Master of Studies in Law Online Program
The University of Pittsburgh School of Law’s Online Master of Studies in Law degree (MSL) is for working professionals who want to advance their careers by building a foundation in U.S. law and legal procedure. With an MSL paired with a specialization of your choosing, you can bring an immediate impact and value to your current workplace while setting yourself up for future success.
The Online MSL courses are completely asynchronous and taught by world-renowned Pitt Law faculty and industry experts. You will also go through the program with a cohort of like-minded professionals, which maximizes opportunities for collaboration, support, networking and more. Learn more about the value of earning a master’s degree and what Pitt Law will do for you.
- 30 credits
- 100% online
- 3-8 week terms for most required courses
- Can be completed in two years
- 2 annual start dates: fall and spring
Download 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.
Earn Your Master's Degree Online From Pitt Law School
Why pursue a master’s degree? The job market is constantly in flux. A master’s degree can future-proof your career by equipping you with the tools you’ll need when the market is competitive for job seekers. Conversely, it will give you leverage to earn more when employers are eager to attract and retain talented workers.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as your education level increases, your earnings also increase and the likelihood of unemployment decreases. With each level of education you complete, you will pick up more skills and prove to employers that you are tenacious and capable of following through on important tasks and goals. Workers who hold master’s degrees earn 20 percent more than those at a bachelor’s level.1 Over time, that can mean a big difference in quality of life.
This is where Pitt comes in. For more than 125 years, the University of Pittsburgh has been a leader in legal education. Now, our nationally recognized Masters of Studies in Law program is available online, with the added benefits of geographical freedom, time flexibility and cost savings.
Online MSL Curriculum
(core courses, 15 credits)
- American Legal System (2.5 credits)
- Private Law I: Contracts (1.25 credits)
- Private Law II: Torts (1.25 credits)
- Private Law III: Property (1.25 credits)
- Public Law I: Constitutional Law (1.25 credits)
- Public Law II: Criminal Law (1.25 credits)
- Public Law III: Legislation and Regulation (1.25 credits)
- Business and Tax Law (2.5 credits)
- Commercial and Tech Law (2.5 credits)
MSL Program Specializations
My decision making has improved because I am able to evaluate information quickly and arrive at a conclusion. I am more persuasive since I can appreciate and debate a topic from different points of view.
I learned as much from my cohorts as I learned from the professors. Being able to have professional dialogues on the discussion boards further improved my communication skills.
The professors and leaders of the Program are amazing, generous with their time, and receptive to feedback.
Bottom line: Will I recommend this Program to friends and family?
I already have!"
Before beginning her teaching career, Professor Nixon practiced law for more than 20 years in Big Law (Holland & Hart LLP and Dorsey & Whitney LLP), leading nonprofit legal groups including the Southern Environmental Law Center, and a County Attorney's office in the Denver metro area. She also managed an air quality improvement initiative for The Heinz Endowments in Pittsburgh.
Professor Nixon looks forward to welcoming students to the Master of Studies in Law online program and notes that all course instructors are enthusiastic and compassionate mentors for Pitt Law students. “We take a practical approach to the program with the goal of equipping our students with the knowledge they need to work with the law throughout their career,” she said.
What is an MSL?
Who will benefit from the MSL degree offered by Pitt Law?
- The MSL is for people who work with lawyers. If this is you, it’s likely you understand the specific area(s) of the law related to your work, but would like to have a larger and systematic perspective on legal matters. The coursework involved in obtaining the MSL will give you this perspective.
- The MSL is for people who work with law. You might not have much contact with lawyers, but you are frequently exposed to legal issues in your job. Pursuing the MSL will help you understand the sometimes mysterious rules around the law and help you place them in a larger and systematic context.
- The MSL is for people who want to reorient their careers. Acquire legal knowledge and skills without spending three years earning a JD degree. If you do not want to practice law, but want a legal education to help pivot your career, the MSL is the ideal fit and is more comprehensive than on-the-job training.
- The MSL is for people who want to learn about the law, but not practice it as an attorney. Expand your knowledge of the U.S. legal system specific to your area of concentration. Through the MSL program, you will further your understanding of the rule of law through reading and analyzing previous case laws, statutes and regulations. You will also enhance your ability to communicate with colleagues and peers regarding legal issues that affect the workplace.
Can credits earned from Pitt Law online certificates count toward the MSL degree?
How do the online courses work?
Is the Master of Studies in Law online program worth it?
- Do you want a raise, or do you have a salary goal in mind?
- Are you looking for a promotion or a job title with more responsibility?
- Are you interested in the law and the legal system?
- Do you like more job security?
- Are you looking for clarity around legal issues in your current role?
- Are you a career changer wanting to break into a new industry?
Pitt Law’s Online MSL ranks higher and costs less than similar programs. Visit our tuition and financial aid page to learn more.
Is there an option to take courses on campus?
Start Your Journey to Your Master’s Degree with Pitt Law
Pitt Law has a legacy of investing in individuals who are ready to develop a well-rounded understanding of evolving laws and regulations that govern business today. The law influences almost every decision—both in the workplace and in everyday life—and Pitt Laws’s MSL program is here to help those without a JD degree learn what they need to get ahead.
With four specializations to choose from, a strong bench of renowned faculty, a cohort to connect with along the way, and a flexible curriculum designed for your busy schedule, make the decision to start your journey with Pitt Law today.
Master of Studies in Law Admissions Deadlines
- Retrieved February 10, 2022, from www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/should-i-get-a-masters-degree.htm