M.L.S. International Students

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 (translation required if not in 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 Student Linda Yuan

Because of the prominence, resourcefulness, and rigor of the [UCLA] MLS program, I believe that being here will introduce me to like-minded peers and expose me to equally informed but different perspectives. The admitted students are so diverse, and they all thrive in their own fields.

Linda Yuan, Full-Time Student
Country of Citizenship: China

MLS Student Shivani Sivabalan

I cannot wait to meet the rest of the program's students and learn from some of the best legal professors in the nation. I have never lived in LA, but I am super excited to explore LA with everyone's recommendations!

Shivani Sivabalan, Full-Time Student
Country of Citizenship: Canada

Where Our Students Come From

Frequently Asked Questions for Prospective International Students

  • 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.


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