M.L.S. Application Information

The 2023-2024 Master of Legal Studies application is now open. Request your application link here to get started.


Priority Round

Application Deadline:
Monday, November 21, 2022

Decision Release:
Friday, December 16, 2022

Early Round
(rolling admission)

Application Deadline:
Monday, February 27, 2023

Decision Release:
Monday, March 27, 2023

General Round
(rolling admission)

Application Deadline:
Monday, May 1, 2023

Decision Release:
Wednesday, May 31, 2023


MLS Graduate Sophia Maes
Don't be afraid to apply. It's really about who you are as a whole package and who you want to become. UCLA looks for passion and values, and how you'll use your degree.
Sophia Maes (MLS '21)

  • Degree and GPA Requirements

    M.L.S. applicants must have earned a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a grade point average (GPA) of B (3.0 of 4.0) or better, or its equivalent if the letter grade system is not used. Applicants who do not meet the minimum-GPA requirement and have substantial work experience are still encouraged to apply and may be considered for admission at the discretion of the Admissions Committee. 

    Students who have earned a J.D. or LL.B. are ineligible for the M.L.S. program. These students should consider applying to UCLA Law’s  LL.M. program.

  • Application Materials

    Applicants must submit the following materials:

    1.  The UCLA Graduate Division application

    This online application form will request demographic information, education and employment history. 

    2.  A Statement of Purpose (up to 500 words, approximately one page)

    Your Statement of Purpose should clearly communicate why you are pursuing this degree and how it will help you achieve your professional/career goals. The Admissions Committee considers the Statement of Purpose very important for admission.

    3.  Personal Statement (up to 500 words, approximately one page)

    Your Personal Statement talks about your story and what led you to become the person you are today. This is a great place to also talk about your strengths and what will make you a great student in the program.

    4.  2-3 Letters of Recommendation 

    Your letters of recommendation can come from either a professional or academic connection. It could be a professor, a supervisor, colleague, or other person who can genuinely attest to your ability to succeed in an academically rigorous graduate-level environment.

    5.  Resume / C.V.

    Think of the resume you submit for this program's application as one you would submit for a job. Tailor your resume to showcase your positions, accomplishments, accolades, etc. to show your fit for our program.

    6.  Transcripts from all undergraduate education institutions*

    Electronic official transcripts are preferred and can be sent directly to mls@law.ucla.edu. If electronic transcripts are not available, retrieve and scan a copy of your transcripts to upload to your application.
    *Only unofficial transcripts need to be uploaded.  Upon admission, official transcripts are required.
    International applicants are required to submit translated transcripts for the Bachelor’s degree if not in English; see below for additional details and requirements.

    Request your application link here to get started
  • Test Scores

    Students who wish to apply for admission to our graduate program are not required to take the GRE/GMAT/LSAT or submit a GRE/GMAT/LSAT score report as part of their application package. However, students may voluntarily submit GRE/GMAT/LSAT test scores and they will be reviewed as part of the holistic application consideration. The applications with GRE/GMAT/LSAT scores will not be given greater weight than those that do not include scores. 

  • English Proficiency

    UCLA Graduate Education has specific English language proficiency requirements that apply to U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents as well as international applicants. The requirements can be found at https://grad.ucla.edu/admissions/english-requirements

International Applicants

For those who received their undergraduate education outside of the United States, please note the following:

  • Must have a Bachelor’s degree or undergraduate degree equivalent; see additional requirements to UCLA's Graduate School for International Applicants here: https://grad.ucla.edu/admissions/international-applicants/.
  • Must submit transcripts, diploma, and degree certificate in English and the original language if not English.
  • Applicants who did not earn their undergraduate degree at an institution in which English is both the primary spoken language of daily life (e.g., Australia, Barbados, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, United Kingdom) and the medium of instruction must take the TOEFL/IELTS. Requirements are available at: https://grad.ucla.edu/admissions/english-requirements; see accepted TOEFL / IELTS scores below.

International applicants who have earned a first degree of law are ineligible to apply to the M.L.S. program and should apply to the LL.M. program.

MLS Graduate Linda Yuan
Los Angeles is a resourceful city, and UCLA Law has a big name here and abroad. There are so many opportunities here for M.L.S. students.
Linda Yuan (MLS '22)
Country of Citizenship: China
  • Do I need to take the TOEFL or IELTS?

    International applicants who do not hold a bachelor's degree or higher from an institution at which the primary language of instruction is English, are required to submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores will also be accepted, but are less desirable.

    Please note that TOEFL and IELTS scores are considered valid for only two years. The scores must be valid at the time you submit your application. If you took the examination multiple times, only the most recent score is considered.

    Exemptions: International applicants who have earned a bachelor's degree or higher from an institution at which the primary language of instruction is English are not required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score.

  • What is the minimum TOEFL/IELTS score requirement?

    TOEFL: UCLA School of Law prefers a score of at least 96 on the Internet-based TOEFL, or 600 on the paper-based exam. (There is no score requirement for specific sections of the exam.) Applicants with lower scores are still welcome to apply, but are strongly advised to re-take the exam in order to increase their likelihood of admission.

    For TOEFL information and registration instructions, visit https://www.ets.org/toefl. When registering for the exam, please enter UCLA's institution code, enter 4837 and department code 03.

    IELTS: Favorable consideration will be given to applicants who submit a TOEFL score. However, an overall IELTS score of at least 7.5 will also be viewed favorably. (There is no score requirement for specific sections of the exam.) Applicants with a lower score are strongly advised to take the TOEFL in order to increase their likelihood of admission.

    For IELTS information and registration instructions, visit https://www.ielts.org. When registering for (or at the start of) the exam, please indicate that you wish to have your score forwarded to UCLA School of Law Master of Legal Studies Program (mls@law.ucla.edu) and the UCLA Graduate Division.

    Foreign language ability can fade quickly, so please note that TOEFL and IELTS scores are considered valid for only two years. The scores must be valid at the time you submit your application. If you took the examination multiple times, only the most recent score is considered.

  • Will I be able to take any English language instruction before the start of the program?

    Yes! If you are an admitted applicant who has not met UCLA's English language requirement for waiving the English Requirements for this examination, you must, upon arrival at UCLA, take the UCLA English as a Second Language Placement Examination (ESLPE). The ESLPE is an English diagnostic test. Depending on your results on the ESLPE, you may be required to complete English as a Second Language courses beginning in your first term at UCLA. If English courses are required, you should enroll in them right away, and you should also anticipate spending a longer period of time at the University.

    Admission is canceled for those who do not pass the ESLPE.

    View the UCLA Graduate Division's English Language Requirements.

  • What is the process for receiving my visa?

    If you accept UCLA's offer of admission, the UCLA Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars will email you instructions for applying for an I-20 form online. Along with your I-20 application, you will be required to submit electronic copies of your passport, as well as financial documentation which demonstrates that you possess the necessary funds to pay for the costs of tuition and living expenses. After receiving and processing these items, the Dashew Center will issue your I-20 form, and the law school will ship it to you.

    After receiving the I-20 form, you must make an appointment at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence in order to apply for an F-1 student visa to travel to the United States. Please make an appointment well in advance of the date you intend to travel to the United States, as some embassies and consulates take several weeks (or even months) to process visa requests.

  • Is financial aid available for international students?

    Students without U.S. citizenship/residency are not eligible for federal aid via the FAFSA, but all applicants can apply for, and may receive, multiple M.L.S. scholarship awards in addition to external scholarships. Applicants are typically notified concurrently with their admission offer. 

  • Is university housing available?

    Full-time M.L.S. students are eligible to apply for university housing designed for both single graduate students and those with families. Students can also choose to live off-campus in the neighborhoods of Westwood, West Los Angeles, Brentwood or Santa Monica to name a few. 

  • Funding Resources for International Students

    Please note that the outside funding organizations listed below are not affiliated with or endorsed by UCLA School of Law.

    American Association of University Women (AAUW)
    AAUW helps women around the globe break barriers and pursue their dreams of obtaining graduate degrees or making an impact in their communities. International fellowships are awarded for full-time study in the U.S. to women who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents in the amount of $18,000 (Master’s/First Professional Degree Fellowship).

    Discover Student Loans
    Discover offers fixed or variable interest rate private student loans to international students attending an eligible U.S. college or university, on the condition that international students provide a creditworthy cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

    EduPASS provides financial aid information for international students who plan to pursue higher education in the U.S. This site presents information about how to calculate college costs, scholarships and loans for international students, and other tools and resources for financing education as a foreign student in the U.S.

    Foreignborn.com serves as a resource for international students who will be entering and living in the U.S. Along with immigration, visa, and health insurance information, the site provides a guide for foreign students seeking financial aid to study in the U.S. in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, and other kinds of financial assistance.

    Fulbright Foreign Student Program
    The Fulbright Foreign Student Program brings citizens of other countries to the United States for Master’s degree or Ph.D. study at U.S. universities or other appropriate institutions. Foreign students apply for Fulbright Fellowships through the Fulbright Commission/Foundation or U.S. Embassy in their home countries.

    InternationalStudentLoan.com provides financial aid resources, articles, videos, and comparison tools to help students navigate their financial aid options. The site offers loan information for international students pursuing study in the U.S.

    International Student Organization in the USA (ISO)
    ISO provides a detailed list of organizations which offer scholarships and grants to international students based upon factors such as background and area of interest.


2022-2023 Academic Year Dates

Orientation and Short Course (Introduction to Law): August 15-19

Fall 2022 Semester Instruction: August 22-November 23

Fall 2022 Examination Period: December 2-16

Spring 2023 Semester Instruction: January 17-April 25

Spring 2023 Examination Period: May 1-11

Commencement: May 12

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