USC Gould School of Law Admission Guide

By | July 13, 2023

The USC Gould School of Law is an elite institution dedicated to academic excellence and renowned for its outstanding faculty, diverse student body, interdisciplinary curriculum, and supportive alumni network. Established in 1900 as the first law school in Southern California, USC Gould has a rich history of enrolling women, students of color, and international students, creating an environment that fosters a wide range of perspectives and experiences.

At USC Gould, students benefit from a world-class faculty recognized nationally for their scholarship, interdisciplinary focus, public service, and leadership in the legal profession. The school maintains small class sizes and a low professor-to-student ratio, fostering an intimate and collegial learning environment that promotes engaging discussions and debates.

Acceptance Rate and Ranking at USC Gould School of Law

The acceptance rate is an important factor for prospective law students, as it indicates the level of competitiveness in the admissions process. It has a very competitive acceptance rate is 12.7%. Each year, USC Gould School of Law admits a limited number of outstanding students who demonstrate exceptional academic and personal qualifications.

Currently, USC Law is ranked 16th in the States and 4th in California behind UCLA Law School; note that UCLA Law School has a more open acceptance rate of 15.5%, compared to that of USC’s.

Transfer Opportunities at USC Gould School of Law

USC Gould School of Law also offers transfer opportunities for students who have completed their first year of study at another law school. Transfer students are admitted on a selective basis, and the application process involves meeting specific eligibility criteria.

To be eligible for transfer admission, applicants must be enrolled full-time in a law school approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). They should have completed the entire first year of full-time study with a minimum of 24 units and must be in good standing at their current law school. Additionally, applicants should have earned a bachelor’s degree prior to beginning their legal studies and maintain a weighted overall grade point average that places them in the top 20% of their first-year class.

Transferring coursework is generally accepted on a credit-only basis, and transfer students may receive advanced standing credit for up to 30 semester units. However, transfer students must successfully complete any first-year courses not already taken at their original law school during their first year at USC Gould Law. It’s important to note that transfer students are not eligible to take courses at other USC schools and departments for credit or pursue dual degrees or study abroad programs.

Application Process and Requirements

If you’re interested in applying to USC Gould Law as a transfer student, you must submit an electronic transfer application via the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). USC Gould Law offers both Early Transfer and Regular Transfer application options. The application components include a personal statement explaining your reasons for transferring, a résumé, a law school transcript, a letter of good standing, class rank (if applicable), and a letter of recommendation from a law school faculty member.

Applicants are required to pay a $75 application fee, which is non-refundable. However, exceptions to the application fee policy are made for applicants who apply via the Early Transfer application program.

Financial Aid for Transfer Students

While transfer students are not eligible for USC Gould Law scholarship consideration, they have the opportunity to apply for student loans, including federal Stafford loans, federal Plus loans, and private educational loans. Transfer applicants interested in receiving financial aid should familiarize themselves with the financial aid filing deadlines, which usually occur in February, prior to the admission deadline.