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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, real estate, 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. For international applicants, please refer to the International Applicants page for more details.

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.

No. It is free to apply to the online MLS program.

Those who submit their application by the Priority Deadline will receive an admissions decision sooner and have adequate time to complete the FAFSA. For more details, visit our admissions page.

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

Each 3-credit course meets for 8 weeks.

The online MLS is a part-time program.

The FAFSA is due one month prior to your term’s program start date for the online MLS program. Domestic learners are eligible for the FAFSA and can find more details on our tuition & financial aid page. For international learners, more details can be found on the International Applicants page.

The Vanderbilt Office of Student Accounts will send an e-bill to students the first of each month. Tuition is due at the end of that month. Once enrolled in courses, students can access all e-bills via the YES (Your Enrollment Services) billing portal. For more details, visit our tuition & financial aid page. International applicants will also be billed according to the Vanderbilt Office of Student Accounts. Please visit the International Applicants page for more details.

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.

Vanderbilt University works with the OPM AllCampus to deliver a high-quality online MLS program that aligns with our academic standards while reaching a broader audience beyond traditional campus boundaries. Working with OPMs provides Vanderbilt University with several benefits, including accelerated program development, access to advanced technological infrastructure, marketing and enrollment support, and the ability to scale online offerings efficiently. This collaboration allows Vanderbilt to focus on its core mission of providing exceptional education and research while tapping into OPMs’ specialized resources. Learn more.

Proficiency in written and oral English is required for enrollment. An official score report sent directly from one of the following testing agencies is required: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Duolingo. Certain international students may qualify for an exemption. For more details, please refer to the International Applicants page.

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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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