20 Best Affordable Online Master’s Degrees in Legal Studies 2020

Possessing knowledge of the law and the legal system isn't just a necessity for someone who wishes to practice law. It can also be extremely beneficial for individuals in a variety of industries and professions where legal and regulatory compliance are a necessity.

This is where a Master's Degree in Legal Studies is extraordinarily helpful. If you work in a hospital, for example, you need to know which regulations govern the work of insurance reimbursement. If you work in higher education, you need to know how to navigate issues connected to Title IV and Title IX so that students can have access to scholarships and federal funding.

In fact, obtaining a master's degree in legal students can open up options in all kinds of fields including banking, advertising and media, charitable work, financial services, healthcare, and higher education, among others. In many of these sectors of the economy individuals who obtain a master's in legal studies often go on to work in human resources, or serve as compliance officers, become contract negotiators, and many more.

Employment for graduates of Legal Studies is also expected to grow at an average pace over the next decade. This includes human resource managers, among many others. So, if you are interested in advancing your career, or you want to familiarize yourself with the justice system in the US, then check out our list of the 20 Best Affordable Online Masters in Legal Studies!

Methodology

Best College Reviews provides degree rankings, such as the 20 Best Affordable Online Masters 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.  

 

#20 NEW YORK UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF STUDIES IN LAW IN TAXATION
Website
Score: 84.8

A private research university located in New York City, New York University annually enrolls over 50,000 students. NYU awards a Master of Studies in Law in Taxation online. The program is part-time and is geared for working professionals, especially accountants and individuals working in finance. The degree consists of 24-30 credits and can be completed in two years, or up to five.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and either hold a master's degree in accounting, economics, finance, taxation, or business administration or be a licensed US Certified Public Accountant. Students only have one required course, Survey of Tax Procedure, and are then allowed to craft their course of study by choosing from a wide array of tax courses through the Law School.
Net Price: $41,352

 

#19 WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF STUDIES IN LAW
Website
Score: 86.7

Located in Winston-Salem, NC, Wake Forest University is a private research university with an annual enrollment of over 8,000 students. The Wake Forest School of Law offers a Master of Studies in Law with three areas of concentration. Individuals can choose between Business Law & Compliance, Health Law & Policy, or Human Resources.

Each track is designed to enable individuals to navigate the complex legal system of the US and draws on the expertise of professionals, legal experts, scholars, and practicing lawyers. Students move through the program in a cohort so that they get to know other students. The program can be completed in as few as 21 months or up to 48, depending on the needs of the student.
Net Price: $38,650

 

#18 DREXEL UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 90.8

Drexel University is a private research university in Philadelphia, providing online students with a Master of Legal Studies. DU's degree includes eight different concentrations, and individuals can choose either one or two to focus on. Concentrations include Higher Education Compliance, Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Regulatory Compliance, and Cybersecurity and Information Privacy Compliance, among others.

Admissions require a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA. Individuals with a lower GPA should still apply as each application is individually reviewed. Applicants also need two letters of recommendation, a personal essay, and a current resume. Standardized test scores are not required, though they are encouraged.
Net Price: $33,156

 

#17 PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 86.5

A private research university, Pepperdine University is located in beautiful Malibu, CA. The Pepperdine School of Law offers a Master of Legal Studies. The program is fully online and is designed for individuals interested in familiarizing themselves with the legal system in the US. The program consists of 32 credits and can be completed in as few as 16 months or as many as 28.

Core classes include Civil Procedure and Litigation, and Constitutional Law. Among the electives are courses like Intellectual Property and Health Law. Students are required to attend two-weekend residencies at the PU campus in Malibu. During these experiences, students bond with other members of their cohort and network with their professors and other students, while working on case studies and mock trials. There are four different start times for enrollment, and standardized test scores are not required for admission.
Net Price: $32,500

 

#16 AMERICAN UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 81.8

Located in Washington, DC, American University is a private research university with an annual enrollment of over 13,000 students. American University Washington College of Law offers a Master of Legal Studies online. The program is designed for professionals who are working at the nexus of law and a variety of areas and offers four different tracks.

Track options include a General track, Business, Health Care Compliance, and a Technology track. Each track offers industry-specific training in legal and compliance issues. Some electives courses include Information Privacy and Data Security Law, Health Care Law and Compliance, and Government Contracting. Admissions do not require standardized test scores. However, students do need to submit documentation showing their work and educational history.
Net Price: $29,556

 

#15 UNIVERSITY OF ST. THOMAS

MASTER OF STUDIES IN LAW
Website
Score: 70.9

The University of St. Thomas is located in St. Paul, MN, and is a private, Roman Catholic, liberal arts university. UST offers a Master of Studies in Law available online. The program is designed to be completed within 21 months and is the only program in the country with accreditation for emphases on both ethics and compliance. UST is particularly dedicated to providing an ethical foundation of legal analysis, policy creation, and legal professionalism.

Students engage a variety of topics in their coursework, including white-collar crime, risk management, compliance programming, and the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The program also embeds students in the over 100,000 strong alumni network of UST, as students work in cohorts with others building their professional network while taking classes.
Net Price: $25,510

 

#14 NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 92.8

Located in Boston, MA, Northeastern University is a private research university with a student population of over 25,000 per year. The School of Law offers an online Master of Legal Studies. Students can choose to pursue the program full-time or part-time, with a possible completion time of two years. The program is designed for working professionals who need to familiarize themselves with the US legal system to deal with compliance and regulations.

Students are given a broad overview of the legal system and then can choose between three different concentrations, Health Law, Business Law, or Human Resources Law. There is also a General track allowing students to choose their electives. Admission requires a bachelor's degree, resume, personal state, and two letters of recommendation. Standardized test scores are not required for admission.
Net Price: $23,408

 

#13 SETON HALL UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN JURISPRUDENCE
Website
Score: 82

Seton Hall University resides in South Orange, NJ and is a private Roman Catholic University. The School of Law offers a Master of Science in Jurisprudence through their Division of Online Learning. The program is designed for professionals in a variety of fields and offers five different concentrations. Students can also pursue joint concentrations and can opt for the hybrid form of the program, which is both online and on-campus.

Concentrations include Financial Services Compliance, Intellectual Property Law, Health and Hospital Law, Privacy Law and Cyber Security, and Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Law & Compliance. The program is particularly strong in the areas of health and pharmaceutical law. Prospective students are not required to submit standardized test scores for admission. The program can be completed in just two years at a part-time pace.
Net Price: $21,816

 

#12 SAMFORD UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF STUDIES IN LAW
Website
Score: 79.9

Samford University is a private Christian university based out of Homewood, AL. The Cumberland School of Law offers a Master of Studies in Law online. The degree consists of 36 credits, and students normally complete the program within two years. There are four distinct concentrations available, or students can create their custom concentration.

Concentrations include Financial Services Regulatory Compliance, Legal Project Management, Health Law and Policy, and Higher Education Law and Compliance. Students take core courses like Introduction to Public Policy: Legislation & Regulation, Introduction to Law and Legal Procedure, and Legal Writing and Communication Skills, and then go on to take eight electives. Individuals can expect to take two classes per term for six terms. Admission does not require standardized test scores, though they are strongly recommended.
Net Price: $19,058

 

#11 NOVA SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN LAW
Website
Score: 76.8

A private institution, Nova Southeastern University is located in Davie, FL. The school annually enrolls over 21,000 students. NSU offers several online law degrees including a Master of Science in Law. The MSL degree includes four different concentrations: Education Law, Health Law, Employment Law, and Cybersecurity Law. The program is structured with working professionals in mind, and all courses are asynchronous.

Students can take electives like Cyber and Information Crimes, School Discipline Law, or Dealing with Whistleblowers and Preventing Retaliation. The program can be completed in as few as two years. Admission does not require standardized test scores. However, students interested in the concentrations in employment and health law need at least two years of professional experience. NSU allows the transfer of up to 12 credits from other approved programs.
Net Price: $18,932

 

#10 WEBSTER UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF ARTS IN LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 82.5

Located in Webster Groves, MO, Webster University is a private non-profit university with an annual enrollment of over 14,000 students. WU offers a Master of Arts in Legal Studies online. The degree is 39 credits and can be completed in 2-3 years. It is designed for individuals who need knowledge of the legal system but is not interested in practicing law.

Classes include American Constitutional Law, Computerized Legal Research, and Ethics for the Legal Professional. Courses are asynchronous, which makes them very flexible in terms of scheduling. Students must maintain a B- GPA to be in good standing in the program. Admission requires a bachelor's degree with a 2.5 GPA.
Net Price: $13,140

 

#9 REGENT UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF ARTS IN LAW
Website
Score: 81.3

Regent University is a private Christian university located in Virginia Beach, VA, with around 8,500 students annually enrolled. RU offers a Master of Arts in Law. RU offers a General Legal Studies concentration or an Alternative Dispute Resolution concentration. Both degrees are designed to give broad exposure to the US legal system.

The degree can be completed within five semesters and courses run for eight weeks. Courses include Property Law & Policy, Legislation & Regulation, and American Tort System. There are eight different start dates, and applicants are assessed according to academic achievement, and relevant skills to the practice of law. Standardized test scores are not required.
Net Price: $12,726

 

#8 HODGES UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 73.7

Located in Naples, FL, Hodges University is a small private university. HU offers an online Master of Science in Legal Studies. The program is designed for working professionals and offers training in advocacy and negotiation skills, as well as offering a solid grounding in law and the justice system. The degree is 30 credits and can be completed in two years.

Students can take classes like Mediation, Arbitration and Conflict Resolution, Administrative Law, the Regulatory Process, and Risk Management, and Employment and Human Resources. Admission requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. HU offers scholarships for the program and is a very military-friendly university, willing to work with veterans or active duty personnel and their families.
Net Price: $12,060

 

#7 UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

MASTER OF LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 89.1

The University of Arizona resides in Tucson and is a large public research university with over 44,000 students enrolled annually. The James E. Rogers College of Law awards a Master of Legal Studies online. The program is 30 credits and offers 12 different concentrations, including Compliance and Legal Risk Management, Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy, and Mining Law and Policy.

Core classes in the program include The American Public Law System, Legal Analysis, Writing, and Research, and The American Common Law System. Courses run for seven and a half weeks or 16 weeks. The program is entirely online and does not have a residency requirement. The program does not require standardized test scores for admission.
Net Price: $11,486 in-state; $31,463 out-of-state

 

#6 ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY – TEMPE

MASTER OF LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 92.3

The Tempe campus of Arizona State University is the largest of the four campuses, with an annual enrollment of over 50,000 students. ASUT offers a Master of Legal Studies online degree through the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law. The program consists of 30 credits and can be completed within one year for full-time students.

The program offers six different emphases, including Corporate and Health Care Compliance, Intellectual Property Law, and Sports Law & Business. Each emphasis consists of four specific courses that are crafted with an industry-specific focus, allowing students to gain invaluable insight into the regulatory or compliance issues relevant to their field of interest.

Net Price: $11,240 in-state; $24,320 out-of-state

 

#5 SAINT LEO UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Website
Score: 81.9

A private, Roman Catholic liberal arts university, Saint Leo University is located in Saint Leo, FL. SLU offers a Master of Science in Criminal Justice online with a specialization in Legal Studies. Students take five core Criminal Justice classes, three core classes in Legal Studies, and three electives. SLU is nationally recognized as a military-friendly school, and the program has been up and running for more than three decades.

Classes include Fundamentals of Civil Litigation, Criminal Advocacy and Judicial Procedure, and Legal Issues in Criminal Justice Agencies. Online learning at SLU is focused on adult learners, and the school offers various virtual student clubs and associations like the Criminal Justice Association and the Military & Families Club. Through these organizations, online students will have a chance to connect with other students and to deepen their educational experience.
Net Price: $9,990

 

#4 WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 91.5

A large public research university, West Virginia University is located in Morgantown, WV and has an annual enrollment of almost 30,000 students. WVU offers a Master of Legal Studies through its online learning program. The program consists of ten courses and can be completed within 18 months. Students take seven required core courses and three electives, enabling them to tailor the degree to their interests and needs.

Core classes include Law and the Legal System, Administration Legal Process, and Dispute Resolution Process. Electives can be bunched together into an emphasis, of which the program offers three: Justice System, Homeland Security, and Healthcare. Applicants should hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with at least a 2.75 GPA. Students with a lower GPA can submit standardized test scores for consideration as well.
Net Price: $9,450 in-state; $24,390 out-of-state

 

#3 UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT SPRINGFIELD

MASTER OF LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 87

A public institution, the University of Illinois at Springfield is a small regional school with around 5,500 students annually enrolled. The Department of Legal Studies offers a Master of Legal Studies online.

The degree consists of ten courses, of which six sessions are required. A thesis option is available, and core classes include Public Advocacy, Theories of Justice, and Seminar in Politics and Law. Admission requires a 3.0 GPA as well as a personal statement. Students work with the same faculty who teach in the traditional program and because of the small size of the school can expect individualized attention.
Net Price: $8,772 in-state; $15,857 out-of-state

 

#2 UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA

MASTER OF LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 90.5

The primary campus of the University of Oklahoma is located in Norman, OK, and has an annual student enrollment of over 31,000. The College of Law offers an accelerated online Master of Legal Studies specifically designed for working professionals. The program touts four areas of specialization including Oil, Gas, and Energy Law, International Business Law, Indigenous Peoples Law, and Healthcare Law.

The degree consists of 32 credits and can be completed within 15 months. Classes include Structure of Health Care Enterprise: Legal Forms, Governance, and Relationships, European Union Business and Competition Law, and History of Federal Indian Law & Policy. Admission requires a bachelor's degree, personal statement, and an optional letter of recommendation. International students must have a TOEFL score, but no other standardized scores are required.
Net Price: $5,119 in-state; $19,778 out-of-state

 

#1 TEXAS A&M INTERNATIONAL

MASTERS OF JURISPRUDENCE
Website
Score: 73.7

Located in Laredo, TX, Texas A&M International is a public university with a student enrollment of over 7,000. The School of Law offers a Masters of Jurisprudence with two emphases, one in Wealth Management, and the other in Risk Management. All classes are asynchronous and are designed to promote student interaction with professors and other students as well as the course material.

Classes in the program include Taxation of Business Associations, Legal Aspects of Financial Products, and Income Tax for Financial Planning. The degree consists of 30 credits and can be completed within one year if taken full-time. TAMI also links students with the Aggie Network, the alumni organization of the school, which includes over 400,000 people who work in numerous fields and industries.
Net Price: $3,350 in-state; $10,820 out-of-state