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straus institute llm, mdr, and certificate application requirements

applications are accepted on a rolling basis and need to be submitted prior to the intended start date.

courses start in the fall (mid-august), spring (early january), and summer (late may) terms. applications can be submitted up to one year in advance; it is recommended that international students submit their applications at least four months prior to their expected start date. applicants for the llm in u.s. law program should note that program only begins during the fall semester.

scholarships are highly competitive and granted to admitted students on a rolling basis. the majority of partial scholarships are awarded between december and march 1 for the fall term. all applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

all applicants are required to submit:

  • application form online or through lsac
  • official transcripts for all degrees earned or in-progress, including any available class rankings. transcripts originating outside the united states must be evaluated before submission to pepperdine
  • one to two page personal statement
  • current resumé or cv
  • two narrative letters of recommendation or completed personal evaluation forms



the llm program is offered as part of the law school's graduate programs. admission to the llm will require a juris doctor degree from an aba accredited institution, or for international candidates the first degree of law necessary to practice or teach law in their country of origin. the certificate in dispute resolution and master of dispute resolution programs require a bachelor's degree (or equivalent). those who do not meet these requirements can attend our various training programs and conferences. please visit our training programs and conferences page for a list of upcoming programs.


apply directly to pepperdine through the online application or through lsac.

personal statement

please include a one to two page personal statement indicating your reasons for wanting to study in the desired field, why you chose to apply to pepperdine university caruso school of law, what use you anticipate making of the education you receive, what contribution you will make to the program, and any further information that you feel should be considered by the admissions committee.

include in your personal statement a discussion of any economic, educational, or social disadvantages that you have encountered, what you have done to overcome these disadvantages, community service endeavors that you may have participated in, and your plans as they now relate to future community service. you will also have an opportunity to respond to pepperdine's mission statement.


a copy of a current resumé or vita outlining professional and educational experience is required.


transcripts are required for all applicants for the certificate, masters, and llm programs. we must receive official transcripts to consider your application, which must be received directly from the university or in a university sealed envelope from the applicant. transcripts must be included from all institutions attended. if you are currently a student in another graduate program or undergraduate program, we will need your current transcript to date.

all international applicants are required to have their transcripts evaluated. the lsac evaluation service is only available to those applying through lsac, applicants choosing to apply using our online application can use these agencies to provide a course-by-course evaluation.

letters of recommendation

two letters of recommendation are required. applicants can have their recommenders complete the prospective student evaluation form, or have their recommenders write a narrative letter of recommendation. recommendations should not be from family members.

testing requirement

applicants for the llm, mdr, or certificate programs are not required to take an entrance exam. (gre, gmat, lsat, etc. not required)

international applicants are required to demonstrate english proficiency via the toefl, ielts, or duolingo english test, in addition to a skype interview. international applicants that feel they meet this requirement can submit a written proposal to waive out of the toefl or ielts. this proposal should outline how they meet this requirement with any supporting documentation. applicants can submit their proposal to dracademics@pepperdine.edu and a skype interview will be scheduled.

pepperdine university caruso school of law has partnered with ucla's american language center and uc irvine's extension center to allow their international students to qualify for the graduate programs at straus without the need for a toefl, ielts, or duolingo english test score! additional details can be found on the english center partner programs website.

application fee

there is no fee to apply to the straus programs.

international applicants

more detailed information regarding transcript evaluation, english proficiency requirements, and f-1 student visa status for international applicants can be found here.