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Legal Studies M.L.S.

Jan. 9, 2023

Next Start Date


Courses Required


Cost Per Credit Hour


Total Credit Hours

Increase Your Career Potential with a Working Knowledge of the Law

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.

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Learning Formats

Online Courses

Start Date

January 9, 2023
May 15, 2023
August 16, 2023

Individual Appointment

Learn more about the WVU Master of Legal Studies online program through an individual appointment with Program Coordinator Carla See.

Curriculum developed and taught by faculty from

Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Awarded: Master of Legal Studies

Program Details

HLC Logo

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.

Program Testimonial

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.”

Melissa M. Martin

Assistant Vice President
WVU Medicine Heart and Vascular Institute

Curriculum Program Website

Admission Requirements

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.

  1. Application. Apply with the online Graduate Application and pay the application fee.
  2. Transcripts. 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
    or electronically sent to
  3. Two Letters of Reference. Letters should speak to the applicant’s intellectual ability, motivation, oral/written communication skills, and the likelihood of success in completing this master’s degree program. Recent graduates should submit at least one academic reference. References should be requested through the online Graduate Application portal.
  4. Personal Statement on the subject of why and how the MLS degree will further the applicant’s career or special interests. You may also address problems or inconsistencies in your academic record or test scores.
  5. Resume or CV. The resume/CV should include enough information for the admissions committee to trace the applicant’s entire professional work history and should indicate any relevant affiliations.
  6. Test Scores or Waiver Request. The requirement that applicants submit GRE, GMAT or LSAT scores can be waived under the following circumstances.
    • Admission based on Undergraduate GPA: An applicant who earned a bachelor's degree from a US-accredited college or university and achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher is eligible to waive the GRE/GMAT/LSAT requirement to apply for the program.
    • Evidence of graduate level competence: Applicants who already hold a graduate degree or have successfully completed at least 18 semester hours in another accredited graduate program may request a waiver of the graduate exam score requirement
    • Significant experience related to legal studies: Applicants with at least five years of broadly related experience after completing their undergraduate degree may request a waiver of the graduate exam score requirement. If you are active military or a veteran, please provide information about your military experience. This should include a description of your professional experience and how it relates to legal studies and your career goals in your statement of purpose.
  7. TOEFL or IELTS scores (for international students only)
  8. Any other supporting materials that you wish to have considered as part of your application.

Program Admissions Details Apply Now

Estimated Tuition and Fees

Legal Studies M.L.S. requires 30 credit hours to complete. Cost per credit hour is $658.

Total Degree Cost

$19,740 – Residents and Non-Residents

Cost Breakdown by Credit Hours

Credits Cost
1 $658
3 $1,974
6 $3,948
9 $5,922

Meet Carla J. See

Your personal admissions and enrollment coach

Phone: (304) 293-7977

Carla See profile.

Carla J. See serves as the Program Coordinator for the Masters of Legal Studies program and the Internship Coordinator for Public Administration.

Learn More About Carla Request Information

Financial Aid

WVU provides a comprehensive approach to helping you finance your education. Learn more by visiting the Student Financial Services website.

Students are encouraged to:

  • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form by the March 1 deadline to determine their eligibility for federal and state funds as well as scholarships. WVU’s FAFSA Code is 003827; and
  • Check with your employer to see if they provide financial support for earning your graduate.

Career Paths

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: 11% or higher *Bright Outlook

Probation Officer and Correctional Treatment Specialist
Projected Growth: 2-3%

Police Patrol Officers
Projected Growth: 4-6%

Criminal Investigators and Special Agents
Projected Growth: 2-3%

Medical and Health Service Managers
Projected Growth: 11% or higher *Bright Outlook

Private Investigator
Projected Growth: 7-10% *Bright Outlook

Arbitrator, Mediator, Conciliator
Projected Growth: 7-10% *Bright Outlook

Proabition Officer
Projected Growth: 2-3%

Regulatory Affairs Specialist
Projected Growth: 4-6%

Education Administrator, Postsecondary
Projected Growth: 7-10% *Bright Outlook

Compliance Manager
Projected Growth: 4-6%

Social Worker
Projected Growth: 4-6%

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).

WVU Online

Become a problem solver. Be a decision maker. First, your degree. World-class academics at an exceptional value.

Occasionally a student will encounter an issue with an online course that he or she doesn’t know how to resolve. Should this occur, please visit the link below.

Internal Student Complaint Process

Contact Us

WVU Online
West Virginia University
PO Box 6800
Morgantown, WV 26506-6800

Phone: (800) 253-2762

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