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University of Pittsburgh    
2017-2018 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jun 24, 2024
2017-2018 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 scholars 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 is unique in that it offers its MSL students the opportunity for specialization in 22 areas of studies.

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

Pitt Law’s Master of Studies in Law is a graduate-level advanced degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Those applying must have completed at least an undergraduate bachelor of arts or sciences degree. Those desiring to apply to the Master of Studies in Law program will need to provide official transcripts of all college, graduate and professional studies, whether a degree was obtained or not.

International students are welcome and encouraged to apply. They must have completed the equivalent of a US bachelor of arts or sciences 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 course, and a minimum of 12 credits in their selected area of specialization.

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

Business Law
Commercial Law
Corporate Law
General Business Law
International Business Law
Tax Law
Constitutional Law and Civil Rights
Criminal Law and Justice
Disability Law
Education Law
Elder and Estate Planning Law
Employment and Labor Law
Energy Law
Environmental and Real Estate Law
Family Law
Health Law
Intellectual Property and Technology Law
International and Human Rights Law
Personal Injury and Civil Litigation
Regulatory Law
Sports and Entertainment Law
Self-Designed Concentration

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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