Master your career with a legal education.
Master your career with a legal education.

Online Law Certificate Programs

Pitt Law is an established leader in delivering quality online education in law to non-JD professionals, as well as attorneys looking to further specialize in specific industries or areas of the law. Through our graduate certificate programs in Corporate Compliance, Health Care Compliance, Human Resources Law, and International Business Law, professionals in a wide variety of fields can gain a deeper understanding of the law and how it impacts their professional lives.

Certificate programs can be completed in 10 months. Students who successfully complete a Pitt Law Online Certificate program may apply the 15 credits earned to the Online Master of Studies in Law (MSL) degree if they decide they wish to pursue the full master’s program. Students who successfully complete the certificate courses with a B can be considered for the MSL degree program for 15 additional credits.

Online Law Certificate Details

  • 15 credits
  • 100% online
  • Certificates can be completed in 10 months
  • Most courses are 8 weeks in length

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Program Brochure

Find the online program that fits your needs. Our Online Master of Studies in Law (MSL) program is designed for professionals seeking to enhance their careers through a legal education with a versatile alternative to the traditional three-year JD degree. Our graduate certificates can further your expertise within a specific area of the law in 10 months. Students who complete a certificate program have the option of applying those 15 course credits toward the Online MSL degree.

Complete the form to get a program brochure for Pitt Law’s Online MSL plus your chosen specialization, or your chosen certificate program, delivered to your inbox.

Choose Your Online Law Certificate Program

Pitt Law’s newest online offering, the Corporate Compliance Certificate program, teaches students to design, implement, and maintain corporate compliance programs to meet the growing demand for compliance roles.
Pitt Law’s Health Care Compliance (HCC) Certificate program is for working professionals including health care workers, attorneys and career changers. This program will support you as you take on more strategic compliance roles.
Pitt Law developed the Human Resources (HR) Law Certificate program by working with experts in HR, law and online education. Our program will support you as you take on more advanced HR roles.
Pitt Law’s International Business Law Certificate program welcomes students who already work in or who wish to begin a career in international commercial law.

Certificate Program vs. Master’s Degree: Which is Right for You?

Earning a certificate in your chosen field of study will give you specialized skills and knowledge on a specific topic. Online law certificates are ideal to fine-tune your skills to complement your professional experience, or to gain further expertise needed to advance in your career. Graduate certificates may help your transition to a new field of work, giving you the necessary familiarity and expertise in your chosen specialization and improving your networking opportunities.

Like a certificate program, a master’s degree will help you develop skills, but it will further provide you with the strategic vision to apply those skills in a number of work environments. Master’s programs award a formal graduate degree and are typically more transferable between industries.

If you are debating between a law certificate program and the MSL program, consider your career goals, the types of skills, knowledge, and credentials you are looking to gain, and the time and money you can invest into a program.

If you conclude that you are not looking to pursue a full-time master’s program, one of our certificate programs may be the right fit. All of our graduate certificate programs are of the same caliber as our degree courses. In each of our programs, you will:

  • Learn and interact with faculty who are professionals with advanced degrees and experience in your professional field
  • Focus on acquiring knowledge of the law critical to your professional advancement
  • Study and complete coursework based on your own schedule, from any location, at your own pace
  • Have the opportunity to network with colleagues and classmates through our engaging online learning platform and group projects
Alan Meisel
Meet ​​Director of Online Programs, Alan Meisel
Alan Meisel is the founder of Pitt Law’s Master of Studies in Law (MSL) Program and directs the on-ground MSL program. He is a leading national and international authority on end-of-life decision making and informed consent to medical treatment. He is the founder of the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Bioethics and Health Law and the Law School’s Health Law Certificate Program.

Professor Meisel is the principal author of the treatise, “The Right to Die: The Law of End-of-Life Decisionmaking” (Wolters Kluwer), now in its third edition, and publishes widely in the fields of health law and medical ethics in numerous medical, legal, and ethical journals.

Professor Meisel is just one of Pitt Law’s experienced and renowned faculty who enthusiastically teach the online and on-ground programs.

Online Law Certificate Program FAQs

How long does a certificate program take?

Programs are offered as 40-week online programs consisting of five courses—four core courses and a closing seminar, each 8 weeks long.

What are the requirements for admission?

Applicants must have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution. Admissions decisions will be made based on a completed online application, a personal statement and official transcripts. Visit the application requirements page for the full list.

What resources will be available to me as a student?

You will have full access to the University of Pittsburgh library system, the Writing Center, and a host of other support services. Visit our Student Resources page to learn more.

How technologically savvy do I need to be?

While you need not be a technology expert to take an online class, you should have some proficiency with a computer, e-mail, downloading, saving and writing electronic documents, and navigating the internet. Additionally, your computer will need to meet our minimum technology standards in order to access online course content. Make sure to check our technology requirements on our support page.

As a Pitt Online student, you will have access to our online Student Orientation course, tutorials and the Student Handbook. Additionally, you’ll have access to our 24/7 technical resources to support any questions about the online course system and materials.

How much work should I expect?

There is a significant amount of work in the program because of the intensive and accelerated nature of the program. Students should plan on 10-12 hours per week for coursework. However, because most of the work is self-paced, you choose when and where you do your work.

Do I have to be online at a specific time to complete the coursework?

No. All course materials can be accessed at any time and students can work on their own schedules to complete assignments by course deadlines. However, courses will have online discussions that are interactive, and some may have group projects that will require coordination among your online team members.

How will my work be evaluated?

Students should expect to complete weekly assessments. Faculty provide feedback on their progress toward learning goals. Assessments can take multiple forms, such as discussion board participation, case studies, quizzes, and individual and group projects.

What final grade is needed to successfully earn the certificate?

To earn the certificate, a B grade is required. Credits earned in the certificate program with a grade less than B cannot be counted toward the MSL degree.

Do these credits transfer to other University graduate programs?

Yes. Students earn three graduate credits from Pitt Law for each course successfully completed in our online law certificate programs. In general, these credits will be usable to pursue Pitt Law’s Master of Studies in Law (MSL) degree program, or toward its LLM program for foreign legal graduates. Other universities may also accept these as transfer credits applicable to their graduate programs.

Which MSL programs can I apply my certificate credits toward?

Graduate certificate credits can be applied to either the Online MSL program, or the on-campus MSL program.

Spring 2024 Admissions Deadlines

Priority Deadline
December 22, 2023
Spring 2024
Final Deadline
January 8, 2024
Spring 2024
Start Date
January 16, 2024
Spring 2024

Fall 2024 Admissions Deadlines

Priority Deadline
August 2, 2024
Fall 2024
Final Deadline
August 12, 2024
Fall 2024
Start Date
August 19, 2024
Fall 2024

University of Pittsburgh has engaged Everspring, a leading provider of education and technology services, to support select aspects of program delivery.