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Application Instructions

Master of Laws (LLM) - Online


To be eligible to apply for the Online LLM, you must have earned a first professional degree in law outside of the United States, such as Bachelor of Laws (LLB) or License in Law, before enrolling at USC Gould School of Law. We seek applicants whose academic background, professional aspirations, personal commitment, tech skills and communication skills meet the demands of a rigorous online master's degree program.

Dates and Deadlines

We offer three starts throughout the year in fall, spring and summer. Below are the upcoming start dates and application deadlines:

Program Start DateFirst Day of ClassesApplications OpenPriority Application DeadlineApplication Deadline
Fall 2024September 4, 2024March 13, 2024June 19, 2024July 17, 2024
Spring 2025January 8, 2025August 22, 2024October 9, 2024November 6, 2024
Summer 2025May 7, 2025December 4, 2024February 19, 2025March 19, 2025

We recommend applying by the priority application deadline for scholarship consideration.

Application Process

Since you have earned a first professional degree in law from outside of the United States, you are required to complete the application process through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC).

You may perform most of the tasks in any order you choose provided you submit your application and all supporting documents by 5 p.m. (Pacific Time) on the application deadlines listed above. You are responsible for monitoring your LSAC account to ensure that you meet all deadlines.

  1. Create an LSAC account

    Create an "LSAC" and Other Law Programs account and purchase the required services, including LSAC's Electronic Application Processing Service (EAPS), Document Assembly Service (DAS), and International Transcript Authentication and Evaluation Service (ITAES), at least six weeks before your first law school application deadline. EAPS, DAS, and ITAES are considered part of LSAC's Credential Assembly Service (CAS).Note: The fee for EAPS, DAS, and ITAES is $42, $59, and $150, respectively. LSAC will charge an additional $36 to send your CAS Report to USC Gould. Fees charged by LSAC for utilizing its services are payable to LSAC. Please click here to read more information about fees charged by LSAC, including its refund policy.

  2. Arrange to have your official academic records sent to LSAC

    It is your responsibility to request an official copy of all required academic records to be sent to LSAC directly from each institution attended. Transcripts issued to you or sent to LSAC by you via mail or email will not be accepted or processed. Once you have listed your institutions attended, the Transcript Request Form(s) will be available through your LSAC account. International transcripts/academic records must be mailed directly to LSAC from the issuing institution in a sealed school envelope with the school's official stamp or seal across the back flap. Schools should send your official documents to:

    LLM Credential Assembly Service
    662 Penn Street
    Dept. 8511
    Newtown, PA 18940-8511
    United States of America

    Documents from institutions outside of the United States may take 2 to 3 weeks for LSAC to process once all academic records have been received; there may be further delay during LSAC's peak processing period or if LSAC determines that additional information is required to complete their review. We recommend applying as early as possible so that there is no consequential delay in LSAC transmitting its evaluation report to us.

  3. Register for an English proficiency exam (if applicable)

    If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you must take the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic. English proficiency waiver requests will only be considered if (1) your native language is English, (2) you hold a bachelor’s degree completed in its entirety in the United States or U.S. bachelor’s-equivalent in a qualifying Anglophone country, and (3), you have completed a master’s or doctoral degree from a country in which English is both the language of instruction and the only official language.

    • USC Gould does not have a minimum TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score; however, we recommend a 90 TOEFL iBT or above, a 6.5 IELTS or above, or 61 PTE or above.
    • Official scores must be sent directly to LSAC. LSAC's institutional code is 8395.
    • English-proficiency scores must be dated within two years (24 months) of the date you submit your application.
    • USC does NOT accept MyBest TOEFL scores of applicants as valid proof of language proficiency. We will consider the single best total score you submit along with the sub-scores from that test.
    • USC does not waive the English-proficiency requirement based on any other consideration, such as work experience, ESL enrollment, amount of time spent in the United States, etc.  It also cannot be waived on the basis of programs taught in English in non-Anglophone countries.

  4. Apply to USC Gould School of Law electronically
    • Under "My Home" tab in your LSAC account, click on the blue "School Search" button and on the blue "Alphabetically" button; look for "University of Southern California, Gould School of Law" and click the blue "Add" button to add USC Gould to your school list.
    • In your "My School List," USC Gould should be listed. If so, click on the light green "Application Information" button and then look for your term of interest (i.e., Fall 2024, Spring 2025, Summer 2025)  and "Online LLM for Foreign Lawyers." Then, click "Apply and Submit Online," which will add the application to your account.
    • Your application should be included under "My Active Applications." Click on the light green "Go to Application" button to review application instructions and complete all questions.
    • We have automatically waived the $75 application fee for all USC Gould Online LLM applicants.

  5. Submit your Statement of Purpose

    The statement of purpose is your primary opportunity to discuss who you are beyond the application basics. We are particularly interested in how your academic and professional background has led to your decision to study law. This is not the place to repeat items on your resume/curriculum vitae (CV). Please address the following questions in your statement of purpose:

    • Why do you want to pursue the LLM degree at USC Gould?
    • How do you plan to use this degree to advance your career?
    • What strategies will you put into place to be a successful online graduate student?

    The statement of purpose should be two to three pages, double-spaced and in at least 12-point font. We value essays that are clear, concise, and compelling. Please upload this document as part of your LSAC application.

  6. Submit your Resume/Curriculum Vitae (CV)

    Provide a record of your employment history, volunteer commitments, extracurricular activities, and any awards and/or honors. Please upload this document as part of your LSAC application.

  7. Purchase law school report through your account
    Once you have completed your LSAC application, uploaded both your personal statement and resume, please purchase the CAS report fee when you apply. A $34 report fee will be automatically added to your shopping cart when you submit an electronic application. Use your account to verify that your report was sent to USC Gould when you applied.

Note: Admission to the Online LLM does not require letters of recommendation, nor any LSAT or GRE exam scores. Additional application materials or interviews may be requested by the Admissions Committee.

The Online LLM program is not qualified to issue Form I-20 to international students. If you wish to receive a student visa, please consider our On-Campus LLM program.


The Admissions Committee will only review your application once all transcripts and supporting documents are received through LSAC by the application deadlines shared above. You will receive a confirmation email when your application has been completed. Admissions decisions are normally released by email within two to four weeks of application confirmation. If you are admitted and decide to enroll, a commitment deposit will be required to reserve your seat.

State Authorization Information

Due to online learning regulations in each state, our Online LLM degree is not available to students residing in all states. Certain states only authorize their residents to enroll in online master's degree programs that require 30 or more units. Other states impose different restrictions.

Effective October 2, 2023, USC Gould is unable to accept new applications for admission to the Online LLM program to students currently residing in Arkansas, Kansas, Minnesota, and Puerto Rico. However, we are happy to receive applications for admission to our online certificate programs from students residing in any state except for Puerto Rico.

Prospective students may check this site for updates. Questions can be directed to [email protected].

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