May 15, 2023
Next Start Date
Cost Per Credit Hour
Total Credit Hours
The Master of Legal Studies is for individuals who need a working knowledge of the law, but don’t intend on becoming practicing lawyers. If you work with lawyers, or legal issues, or want to gain a deeper understanding of how the law influences your industry, this degree will improve your career and promotion prospects in just 18 months. It is designed for professionals practicing in human relations, criminal and juvenile justice, the court system, journalism, social work, regulatory agencies, county and municipal government, military, business, and other professionals who work with, though not necessarily in, the legal system.
Areas of Emphasis
The WVU Online program focuses on regulation, compliance, and policy, and offers three areas of emphasis: healthcare, justice systems, and homeland security.
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 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.
Schedule an Individual Appointment
Learn more about the WVU Master of Legal Studies online program through an individual appointment with Program Coordinator Carla See.
Carla J. See serves as the Program Coordinator for the Masters of Legal Studies program and the Internship Coordinator for Public Administration.
A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. A cumulative minimum GPA of 2.75, with a preferred GPA of 3.0. The MLS program will accept the results of GRE, GMAT or LSAT standardized graduate-level tests. Test scores may be waived based on GPA, previous work experience or completed graduate credit. See Admissions tab for more information.
The Master of Legal Studies program admits new students for the summer, fall and spring semesters. Priority Application Deadlines are: April 15 for the summer semester, May 15 for the fall semester and November 15 for the spring semester. Applications will be considered after these deadlines.
Learn more about student experiences in the Legal Studies M.L.S. program.
Melissa M. Martin
"The MLS program has allowed me to advance professionally to the executive level. In my role as Assistant Vice President at the WVU Medicine Heart and Vascular Institute (HVI) I work with state government issues to determine the best strategy for advancement of our mission. We recently opened our 10 story tower which is the home of the WVU HVI and throughout the process we were required to stay within the state mandated Certificate of Needs guidelines. Also we have onboarded over 20 new faculty Physicians as well as contracted many Clinical Trials, and each in their unique way require a high attention to detail in reference to contracts. All of these items were covered in my MLS courses and I am very happy I made the choice to join the program as it has truly enhanced my career."
WVU provides a comprehensive approach to helping you finance your education. Learn more by visiting the Student Financial Services website.
Students are encouraged to:
Legal Studies M.L.S. total degree cost: $19,740 – Residents and Non-Residents
Minimum GPA of 3.0 is required for the program.
|LEGS 610||Law and the Legal System||3|
|LEGS 620||Researching the Law||3|
Select two of the following:
|LEGS 640||Administrative Legal Process||3|
|LEGS 645||Judicial Legal Process||3|
|LEGS 650||The Legislative Process||3|
|LEGS 660||Dispute Resolution||3|
|LEGS 700||Research Capstone||3|
|LEGS 760||Administrative Ethics||3|
AOE or Elective Courses
Select three of the following (others approved by Master of Legal Studies Advisor):
|LEGS 691||Advanced Topics||3|
|LEGS 720||Media and the Law||3|
|LEGS 730||Employment Law||3|
|LEGS 750||Criminal Law and Procedure||3|
|LEGS 751||Punishment and Corrections||3|
|LEGS 752||Homeland Security||3|
|LEGS 753||Immigration and Border Security||3|
|LEGS 754||Military Justice||3|
|LEGS 770||Healthcare Law||3|
|LEGS 771||Legal Issues for Adults in Care||3|
|LEGS 780||Constitutional Law||3|
Total Hours: 30
West Virginia University’s Master of Legal Studies (MLS) program is part of the Department of Public Administration. The M.L.S. is a degree program designed to build greater public understanding of the law and the United States legal system, to provide graduates with the ability to apply knowledge and skills gained to performing their jobs more effectively and to provide private and public organizations the benefit of enhanced experience. It is designed for professionals practicing in human relations, criminal and juvenile justice, the court system, journalism, social work, regulatory agencies, county and municipal government, military, business and other professionals who work with, though not necessarily in, the legal system. It is neither a “pre-law” program nor a paralegal program. It does not prepare graduates to practice law.
Students will be able to:
The career outlook for individuals with a Master of Legal Studies (MLS) degree can vary depending on their area of focus and career goals. Many MLS graduates go on to work in the public sector, such as government agencies, non-profit organizations, and legal aid offices. Overall, the career outlook for MLS graduates is positive, with a growing demand for legal professionals in various industries and sectors.
Some common career paths include compliance officers, risk managers, and legal analysts in corporate and business settings. Other careers that can benefit from this degree include paralegals or legal assistants, HR specialists, health service managers, policy analysts, and court administrators.
The M.L.S. is a 30-credit hour program offered entirely online. Courses are offered each term, including summers. Students following the prescribed course of study should be able to finish the degree in 18 months.
The M.L.S. degree offers Areas of Emphasis in:
Prospective and current students should frequently check the program’s website for up-to-date program information, forms, and other guidelines.
The requirement that applicants submit GRE, GMAT or LSAT scores can be waived under the following circumstances.
Additional information and forms may be found on the program’s website or by calling the program at (304) 293-7977.
Certain application requirements may be waived based on a preliminary review of an application by the program.