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A Master of Legal Studies (MLS) degree equips professionals in various fields with a better understanding of the U.S. legal system. This degree is intended for individuals who do not want to become lawyers or practice law, but who wish to solve law-related problems, identify areas of risk, and collaborate effectively with counsel.

An MLS is a versatile degree that can be beneficial in a multitude of fields, including compliance, human resources, healthcare, insurance, and business. Those who hold an MLS will have a better comfort level with business acumen, legal issues in the workplace, and legal terminology.

This program welcomes students who have a wide variety of professional and educational experience. For a full list of up-to-date admission requirements, please visit our admissions page.

There are three opportunities to begin the program each year: fall, spring, and summer. Visit our admissions page for details on the upcoming start date and application deadline.

This is a 30-credit program with five required core courses, four general courses, and your choice of electives. The core course are:

  • Introduction to U.S. Law (this course must be taken first)
  • Corporations and Business Entities
  • Contracts
  • Regulatory State and Compliance
  • Legal Research

To learn more, visit the curriculum page.

You can expect approximately 16 hours of work per week, which may include lecture videos, reading, discussions, and assessments.

The length of each course depends on the credit hours.

  • 1.5-credit classes meet for 4 weeks
  • 3-credit classes meet for 8 weeks

The online MLS is a part-time program.

Students will use Brightspace and Microsoft Teams.

There is a required orientation that will include an online, asynchronous component that familiarizes students with the Brightspace platform and tools they will use throughout courses. Students will become acquainted with faculty, their classmates, program objectives, policies, and student support resources. Orientation will include a live virtual component for students to meet their cohort.

Online students at Vanderbilt have access to several curated student services, including career services, library services, access to the Writing Studio, student access and accommodations, the Student Care Network, Project Safe, and financial aid.

To learn more about student services, visit the student services page.


Get started now

To learn more about the online Master of Legal Studies and download a brochure, please fill out this form. You can also reach an admissions advisor directly by calling 844-723-9010 (toll-free).

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