economics and International Health (4 units)

Apply microeconomics to explore public health issues throughout the world, with an emphasis on developing countries

ECON 580 - Antitrust Economics and Competition Policy (4 units)

Efficiency, market failure, government regulation, some basics for antitrust economics, competition policy analysis and collusion and agreements among competitors.

  • Prerequisite: ECON 500 or ECON 513
ECON 584 - Economic Consulting and Applied Econometrics (4 units)

Economic methods to analyze issues of intellectual property, environmental damage, trademark infringement, brand value and consumer demand, using an applied econometric approach.

  • Corequisite: ECON 513
ECON 650 - International Trade Theory (4 units)

General equilibrium theory applied to theory and practice of commercial policy, economic growth, and trade.

  • Prerequisite: ECON 500 or ECON 601
ECON 673 - Program Evaluation (4 units)

This course first proposes various means of evaluating an economic program. It then applies the tools to specific problems.

  • Prerequisite: ECON 500 or ECON 601; ECON 609

(elective units may be waived for students with a GPA of 3.3 and above)

How To Apply

  • Download the application form
  • Make an appointment with the USC Gould advisor to draft a proposed course plan.
  • Review the proposed course plan with your Major's undergraduate Advisor.
  • Obtain signatures from your current undergraduate department chair and dean (Include an updated STARS report.)
  • Bring all signed documents including an updated STARS report to the USC Gould advisor
  • The USC Gould advisor will be responsible for submitting your approved application and proposed course plan to the degree progress department.

Application Deadlines

We offer two starts throughout the year in fall and spring. Below are the upcoming start dates:

Program Start First Day of Classes
Fall 2022 August 5, 2022      
Spring 2023 December 2, 2022          



All USC undergraduate students admitted to our MITLE Progressive Degree Program will be considered automatically for merit scholarships. Those who are awarded a scholarship will be notified after their course plan has been reviewed by the MITLE Program staff and approved by USC's Degree Progress Office. Scholarship awards are merit-based and range from $2,500 to $10,000.

Scholarships are only applied to a MITLE/PDP student's account in the semester or semesters when he or she is enrolled in graduate classes only. Scholarship awards are not applied in semesters in which the student is enrolled in a mix of undergraduate and graduate classes.


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