International applicants to our LLM programs must possess the equivalent of a U.S. law degree from an accredited institution outside the United States.
- Admission to our LLM programs is competitive and is based primarily upon previous excellence in law studies and significant professional experience
- Applicants must have graduated in the upper half of their law school class or must otherwise establish qualifications indicating their ability to complete graduate law work successfully
- Applicants must establish competency in English through successful completion of the TOEFL exam or the IELTS exam if:  the applicant's native language is not English, or  the applicant graduated from an international law school. Applicants who do not meet the minimum score requirements should consider additional English study, specifically in the area of legal English skills. One such program to consider is the Intensive Legal English program offered by UCSD-Extension in San Diego.
- In some cases, the TOEFL/IELTS requirement may be waived. If you are from a country where English is an official language, if you studied law at an institution that teaches only in English, or if you have additional extenuating circumstances, you may submit a TOEFL/IELTS waiver request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Full-Time or Part-Time Student Status
- An applicant who will obtain an F-1 student visa must be a full-time student (9 or more credits per semester)
- An applicant who is a permanent resident or U.S. citizen may apply to be a full-time or part-time student
- Other visa types may have additional restrictions on enrollment
- All students (full-time or part-time) are responsible for completing all degree requirements within the time limit specific to each degree
Applicants to the LLM in Comparative Law program or an alternate LLM program (as approved) must have the equivalent of a U.S. law degree from an accredited institution outside the United States. Candidates must have also graduated in the upper half of their law school class or otherwise establish qualifications indicating their ability to complete graduate law work successfully. Applicants to the LLM in Comparative Law program may begin their studies in either the fall or spring semester.
The University of San Diego School of Law requires that all LLM applicants establish competency in English through successful completion of an English language test in the event that:  the applicant’s native language is not English, or  the applicant graduated from an international law school.
An applicant may establish competency in English through successful completion of either the TOEFL or the IELTS. For the TOEFL, a minimum score of 583 points on the paper-based test or 93 points on the Internet-based test is required for admission. For the IELTS, a minimum score of 7.0 on the academic IELTS is required for admission. Applicants who do not meet the minimum score requirements should consider additional English study, specifically in the area of legal English skills. One such program to consider is the Intensive Legal English program offered by UCSD-Extension in San Diego.
Completed applications are reviewed on a “rolling” basis throughout the year, and many applicants will receive a decision within three weeks from the date their application becomes complete.
Priority deadlines are as follows:
- Fall Admission: File complete by June 1
- Spring Admission: File complete by November 1
Applications for admission will be considered on a space-available basis after the priority deadlines.
We prefer application packages prepared by the Law School Admissions Council’s (LSAC) credential evaluation and reporting service. This service allows you to use your computer to fill out your application and submit required supporting documents. Visit the University of San Diego School of Law’s LSAC site to complete the application. LSAC will then send the electronic version of your application to our office.
We believe that this service offers a distinct advantage to all applicants, since it eliminates the need to authenticate official documents multiple times and it facilitates a speedy and accurate processing of the application.
There is no application fee.
1. Personal Statement
Please submit a brief personal statement to LSAC addressing:
- the nature and extent of your legal background;
- other related professional experience;
- how you plan to make use of your graduate degree; and
- additional information you deem important.
Please submit a current resume or curriculum vitae to LSAC.
3. Letter of Recommendation
Please submit at least one (1) letter of recommendation to LSAC from a law professor, attorney, or other legal professional who is familiar with your work.
4. Official Law School Transcripts
An official transcript from each law school attended is required and must be sent directly to LSAC from your school’s registrar. Please include a description of your university’s grading policies with your application. In countries where an official transcript is not provided by the university, but is instead given to the students, the applicant must certify that the photocopy is a true and correct copy of the original document.
5. Official TOEFL or IELTS English Language Exam Score
LLM applicants are required to establish competency in English through successful completion of an English language test (TOEFL or IELTS) in the event that:  the applicant’s native language is not English, or  the applicant graduated from an international law school.
Minimum required TOEFL score:
- 93 points on Internet-based TOEFL
- 583 points on paper-based TOEFL
Minimum required IELTS score:
- 7.0 points on academic IELTS
Please request that the test administrator submit your official TOEFL/IELTS score directly to LSAC, or to our office if not using LSAC (our TOEFL institutional code is 4849, and department code is 03).
Institutional TOEFL/IELTS scores are not accepted.
Notice Regarding Submission of Application Materials
Applicants should keep a copy of all materials submitted to LSAC or LLM/MSLS Admissions. Once original transcripts and documents are submitted as part of an applicant’s admission materials, they cannot be returned or photocopied by LLM/MSLS Admissions for any reason.
International students and exchange visitors should make note of specific requirements and conditions that pertain to their visa type (F-1 student or J-1 Exchange Visitor). For additional information, please refer to the Visa Informationweb page.
Health Insurance Requirement
International students and scholars at the University of San Diego School of Law are required to fulfill the health insurance requirement. For additional information on how to enroll in the USD International Health Insurance Plan or how to waive the USD Health Insurance Requirement, please refer to the Health Insurance Requirement web page.
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