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University of Pittsburgh    
2020-2021 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jun 12, 2024
2020-2021 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Law - Master of Studies in Law (MSL)

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The Master of Studies in Law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law is a 30-credit advanced degree designed for graduates and mid-career professionals seeking to enhance their careers with a versatile alternative to the traditional three-year Juris Doctor degree. The MSL degree can be earned in one academic year (August to May) full-time or two to four years in a flexible part-time schedule.

MSL students seek to gain foundational and specialized knowledge of laws and legal systems. Law is a pervasive influence on almost all aspects of life across the globe, but higher education often ill-prepares students and professionals for navigating laws and legal dynamics in business and life. The MSL degree addresses this critical knowledge gap.

Pitt Law commands one of the oldest Master of Studies in Law programs in the country. Only a handful of students are admitted per year. Pitt Law offers a large number of areas of specialization from which to choose, including a self-designed specialization.

This is not an online program. MSL students take the same vast array of courses as Juris Doctor candidates taught by world-class legal scholars, judges and attorneys, and they gain the advantages and benefits of attending the University of Pittsburgh.

Degree Requirements

Applicants must have completed at least an undergraduate bachelors degree. Applicants need to provide official transcripts of all college, graduate and professional studies, whether a degree was obtained or not. No standardized test is required.

International students are welcome and encouraged to apply. They must have completed the equivalent of a US bachelors degree, and they must submit a TOEFL score. The minimum acceptable TOEFL scores are 600 paper, 250 computer, 110 internet. IELTS scores are also accepted in lieu of TOEFL. International students are encouraged to apply as early as possible because of greater amount of time needed to process the application, obtain visas, and obtain housing.

Students must complete 30 course credits in the School of Law to receive the MSL degree. Students are required to take Introduction to Law and Legal Reasoning, one first-year JD course, and the required courses in their selected area of specialization.

The areas of specialization from which students may choose are as follows:

Biomedical & Health Services Research
Business Law
Commercial Law
Corporate Law
Criminal Law and Justice
Disability Law
Elder and Estate Planning Law
Employment and Labor Law
Energy Law
Environmental Law
Family Law
Health Law
Intellectual Property and Technology Law
International Business Law
International and Human Rights Law
Real Estate Law
Sports and Entertainment Law
Tax Law

Students may also design their own unique concentration.


For detailed term-specific course descriptions, please go to the Schedule of Classes Course Lists on the Law School web site.

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