How to Apply to the Master of Legal Studies Program

The MLST application is now available online through the Law School Admission Council at

Please note that the Law School will continue to accept applications after our priority application deadline, space permitting.  However, early application filing is encouraged in order to receive an application decision in a timely manner.

Requirements for Admission

Please fill out the application and submit it along with a resume, personal statement, two letters of recommendation, and a transcript.

Have questions? Contact Natascha Fastabend at or (415) 422-2801.

A. Application Form

You may download the application.

Interested candidates may submit applications via email, mail or electronically through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) at:

If applying electronically, you do not need to submit a hard copy or email your application.

If applying via email, please send your application materials to Natascha Fastabend at

If applying via mail, please send your application materials to:  

University of San Francisco School of Law
Graduate Tax Programs
101 Howard St., Suite 430
San Francisco, CA 94105

Please be sure to sign and date your application. If applying electronically, please use the electronic certification function. Unsigned applications will not be transmitted to USF.

All required sections of the application must be completed. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

B. Application Fee

The application fee is $75.

C. Personal Statement

The Admissions Committee requires that each applicant submit a personal statement to supplement the application form. The statement should focus on your reasons for applying to the USF Master of Legal Studies in Taxation (MLST) program, and your preparation for the MLST program. The Committee is interested in your personal experiences, background, and accomplishments.

Other factors that are helpful to the Committee include co-curricular activities, areas of interest, past or present employment, and college or other academic honors. If applying electronically via LSAC, your personal statement may be submitted as an electronic attachment. Personal statements tend to average 2 to 4 pages in length; however, there is no page limitation to the personal statement.  

A resume is not required but recommended. It should not be used in lieu of questions asked on the application.

D. Education

All applicants are required to have earned an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution with at least a 3.00 grade point average (GPA). Individuals with an undergraduate GPA below 3.00 are welcome to apply and will be considered for admissions based on employment history, professional accomplishments, recommendations, etc.

Original transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended are required. The transcripts should show your grades, approximate class rank (if applicable), and any degree received. If the degree received is not printed on the transcript, you must provide a copy of the diploma or certificate.

International Students: If transcript and/diplomas are not in English, they must be accompanied by an English translation. The transcripts must be sent directly to the USF LL.M. in Taxation/Masters in Legal Studies in Tax Program Office in sealed envelopes by your university.

Applicants can also submit their transcripts through the LSAC LLM Credential Assembly Service (LLM CAS). This service is included in the LLM CAS subscription fee. For transcripts received from institutions outside of the U.S. an International Credential Evaluation will be completed by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), which will be incorporated into your LLM CAS report.

To use the LLM CAS, log in to your online account at: and follow the instructions for registering for the service. Be sure to print out a Transcript Request Form for each institution and send it to them promptly. More time is usually required to receive foreign transcripts. Questions about the LLM Credential Assembly Service can be directed to LSAC at (215) 968-1001 or

E. Two Letters of Recommendation

The Admissions Committee requires two (2) letters of recommendation in support of your application. An optional third letter may be submitted, but no more than three letters of recommendation will be considered for one application. Although the Committee will accept recommendation letters from any two individuals designated by the applicant, the Committee suggests:

If possible, have the two recommendations completed by faculty members (or administrators) with whom you have studied. If you have been away from school for a considerable time, you may wish to substitute other individuals, including supervisors and business colleagues, with whom you have had more recent contact.

Choose individuals who have had substantial and recent opportunity to observe your professional and/or academic promise. Recommendations from people who have not had such opportunity are of little assistance to the Committee and your application.

You may submit your letters of recommendation directly to the USF LL.M. in Taxation/Master of Legal Studies in Taxation Program Office.

Additional Requirements for International Applicants

F. English Language Requirement - International Students Only

Strong English language ability is a prerequisite to admission. For foreign students whose native language is not English, this requirement may be satisfied by having completed basic legal studies in an English-speaking country in a university where instruction was in English or by taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and receiving a score of 600 PBT,

100 IBT or higher. Applicants should register to take the test as early as possible so the scores will be received by the February 15 deadline. Only TOEFL scores from tests administered by Educational Testing Services (ETS) will be accepted. The TOEFL score report must be sent directly to USF by ETS. Use school code number 4792 to ensure the score will be forwarded to the LLM program of the USF School of Law. For information on taking the TOEFL exam, visit

As an option, applicants that use the LSAC LLM Credential Assembly Service can have the TOEFL report sent directly to LSAC using the code 0058. The score will be forwarded to USF along with an evaluation report of transcripts prepared by LSAC.

We also accept an official International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score report. Fluency in English, equivalent to an overall band score of 7.0, (with no single band score under 6.0) is required. Testing locations and times may be obtained from Only official TOEFL and IELTS scores from tests taken within two years of your application submission will be valid.

G. Certification of Finances - International Students Only

Foreign applicants (those who are not U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents) must submit the PDF iconCertification of Finances Form and supporting documents, showing funds covering the nine months of study at the university. Certification may be submitted either with your application or after you are admitted. If an international applicant submits the certification and a copy of the passport identity page early and is subsequently admitted, he or she will receive the documentation required to apply for a visa more quickly. Please visit the above web site for information on the cost of attendance, tuition, and fees.

Additional Information for All Applicants

Application/Character and Fitness Updates 

All applicants are required to complete the disclosure questions in the Character and Fitness section of the Application. USF requires applicants to disclose any issues related to academic probation, suspension, disqualification (particularly from a previous law school). In addition all applicants must disclose any felony or misdemeanor charge, arrest, conviction, or pending adjudication including a DUI (or any alcohol or drug-related offense). This includes any charge, arrest or conviction that may have been dropped or expunged. Information should include the date of each incident, full explanation of the incident, including the name of the charge, and the final disposition of each charge.

In addition, all applicants are required to notify the School of Law if any changes to the information included in their Application for Admission occur after the application has been submitted. In particular, all applicants must immediately notify the Director of Admissions if any new academic probation, suspension, disqualification issues arise, or if any new charge, arrest or conviction of any felony or misdemeanor takes place after submitting the application.

Conviction is any of the following: (1) a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, (2) a verdict or finding of guilt regardless of whether sentence is imposed by the court. The Bar Examiners will receive reports of any such convictions from law enforcement agencies.

Newly admitted applicants are required to immediately submit a detailed written description of new disclosures to the Law School Office of Admissions if an incident occurs AFTER an offer of admission is made and to the Office of the Assistant Dean for Academic Services if an incident occurs AFTER classes begin. Information disclosed after an applicant has been offered admission will automatically result in a re-evaluation of the applicant's file.

Failure to disclose any changes to your application or any of the Character & Fitness information noted above, may result in revocation of your admission decision, dismissal from school, revocation of any degree awarded by USF School of Law, denial of admission to the Bar, and referral to the LSAC Subcommittee on Misconduct and Irregularities in the Admission Process.

Financial Aid

The USF School of Law awards a limited number of tuition scholarships each year to highly qualified applicants. All applicants are reviewed for merit based scholarship aid at the same time they are reviewed for admission.  No additional documents than those listed above are required.

U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents needing additional financial aid may submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by April 1 for federal aid. Such students may qualify for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan of up to $20,500 annually. Additional federal aid is available through the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, a credit based loan offered through the federal government.  U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents needing additional financial aid information should visit the law school web site on financial aid at:

In addition, a Citibank program offers loans to international students, who are neither citizens nor permanent residents, if they have a credit-worthy U.S. citizen as a co-signor. See

Application Materials

All materials and correspondence relating to admissions or your USF Master of Legal Studies in Taxation Program application should be directed to the USF LL.M. in Taxation/Master of Legal Studies in Taxation Program Office. Once submitted, all materials become the property of the School of Law and will not be returned or copied. Please keep a copy of your application and any supporting documents for your records.

Status Checks

The USF LL.M. in Taxation/Master of Legal Studies in Taxation Program Office will provide login and password information to all applicants regarding an online status check. In addition, all applicants to the law school will be notified by email once their application is received by USF, when your application file becomes complete, and as soon as an admission decision has been reached.