Legal Studies M.L.S.

May 13, 2019
Next Start Date
Per Credit Hour


The MLS is a degree program designed to build greater public understanding of the law and the United States legal system. Graduates will be able to apply knowledge and skills gained to perform their jobs more effectively and to provide private and public organizations the benefit of enhanced experience. It is a graduate program of study designed for professionals practicing in areas such as human relations, criminal justice, juvenile justice, journalism, social work, court administration, national security, probation and law enforcement, or regulatory agencies. It is neither a law degree nor a paralegal program.


The program offers three areas of emphasis: healthcare, justice systems, and homeland security.


The healthcare area of emphasis is designed for those working in the healthcare industry. The courses in healthcare law, long-term care regulation and elder law provide the knowledge to ensure that state and federal regulatory requirements are being met.


The justice system area of emphasis is designed for members of the law enforcement community and any employment where the position is dictated by criminal law and more. Courses such as criminal law, judicial legal process, and punishment and corrections give the student the knowledge needed for career advancement.


The homeland security area of emphasis is designed for professionals working in the areas of emergency response coordination, law enforcement, transportation security, and immigration. Courses such as homeland security, immigration law, and military justice provide the knowledge needed for career advancement.


West Virginia University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Applicant must have:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • A cumulative minimum GPA of 2.75
  • The MLS program will accept the results of any standardized graduate-level tests (GRE, GMAT, LSAT, etc.). There is no minimum score requirement, as the test scores will be evaluated as a part of a student’s entire portfolio. Prospective students who have five years or more of work experience in a field related to legal studies may petition to have the standardized test requirement waived.

Application Requirements

Applicant must:

  • Apply with the online Graduate Application
  • Pay graduate application fee
  • Request test scores to be sent to WVU or complete test waiver form
  • Provide two letters of reference (evaluation). References should be requested through the online Graduate Application portal.
  • Submit current resume or curriculum vitae
  • Submit a personal statement detailing interest in the Master of Legal Studies degree program
  • Request official transcripts from all institutions attended (other than WVU) and send to:
    WVU Office of Graduate Admissions
    One Waterfront Place
    PO Box 6510
    Morgantown, WV 26506-6510


    electronically sent to


Residents Non-Residents
Tuition and Fees

for academic year 2018-2019


Per Credit Hour


Per Credit Hour

Financial aid is available. Students are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to determine their eligibility for federal and state funds as well as scholarships. WVU’s FAFSA Code is 003827.


Students can complete the 30 credit hours in 18 months. There are 21 hours of required courses and 9 hours of electives.


View Curriculum



Required Courses: 21 credit hours

LEGS 610 Law & the Legal System
LEGS 620 Researching the Law
LEGS 660 Dispute Resolution Process
LEGS 700 Research Capstone 
LEGS 760 Administrative Ethics
Pick Two  
LEGS 640 Administrative Legal Process
LEGS 645 Judicial Legal Process
LEGS 650 Legislative Legal Process

Elective Course: 9 credit hours. Please visit the graduate catalog for more information regarding electives.


Information Sessions

Career Information

Students who graduate from WVU Online with the Legal Studies M.L.S. degree may be prepared for the following careers. These are only a few examples of some of the many opportunities that will be open to you with this degree. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for some positions.


Paralegal and Legal Assistant

Projected Growth: 15% or higher *Bright Outlook

Judge, Magistrate Judge

Projected Growth: 5-9%

Arbitrator, Mediator, Conciliator

Projected Growth: 10-14% *Bright Outlook

Compliance Manager

Projected Growth: 5-9%

Private Investigator

Projected Growth: 10-14% *Bright Outlook

Social Worker

Projected Growth: 5-9%
Information about careers on this list comes from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).