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Best 14 Online Master’s in Legal Studies in 2021

September 30, 2021 | Staff Writers

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Those with a master’s in legal studies have the opportunity for increased career options and to get higher salaries, making it an appealing degree. A master’s degree is particularly helpful because it shows that a graduate has put in extra work to understand issues related to law. Graduates of this field may work in healthcare in administration, the financial sector, the government, and military.

As an example of wages, look at the average pay of a human resources manager. Human Resources Managers earn a median of $56.11 per hour with a bachelor’s degree alone. That’s a median pay of $116,720 annually. This career field is expected to grow by approximately 6% between 2019 and 2029, adding an additional 10,400 jobs to the field by 2029.

When selecting an online master’s in legal studies, it is important to find a program that is accredited and flexible. Many people seeking this degree already work, so being able to find hybrid or night courses is essential. Some online schools are asynchronous, allowing students to study whenever they have time.

The following are our top choices for schools offering an online master’s in legal studies. These schools are ranked from our top choice down. Don’t see a program you want to join? Let us help you find the right program by looking at your preferences and priorities.

1. University of Illinois at Springfield

The University of Illinois at Springfield offers a fully online Master of Arts in Legal Studies.  The online program allows students to gain professional skills and study legal theory and the role of law in American Society. It provides students with a broad general understanding of the legal system, how it works, how it interrelates with societal change, and how citizens can assert their rights within the legal system.

  • Tuition (in-state): $8,247
  • Enrollment: 4,275

2. Hodges University

Hodges University offers a Master of Science in Legal Studies Degree online. The program consists of 30 credit hours and can be completed one by one, with each course taking one month.

  • Tuition (in-state): $14,220
  • Enrollment: 977

3. Webster University

Webster University offers a Master of Arts in Legal Studies that can be completed with just 36 hours of coursework. The program focuses on legal research, ethics, and other important topics.

  • Tuition (in-state): $13,500
  • Enrollment: 9,860

4 The Santa Barbara and Ventura Colleges of Law

The Santa Barbara and Ventura Colleges of Law offers a 30-credit program for its Master of Legal Studies. The program usually takes 1.5 years to complete when taken part-time.

  • Tuition (in-state): $25,563
  • Enrollment: 187

5. University of Oklahoma

The University of Oklahoma offers a Master of Legal Studies. This program has three different graduate options, including obtaining the degree for Healthcare Law, Oil, Gas, and Energy Law, or Indigenous Peoples Law. The concentrations require 32 to 33 credit hours for completion in 15 months.

  • Tuition (in-state): $6,943
  • Enrollment: 28,079

6. West Virginia University

West Virginia University offers a 30-credit-hour program for its Master of Legal Studies. Courses include topics such as media and the law, family law, and dispute resolution.

  • Tuition (in-state): $10,134
  • Enrollment: 26,839

7. Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University in Florida offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice with Legal Studies. This program is 36 credit hours long and has five core classes with six electives students use to specialize.

  • Tuition (in-state): $14,568
  • Enrollment: 10,912

8. Regent University

Regent University offers Master of Arts in Law degrees in fourteen different concentrations, one of which is General Legal Studies. The others are Advanced Paralegal Studies, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Business, Criminal Justice, Cybersecurity Law, Healthcare Law, Human Resources Law, Human Rights and the Rule Of Law, Immigration Law, International Business Transactions, National Security, Nonprofit Organization Law, and Regulatory Compliance.

Regent Law School also offers a Master of Arts in Financial Planning and Law. All M.A. in Law programs require 32 credit hours. Students typically complete the program in 3-6 semesters, although they may spread it over a longer period.

  • Tuition (in-state): $675/credit hour ($21,600 for 32 hours)
  • Enrollment: 10,365

9. Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law

The Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law in Malibu, California, offers a Master of Legal Studies that consists of a 32-credit-hour curriculum. There are two in-person residencies required to complete the degree program. Usually, this takes up to 16 months to complete. Students can choose a concentration in dispute resolution, human resources, or litigation to achieve their particular needs. They can also opt for a dual degree in dispute resolution for just an additional 18–22 units, which will prepare them to artfully negotiate complex transactions and judiciously resolve conflicts between parties.

  • Tuition (in-state): $36,200
  • Enrollment: 8,824

10. Arizona State University

Arizona State University in Phoenix offers an online Master of Legal Studies. This program has 30 credit hours and a total of 10 classes. Each class is 7.5 weeks long, so students can focus on them individually. The online Master of Legal Studies is a unique advanced legal degree for non-lawyers. This 30-credit program enables professionals to gain a foundation in U.S. law in as little as one year and without pursuing a full law degree. The MLS program is a customizable degree with different emphases areas including:

The MLS program is located in the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU.

  • Tuition (in-state): $31,210
  • Enrollment: 840 online and an additional 110 on-ground

11. University of Arizona

The University of Arizona offers a Master of Legal Studies online. This program consists of 30 credit hours. Students have the option of going to classes full- or part-time, which will determine the length of the program. Some concentrations include family and juvenile law, international trade and business, and compliance and risk management.

  • Tuition (in-state): $11,938
  • Enrollment: 44,577

12. Northeastern University

Northeastern University offers a Master of Legal Studies that is made up of 30 credit hours. Students in Northeastern’s Master of Legal Studies program choose from five concentrations tailored to meet employer demand: Business Law, Health Law, Human Resources Law, Intellectual Property Law and Public Law and Policy. The students in this program may also participate in Northeastern’s Experiential Network (XN), which gives students six weeks to focus on and solve a real-world case.

  • Tuition (in-state): $32,820
  • Enrollment: 22,207

13. Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University in St. Louis offers a Master of Legal Studies that consists of 24 credit hours. Students have an opportunity to obtain certificates in employment law, regulatory compliance, business law, and other areas. The program is usually completed within one year.

  • Tuition (in-state): $56,300
  • Enrollment: 16,191

14. Drexel University

Drexel University’s Thomas R. Kline School of Law offers an online Master of Legal Studies that consists of 30 credit hours. Eight concentrations are available in areas such as cybersecurity and information privacy compliance, health care compliance, and human resources compliance. Classes can be taken full-time or part-time, allowing students to work while in school.

  • Tuition (in-state): $1,250 per credit
  • Enrollment: 24,205

Ranking Methodology

The schools in this article were ranked from our top choice downward, looking at the total tuition rates as well as overall enrollment. Courses with fewer students were ranked higher, since this likely means more one-on-one support from the faculty. Lower tuition rates were also given a higher score.

Those two scores were combined and re-ranked to get the results you see here. Please keep in mind that these results are not guaranteed and that the results may be changed at any time.

Interested in Learning about Your Own School’s Rankings?

If your school is on our list, but any of the information is incorrect, please contact us so that we can make those corrections on your behalf. If your school is not listed here, but you believe that it should be, let us know. We’d be happy to give you more information on getting on one of our lists.

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