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Visiting International Program (VIP) for Lawyers

USC Gould School of Law

The Visiting International Program for Lawyers (VIP) helps legal and business professionals from around the world build a broad foundation of knowledge of the laws and legal system of the United States.

VIP is a unique opportunity to be part of the USC Gould community of scholars. You participate in fascinating and informative courses taught by world-class law professors and interact with law students from around the globe, all on a dynamic and diverse campus.

Upon completion of VIP, you will receive a Certificate of Completion. Please note that VIP coursework may not be used toward a degree at USC.

Why Choose VIP at USC Gould?

Over the course of one semester at USC Gould, you attend daily classes on a non-credit, non-degree basis.

As a VIP visiting scholar, you will have the opportunity to benefit from:

  • Our Academic Excellence Program to make the most of your class attendance
  • Individualized career development advisement
  • U.S. bar exam workshops
  • USC Gould Continuing Legal Education events, where you can network with leading professionals in tax, entertainment, corporate, real estate and intellectual property law, among other fields
  • social and athletic outings with fellow Graduate & International Programs students, including a night at the Hollywood Bowl, a USC Trojan football game and a baseball game at LA Dodgers stadium.

Our Office of International Services provides additional resources to assist you with visa and other requirements for studying in the U.S. The university also maintains international offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Mexico City, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai and Taipei.

VIP Courses and Duration

As a VIP visiting scholar , you will have access to a wide variety of law courses to suit your interests — from constitutional law, civil procedure and criminal law to corporate finance, entertainment law and intellectual property. VIP students have access to the same course offerings as our LLM students. Attendance in non-credit courses is subject to space availability and pre-approval by faculty.

VIP visiting scholars may participate in the program for up to six months. Therefore, to benefit the most from our academic community, we strongly recommend that VIP scholars plan their visit to coincide with the  USC Gould Academic Calendar


Tuition for VIP  is $15,000 for 6 months plus mandatory fees, which include a $250 processing fee from our Office of International Services (OIS) for the issuance of the DS-2019 visa document for the J-1 visa and a $175 Graduate & International Programs fee. VIP scholars are responsible for budgeting additional funds for living expenses, books and supplies.

Application Process

We recommend that you apply for VIP before October 1 for the spring term (January start) and March 1 for the fall term (August start)  by completing the VIP application.

The VIP application requires:

  • $75 application fee (which must be paid by credit card, cashier's check or money order)
  •  Personal Statement describing applicant’s interest in our program
  • TOEFL or IELTS Score Report (which can also be waived with a documented interview)
  • Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
  • Financial Support Documentation (see section 6 on the application form)
  • Passport copy of applicant and any dependent(s) traveling together (photo page only)

A law degree is not required for VIP admission.

Admission Decisions

Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis, as applications are received. You will be notified of an admissions decision via email  in approximately two to three weeks of your application  completion date. 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.

If you have any questions about VIP, please contact us at [email protected].