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Vanderbilt’s online Master of Legal Studies (MLS) program will begin accepting international students from select countries beginning in the Fall 2024 semester.

There is no application fee for the MLS program. While our admissions team continuously reviews applications, we recommend that applicants submit their materials promptly. Individuals who submit their application by the priority deadline will receive an expedited admissions decision.

We look for candidates whose academic history, career goals, personal dedication, and proficiency in technology and communication align with the requirements of our challenging program. Prior exposure to or experience in the field of law is not obligatory.

The LSAT, GRE, or any other standardized admission test is not required for admission. However, international applicants will be required to demonstrate English proficiency through the submission of TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo scores. (Certain international students may qualify for exemption from this requirement based on the specified waiver criteria.)

All information on this page is applicable to international applicants only. Domestic prospective students should refer to the admissions page for information that is applicable to the United States.

To be eligible for admission to the online MLS program, a student must reside and study in one of the countries listed below, regardless of citizenship status:

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Ghana
  • Guatemala
  • India
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • UAE (United Arab Emirates)
  • United Kingdom
  • Uruguay
  • Zambia

All application items must be provided in English.

Required Items:

  • Online application
  • Personal statement
    Two to three pages, double-spaced in 12-point font, on your reasons for pursuing the MLS degree at Vanderbilt and why you feel you will be successful as an online graduate student.
  • Resume/curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Transcripts
    The transcripts you submit must have an English translation. International students with degrees from non-U.S. institutions are required to have their transcripts evaluated by an approved credentials evaluation agency and to have an official report sent by the agency to the Vanderbilt University Registrar’s Office before enrollment. Please visit the University Registrar website for more information, including a list of approved evaluating agencies. International students with questions about the prior degree verification process may contact prior-degree-review@vanderbilt.edu.
  • English Proficiency Testing
    Proficiency in written and oral English is required for enrollment. An official score report sent directly from one of the following testing agencies is required:

    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) – Our TOEFL institutional code is 1871, and there is no department code. There is no minimum TOEFL score required for admission, but the recommended score is at least 100. Each application is evaluated holistically beyond just the TOEFL score.
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) – There is no institutional code for the IELTS. There is no minimum IELTS score required for admission, but the recommended score is at least 7.0 for the composite score. Each application is evaluated holistically beyond just the IELTS score.
    • Duolingo – Duolingo scores are also accepted. Test results must include subscores. There is no minimum Duolingo score required for admission, but the recommended score is at least 120. Each application is evaluated holistically beyond just the Duolingo score.
  • Waiver Criteria: The online application will not require you to submit a language score if you meet the criteria for an exemption:
    • You have received a college degree from an English-language accredited institution in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, or the United Kingdom.
    • If you have received (or will receive) an undergraduate degree from a college or university where English is the primary language of instruction, and if you have studied in residence at that institution for at least three years, you are exempt from the English Language Test requirement and are not required to submit a language test score.

Optional Items:

Recommendation Letters: While not required, you have the opportunity to enhance your application by submitting an optional letter of recommendation from a teacher, professor, employer, or another individual capable of speaking to your readiness for a challenging online graduate program. These letters of recommendation should be provided in English.

Video Statement: You can also supplement your application by providing an optional video statement through the online application portal.

The admissions committee reserves the right to request supplementary materials at their discretion.

As an international online student at Vanderbilt, you will benefit from a tailored set of student services crafted by our on-campus collaborators that are redesigned to suit your unique requirements. We will equip you with the resources necessary to foster a sense of belonging, achieve academic success, flourish personally, and advance professionally.

This webpage will be updated with more details as they become available.

  • Online Student Services Fees – These are not waivable. View rates.
  • Online Student Health Fees – These are not waivable. View rates.
  • Student Health Insurance Fees – International learners who reside outside of the United States for the duration of the program are automatically waived from these fees.

International students are valued members of the online MLS program who are plugged into our tight-knit community… Regardless of their physical location!

Flexible Scheduling

Our online MLS program offers primarily asynchronous learning, allowing international students the flexibility to study at their convenience. While virtual synchronous sessions are scheduled based on U.S. time zones, recordings will be provided for international students to watch at their convenience, according to their own time zones.

Meaningful Engagement

In each course, you will have opportunities to analyze complex legal issues in conversation with your instructor and peers who are located around the world. You will apply legal rationale to analyze recent legal decisions, examine hypothetical scenarios through the lens of various legal arguments, and more.

International learners will be billed according to the Vanderbilt Office of Student Accounts. The Office of Student Accounts will send an e-bill to students the first of each month. Tuition is due at the end of that month. Once enrolled in courses, students can access these e-bills via the YES (Your Enrollment Services) billing portal.

Vanderbilt University has partnered with Convera and Flywire to offer students and families a more streamlined way to make international payments through foreign wire transfers. Using this payment method can save international students money that would otherwise be lost on bank fees and unfavorable exchange rates. This partnership allows you to pay in your home currency (in most cases) while providing more favorable rates than transfers from traditional banks. In addition, the payment will be posted into your Vanderbilt Student Account much quicker, and you will have the ability to track your payment while it is in process.

Students who will have their tuition paid by a third party, such as a company of employment or foreign government, should visit the Office of Student Accounts’ Third Party Billing webpage to learn more.

Get started now

To learn more about the online Master of Legal Studies and download a brochure, please fill out this form. You can also reach an admissions advisor directly by calling 844-723-9010 (toll-free).

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