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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

Educational Opportunities for International Students

Frequently Asked Questions

I have a foreign law degree, am I eligible for the LLM in Dispute Resolution?

International students that have the first degree of law required to practice law in their country are eligible to apply for the LLM in Dispute Resolution program.

Do I need to get my transcripts evaluated?

All foreign transcripts must be evaluated through an evaluation agency. Applicants for the LLM in Dispute Resolution can have their transcripts evaluated by LSAC's LLM Credential Assembly Service if they are applying online via LSAC. This is the recommended method of application.

Applicants applying using our paper application form will not be able to use LSAC's evaluation service without paying for all of their services. These applicants have the option to use WES to evaluate their transcripts.

Students applying to the Certificate or Master's in Dispute Resolution are also required to have their transcripts evaluated through WES. Applicants will need to select the course-by-course evaluation option.

Do I need to take an English Proficiency Exam?

The Straus Institute's academic programs rely heavily on class discussions, stimulating simulated exercises and written papers, so it is imperative that international applicants are able to demonstrate a proficiency in English. English proficiency is determined by the TOEFL or IELTS exam, as well as a Skype or in person interview.

Those that received the majority of their education in English and feel they meet our language requirements can submit a proposal to waive the English proficiency examination requirement. This proposal must outline the applicant's English education/training, describe how they feel they meet our language requirements and provide supporting documentation. This can be sent to strausadmissions@pepperdine.edu, and will be considered with a Skype or in person interview.

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 or IELTS score! Once the UC student finishes the highest level of English instruction in any of the above-referenced schools, the language proficiency requirement for applying to Straus is waived. Applicants opting to participate in the English Center Partner Programs may also apply for conditional admission that will allow applicants to take English courses prior to starting their LLM until they can demonstrate English Proficiency by completing the designated level at an approved partner. In other words, applicants will not be able to start their LLM coursework until they meet Pepperdine's language requirements. Applicants will be able to gain full admission after submitting a completion Certificate and participating in a Skype interview. Additional details can be found on the English Center Partner Programs website.

Will I be able to sit for the California or New York Bar?

International students with a foreign law degree are eligible to sit for the California Bar Exam with one year of advanced law study. Many graduates of the LLM in Dispute Resolution program have been able to sit for the CA Bar Exam. Additional information on these requirements can be found on the California Bar Exam or New York Bar Exam website.

Do I need to complete the program in one year?

All international students pursuing an academic program are required to maintain full-time status to qualify for an F-1 student visa. Most international students will complete their coursework in 2 - 3 semesters, but the minimum requirements to be considered a full-time student is 8 units per semester.

Working professional also have the option to commute for the program using our one week and two-weekend intensive formats. In addition to the commuting option, students can also choose to split their coursework over two summers.  

Are courses only available in Malibu?

In addition to the Malibu program, Pepperdine has recently partnered with Heidelberg University to transfer 8 units of coursework to Pepperdine's LLM program. The Pepperdine-Heidelberg Collaborative allows German speaking students the opportunity to complete the LLM with only one semester of residence in California.

In addition to the Heidelberg program, Pepperdine is scheduled to start a pilot program at Pepperdine's London campus offering extended weekend courses in London, requiring a portion of the summer and two one-week intensives in Malibu. 

Questions about immigration can be directed to the Office of International Student Services:

Office of International Student Services at Pepperdine University

Phone: (310)506-4246
Fax: (310)506-7403


Admission-related questions should be directed to the Pepperdine Caruso Law Office of Admissions at: