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Master of Studies in Law (MSL) Degree - Online
USC Gould School of Law

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Hear about how this legal studies degree can redefine your career - online or on-campus -
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U.S. News & World Report: Best Grad Schools
Ranked Top 20
Best Law Schools

The online Master of Studies in Law (MSL) degree offers seasoned and early-career non-lawyer professionals an unparalleled education to help better understand complex legal matters. Through the MSL, you will gain legal skills and knowledge that can be applied directly to advance your career. Please note that this degree is not intended to train students for careers as attorneys, nor to prepare them for any state bar exam.

Offered 100% Online

Our online MSL degree is taught in a 100% digital environment that combines self-paced (asynchronous) and real-time (synchronous) components. If you are interested in an in-person experience, please consider our on-campus MSL degree, which offers the same learning objectives at our University Park campus in downtown Los Angeles.

Top reasons to pursue an MSL from USC Gould:

  • Earn a master's degree from a fully accredited, elite, top-ranked law school
  • No GRE or LSAT required
  • 100 percent online — convenient
  • Part-time and flexible — perfect for working professionals
  • Students complete their studies in as few as 16 months
  • Deeply committed and distinguished faculty
  • Access Trojan Family network connections to more than 11,000 USC Gould alumni worldwide
  • Create new career opportunities
  • Scholarships are available and considered for all applicants
  • Admission decision within two to four weeks of application completion
  • Three starts per year — fall, spring or summer
  • Receive an additional certificate in Business Law, Entertainment Law and Industry, Financial Compliance, Health Care Compliance, Human Resources Law, Compliance or Privacy Law and Cybersecurity at no additional cost

The online MSL prepares students for leadership roles in a wide variety of settings including business, compliance, education, entertainment, finance, health care, human resources, law enforcement and more.

Other benefits of the online MSL include the following:

  • Our interactive, online learning platform is accessible anywhere you have an internet connection.
  • You will engage in weekly live discussions facilitated by your professor.
  • You will have a collaborative online classroom experience — with small classes that allow for greater student and faculty interaction.
  • Our MSL classes incorporate both synchronous and asynchronous activities, including interactive modules, message board participation, weekly assignments, group work and virtual office hours. Although the format offers flexibility in terms of scheduling, our degree is academically rigorous, and each class requires approximately 12-16 hours of work each week.
  • Our unique academic week of Wednesday through Tuesday allows students to best maximize their time, especially on Saturdays and Sundays, to complete their course requirements
  • Our team of experienced advisors will provide you with individualized guidance on course selection to meet your personal and career goals.

Compliance Certificate Board (CCB) Accreditation

University of Southern California

The online certificates in Compliance, Financial Compliance, Health Care Compliance, and Human Resource Law and Compliance are accredited by the Compliance Certification Board (CCB) and meet required standards for compliance education and certification when earned concurrently with necessary compliance coursework. Students may sit for a CCB exam upon graduation if they complete 16 units in related coursework as part of their studies and earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 at USC Gould School of Law. Learn more about the CCB and other accredited USC Gould certificates.

Degree Outcomes

  • Acquire practical knowledge in the theories, history and application of American law
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the U.S. legal system, government, historical context and foundational values
  • Develop fluency in advanced legal terminology through exposure to substantive texts, cases, statutes and memoranda
  • Demonstrate an ability to use legal authority and perform legal analysis