14 Best Online Masters in Legal Studies

One of the 14 Best Online Masters in Legal Studies can equip students with skills across a variety of fields in addition to providing upward mobility in their career.

Law permeates the lives of everyone whether they know it or not. Professionals working in the political, legal, healthcare, and human resources fields understand how important it is to understand and analyze the effects of law systems on society.

Some universities offer individuals completing this degree the opportunity to get a paralegal certification, the job market for which is expected to grow 15 percent – faster than average – between 2016 and 2026. For those in human resources, the starting salary tends to be around $60,000 a year, with job market growth up to nine percent.

Specializing in health care law and compliance can put individuals in a position to become an administrator in that field, and that job market is expected to grow by 20 percent with a salary of $98,350 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If you're looking to grow your experience from the comfort of your home, the following 14 Masters of Legal Studies are all offered entirely online so that you can take the next step in your professional career.

Methodology

Best College Reviews provides degree rankings, such as the Best Online Master's in Legal Studies, from carefully researched data sets published from government and non-profit organizations across the United States. Five primary factors affect how we rank degrees:

25% – Student Satisfaction

30% – Earning Potential

15% – Retention Data

20% – Affordability

10% – Acceptance Rates

For an in-depth breakdown of how we calculate each ranking, check out our Methodology page.

 

#14 PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY

MALIBU, CA
MASTER OF LEGAL STUDIES
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Score: 68.46

With an online format structured so that students feel like they're in the classroom with the professor, Pepperdine University's Master of Legal Studies gives students access to a wide variety of opportunities to advance their understanding of legal issues and dispute resolution. In fact, Pepperdine University's Straus Institute was ranked #1 for Dispute Resolution by U.S. News and World Report. Throughout the 32-credit program, students complete two in-person residences, finishing their degree in 16 months on a full-time basis and in 28 months if attending part-time. Courses include Intellectual Property, Business Organizations, Constitutional Law, Health Law, and Education Law.
Tuition: $51,992

#13 THE SANTA BARBARA AND VENTURA COLLEGES OF LAW AT SANTA BARBARA
SANTA BARBARA, CA
MASTER OF LEGAL STUDIES
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Score: 72.53

For those who already have experience in law, business, education, healthcare, human resources, and law enforcement, the Santa Barbara and Ventura Colleges of Law at Santa Barbara offer a Master of Legal Studies. Typically completed on a part-time basis, students can finish the 30-credit degree in one and a half years. During this time, they learn from faculty members who are practicing judges, lawyers, and elected officials. Students can also take part in their campus community through Facebook Live feeds. Graduates have also been able to take advantage of dual degree options with a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology or a Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.
Tuition: N/A

#12 HODGES UNIVERSITY
FORT MYERS, FL
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN LEGAL STUDIES
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Score: 74.43
Hodges University in Fort Myers, Florida allows students the opportunity to complete a Master of Science in Legal Studies Degree. This program is structured so that 30 credits worth of courses are required, and students are taking one or two of these courses per month. This leads to an accelerated graduation schedule in which students can finish the degree in a year. During this time, the program ensures that its graduates understand risk and liabilities, as well as the legal aspects of each in addition to growing students' skills in areas such as negotiation and advocacy. Courses include Employment and Human Resources, Regulatory Compliance, International Law, Ethics and Law, and Intellectual Property.
Tuition: $13,940

#11 REGENTS UNIVERSITY
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA
MASTER OF ARTS IN LAW WITH GENERAL LEGAL STUDIES
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Score: 74.71

Regents University offers a Master of Arts in Law with General Legal Studies for students wanting to grow their knowledge of legal issues, their ability to research American law, and their understanding of the United States Constitution. Courses in this 30-credit hour program are eight weeks in length, meaning the degree is completable within five semesters. Regents University also offers scholarships for students, needing only unofficial transcripts at first. Courses include Foundations of Legal Thought, the American Legal System and Writing, Constitutional Law and Policy, and then a graduate capstone. This capstone is unique to Regents University, as it is a university-specific graduate course preparing students for advancement after graduation.

Tuition: $17,288

#10 WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY IN ST. LOUIS
LOUIS, MO
MASTER OF LEGAL STUDIES
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Score: 75.38

Having obtained acquiescence from the American Bar Association as well as accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission, Washington University in St. Louis offers a Master of Legal Studies. Online students take part in the same 24-credit curriculum as on-campus students, with optional weekend learning residences on-campus in the spring and fall. Those pursuing this degree can also earn one of five certificates in either Business Law, Conflict Resolution, Employment Law, Litigation, and Regulatory Compliance. The program is completable within one year through face-to-face courses and online learning platform. Additional assignments are completed on students' own timeline, giving the benefit of distance education with the interaction of shared experience and learning environment.
Tuition: N/A

#9 WEBSTER UNIVERSITY
LOUIS, MO
MASTER OF ARTS IN LEGAL STUDIES
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Score: 77.20

To gain a wide breadth of knowledge on the legal field without going to law school, students can complete their Master of Arts in Legal Studies at Webster University. This degree offers additional education for those who interact with legal terms, the legal environment, compliance standards, and governance issues. Students can also concurrently pursue a certificate in paralegal studies at Webster University, with much of the coursework overlapping. Overall, the program necessitates 36 hours of coursework. Courses include Jurisprudence, Anglo-American Legal History, Computerized Legal Research, and Ethics for the Legal Professional.
Tuition: $27,100

#8 UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
TUCSON, AZ
MASTER OF LEGAL STUDIES
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Score: 79.98

With start dates offered throughout the year so that students can begin coursework at their earliest convenience, the University of Arizona's Master of Legal Studies degree ensures that its students benefit from interactions with faculty, their classmates, and the material itself. The MLS degree requires 30 credits of coursework that can is completable on a full-time or part-time basis. Those going full-time can complete the program in one year. Students can also choose from a variety of concentrations, including Compliance and Legal Risk Management, International Trade and Business, Family and Juvenile Law, and Tax Law and Policy.
Tuition: $11,877 / $35,307

#7 SAINT LEO UNIVERSITY
SAINT LEO, FL
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE WITH LEGAL STUDIES
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Score: 80.00

Saint Leo University prides itself on giving students opportunities to advance their professional lives through engaged and experiential learning in its Master of Science in Criminal Justice with a Legal Studies specialization. The program is 36 credits and is comprised of five core classes and six electives. U.S. News and World Report ranked Saint Leo University #14 on its list of Best Value Schools, and this degree provides this value to those working in emergency response organizations, the government, and the criminal justice system. Courses include Legal Issues in Criminal Justice Agencies and Fundamentals of Civil Litigation.
Tuition: $22,220

#6 DREXEL UNIVERSITY
PHILADELPHIA, PA
MASTER OF LEGAL STUDIES
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Score: 84.29Drexel University

Designed to give students experience and education on compliance, legal research, professional ethics, and risk, Drexel University provides a 30-credit Master of Legal Studies degree. Students can choose from concentration areas including but not limited to Financial Regulatory Compliance, Health Care Compliance, Cybersecurity and Information Privacy Compliance, and others. The Health Care Compliance concentration even fulfills prerequisites for the Compliance Certification Board exams. The MLS is completable on a part-time or full-time basis. Some courses include Compliance Skills: Auditing, Investigation & Reporting, Legal Issues in Employee Hiring and Termination, and European Union Data Privacy and Protection.
Tuition: $52,022

#5 UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT SPRINGFIELD
SPRINGFIELD, IL
MASTER OF ARTS IN LEGAL STUDIES
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Score: 87.04

The University of Illinois at Springfield offers students the ability to complete a University-of-Illinois-at-Springfield Master of Arts in Legal Studies. This degree ensures that students work directly with faculty members, using two different modes of online delivery. Some of the 40 credits-worth of courses are delivered in real time through computer conferencing software, and other classes' materials can be accessed at the students' convenience, allowing for students to meet their learning needs in a variety of ways. The University of Illinois at Springfield also enables its students to complete clinical education opportunities and to choose between a graduate seminar and a thesis option.
Tuition: $11,413 / $20,938

#4 NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY
BOSTON, MA
MASTER OF LEGAL STUDIES
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Score: 89.37

Northeastern University offers a Master of Legal Studies to online students within two years of beginning. The 30-credit degree program provides law students with an opportunity to participate in Northeastern's Experiential Network. The NEN is a six-week virtual project where students draw on their classroom experience to research or solve a real-world case study. Some examples include student research involving legal issues within a healthcare organization or analyzing compliance strategies for an institution or company. Each course in the program is eight weeks long, and students can customize the experience through a concentration in business law, health law, human resources law, or intellectual property law.
Tuition: $49,497

 

#3 WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY
MORGANTOWN, WV
MASTER OF LEGAL STUDIES
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Score: 94.69

West Virginia University designed its Master of Legal Studies for professionals looking to grow their experience and education in a field that they either already work in or one they would like to enter. Students can choose to specialize in healthcare, justice systems, or homeland security. Overall, the graduate degree is 30 credit hours, 21 of which are required core courses, and is completable within 18 months of starting. Courses include Dispute Resolution, Law and Society, Family Law, Media, and the Law, and Long Term Care Regulation.
Tuition: $8,376 / $23,616

#2 UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA – NORMAN
NORMAN, OK
MASTER OF LEGAL STUDIES
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Score: 95.00

With the option for three different Master of Legal Studies degrees, the University of Oklahoma at Norman allows students to explore their interest in a cohort-based setting. Students can choose to earn their Master of Legal Studies in either Oil, Gas, and Energy Law, Indigenous Peoples Law, or Healthcare Law. The former of these is aimed towards those working the energy industry or working in real-estate where energy law would regularly be involved. The Indigenous Peoples Law concentration discusses the state of Oklahoma and its historical interactions with the Indigenous Peoples of the area. Currently, Oklahoma is home to the second largest Native American population in the United States. All three of these concentrations require 32 to 33 credit hours and is completable in 15 months.
Tuition: $11,538 / $26,919

#1 ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY – TEMPE
TEMPE, AZ
MASTER OF LEGAL STUDIES
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Score: 100.00

At the top of our list is Arizona State University at Tempe's Master of Legal Studies. This program allows students to choose from six emphases, including corporate and health care compliance, criminal law, HR & employment law, intellectual property law, sports law & business, and sustainability saw. With the option to complete the program either full- or part-time, students can finish the degree after 30 credit hours of coursework. Each of the ten classes is seven and a half weeks long. U.S. News and World Report also ranked Arizona State University at Tempe for the #1 spot for its list of Most Innovative Schools in the country.
Tuition: $10,792 / $27,372