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Our Master of Legal Studies program is an option for learning about the law without getting a J.D. It can increase job opportunities for a wide range of professions. If you find yourself needing a better foundation for working with and understanding law and regulation without becoming a lawyer, this degree may be right for you.

At the University of Utah, our courses combine the flexibility of online teaching with the advantages and direct engagement of traditional teaching. Enjoy the benefit of studying online at your own pace while still engaging with classmates and instructors. This flexible way of teaching improves your overall experience and your ability to retain what you learn.

Interactive learning comes in a variety of ways:

  • Group assignments, where you collaborate via email or a discussion forum to answer a problem set.
  • Contributions to a discussion forum, where you directly respond to previous posts.
  • Peer reviews, where you review and comment on assignments from other students.

Our classes also offer multiple routes to stay connected and get help:

  • Communicate directly with the instructor via email.
  • Participate in and guide online discussions.
  • Attend online office hours in discussion threads or on the phone.
  • Instructors are available in “real” office hours for students on or near campus; for some courses we offer Q&A sessions in a classroom.

Master of Legal Studies

  • Must have a bachelor's degree to apply. No standardized test scores required to apply.
  • Must complete 30 credit hours to graduate.
  • One year program (3 semesters) - runs August to August. Required courses:
    • Understanding Cases, Statutes, and Legislation
    • Legal Writing and Research for MLS Students
    • Conflict and Legal Crisis Management
    • Legal Ethics in the Provision and Management of Legal Services
  • Must maintain a 3.0 GPA to graduate

Tuition for the online MLS program is $30,600* for residents and 33,660* for nonresdients.  

*Tuition increases are implemented during summer semester each year. This tuition will typically increase up to 2% for the upcoming school year.


Need-based scholarships may be available of up to $1000. Contact mls@law.utah.edu to inquire. Financial aid is available for this program.

Applicants to this program come from many different career backgrounds. Many just want to improve their positions within their same company or career field, while others want to change careers. The fields, industries, and careers for which the MLS degree is well suited include, but are not limited to:

  • Regulatory affairs
  • Compliance (finance, healthcare, and more); compliance directors, compliance analysts)
  • Human resources
  • Education (higher education, secondary education, K-12)
  • Contract administration
  • Law (court administrators, paralegals, legal assistants, limited licensed practitioners, legal analysts, etc.)
  • Mediation & dispute resolution
  • Arbitration
  • Business (corporate executives, accountants)
  • Law enforcement (police officers, private investigators, federal agents, intelligence analysts)
  • Healthcare & health services
  • Risk management

Because most people who enter the program are mid-career professionals in many different industries, it is difficult to speak to total salary numbers. However, the data concerning our first cohort indicates that within 6 months of completing the program, most students were able to secure a promotion, a pay raise averaging $10,000-$15,000 more per year, and/or a new job better in line with their career goals.

No standardized test scores are required. Applications may be submitted between October 1 and June 30 with priority deadline of April 1. Application fee of $55 if applying before April 1 (fee waivers may be available by contacting mls@law.utah.edu) and a $30 late fee applied thereafter.

Students wishing to apply to the online MLS program must complete/submit:

  • Application form (by creating an account through ApplyYourself)
  • Resume/CV
  • Personal statement indicating why you wish to complete the program and how it fits into your career goals
  • Writing sample(s)
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts (need not be official, however, official transcripts will be require by the University if you are admitted) - must have at least a bachelor's degree to apply

Program Credits


30 Credit Hours* 
*Program hours only. Does not include any general education or prerequisites.

Time to Completion

One year (3 semesters) - August to August

Application Deadlines


April 1


APPLY NOW

Department Contacts


Angela Turnbow

MLS Program Manager

S.J. Quinney College of Law

angela.turnbow@law.utah.edu 
or mls@law.utah.edu
801-587-2433

 
Last Updated: 6/9/21