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  • Online Master of Legal Studies (MLS)

    Photo and testimonial from Tariq Rashad

    Given today’s complex regulatory environment, the demand is mounting for professionals in just about every industry who understand the intricacies of legal compliance. That’s why Drexel University Kline School of Law's online Master of Legal Studies (MLS) is designed to maximize your career potential and add value to your organization.

    The online Master of Legal Studies program provides you with a solid working knowledge of the law – without having to earn a law degree. You’ll graduate with essential knowledge in compliance, legal research and analysis, risk management, ethics, and professional standards. You can select a general Master of Legal Studies or choose from eight specialized concentrations in areas where regulatory compliance is increasingly critical to success.

    What is Legal Studies?

    A program in legal studies is not the same as pursuing a JD. Rather, a degree in legal studies is concerned specifically with how laws and regulations work and how to properly conduct business within them, focusing on courses like risk assessment, compliance, and ethics. Legal studies programs are interdisciplinary, and at Drexel you can tailor much of your curriculum to reflect your specific needs and interests.

    Drexel's Master of Legal Studies Online Concentration Areas

    You may complete a general Master of Legal Studies or choose a concentration in one or two of the following areas:

    • Criminal Law

      Prepares you to work within the intricate regulatory environment of today’s criminal justice system, by furnishing you with a solid grounding in criminal law and the rules of criminal procedure. Graduate Certificate also available.

    • Cybersecurity & Information Privacy Compliance

      Learn how to effectively protect against data exposure and liability, manage data breaches, and comply with the data and privacy regulations businesses deal with on a daily basis. For both technical and non-technical professionals. Graduate Certificate is also available.

    • Entrepreneurship & Law

      Provides a great understanding of new business through the lens of the law, focusing on compliance and how to keep up to date on the latest rules and policies.

    • Financial Regulatory Compliance

      Affords an exceptionally detailed study of the financial industry’s complex regulatory structure and compliance requirements, preparing you for in-demand, money-managing positions in both large and small financial institutions. Graduate Certificate is also available.

    • Health Care Compliance

      Offers a solid working knowledge of the rules and regulations that govern the healthcare industry – such as HIPPA and the ACA – while giving you the necessary tools to ensure that your organization complies with state and federal regulatory requirements. Graduate Certificate also available.

    • Higher Education Compliance

      Prepares you to understand the laws that regulate institutions and protect students, through an exhaustive study of the legal landscape in higher education with respect to such important issues as FERPA, financial aid, campus safety, risk management and accreditation. Graduate Certificate also available.

    • Human Resources Compliance

      Provides the expert knowledge and skills you need to deal effectively with critical legal compliance issues that HR professionals encounter every day – from employee hiring and termination to employer/employee relationship management as well as negotiation, mediation and alternative dispute resolution. Graduate Certificate also available.

    • NCAA Compliance & Sports Law

      Combines a foundational understanding of law and risk management with additional coursework designed to build your compliance proficiency in NCAA regulations that govern the rules of the game – from recruitment and ethical conduct, to eligibility, special benefits and financial aid. Graduate Certificate also available.

    • Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Regulatory Compliance

      Enhances your knowledge of the legal, regulatory, and ethical frameworks surrounding pharmaceutical and medical device research, development, sales, marketing, and related information privacy and compliance issues. Graduate Certificate also available.

    Master of Legal Studies Program Features

    • Designed specifically for non-lawyers who need a solid understanding of the laws and legal systems that regulate their industry, this program offers specialized skills and expertise that will set you apart from the crowd in your chosen career field.
    • You'll study with faculty from the Thomas R. Kline School of Law – a nationally recognized cadre of enthusiastic scholars and experienced practitioners, who not only publish their work in prestigious law journals, but are also often asked to weigh in publicly on important legal issues that affect us all.
    • The program also partners with faculty from other Drexel schools (the School of Education and the College of Nursing and Health Professions) to provide interdisciplinary industry perspectives and know-how.
    • You’ll learn in a highly interactive environment with peers and professors who are deeply engaged and responsive to your questions and concerns.
    • The online format enables you to learn on your own schedule, with the option of taking classes either part-time or full-time.
    • Utilize the Kline Graduate Programs Virtual Career Office which is dedicated to helping you reach your career goals via access to job postings, a virtual career classroom, and one-on-one coaching with faculty and alumni
    • Beginning in the Fall of 2022, the Kline School of Law’s fully online degree and certificate programs will be offered on the 10-week Quarter system and will no longer be offered on the 14-week Semester system. Students who start before Fall 2022 will transfer their credits to the quarter program. For questions, please contact lawadmissions@drexel.edu.

    An Accredited Online Legal Studies Program

    Both the Thomas R. Kline School of Law Master of Legal Studies – Health Care Compliance Concentration and Graduate Certificate in Health Care Compliance programs are accredited by the Compliance Certification Board (CCB)®. Many employers are now requiring CCB certification for compliance related positions.

    The CCB offers certification in the following areas:

    • Certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC)®
    • Certified in Healthcare Research Compliance (CHRC)®
    • Certified in Healthcare Privacy Compliance (CHPC)®
    • Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional (CCEP)®
    • Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional International (CCEP-I)®

    Compliance Certification Board (CCB Exam Eligibility) badge

    CCB Exam Eligibility
    Completion of the Kline School of Law's Master of Legal Studies or Graduate Certificate in Health Care Compliance programs with a GPA of 3.0 or higher fulfills the professional work experience and continuing education units (CEU) requirements within applicable eligibility time frames per candidate handbook, allowing you to be eligible to sit for a CCB exam. Learn more about the CCB.

    Other Accreditations

    • The Thomas R. Kline School of Law is accredited by the American Bar Association
    • Drexel University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

    Kline School of Law Rankings

    Drexel’s Kline School of Law was ranked a Tier 1 law school by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). This ranking places the school in the top three percent of ABA-accredited law schools when it comes to privacy law curriculum.

    The School of Law was also rated 23rd in the Nation for Health Care Law by US News and World Report (2019).

    Is a Master Of Legal Studies Worth It?

    Yes - earning a Master of Legal Studies has many benefits, including these 6 reasons why you should enroll in a Master of Legal Studies program:

    • Enter the Law Industry without a J.D.
    • Apply Your MLS Classes to your Job Immediately
    • Find opportunities in Any Industry
    • Explosive Job Growth Potential
    • Eight Concentrations Available
    • Your Success is Drexel’s Priority

    Watch the video below to see Dan Filler, Dean of the Thomas R. Kline School of Law at Drexel University, discuss these 6 reasons.

    What can you do with a Master in Legal Studies?

    A Master of Legal Studies can support professionals in a wide array of fields, ensuring that you’re up-to-date with the laws and regulations most relevant to your industry.

    Salaries for graduates of a masters in legal studies program can vary greatly depending on their field and position. There really is no "typical" salary range or career title for graduates of this type of program, because the degree can be applied so widely. Common fields that require the expertise learned from the online MLS degree include, but are not limited to:

    Professional Role

    Median Salary*

    Compliance Manager

    $116,350

    Compliance Officer

    $71,100

    Financial Analyst

    $83,660

    Financial Manager

    $134,180

    Human Resources Manager

    $121,220

    Information Security Analyst

    $103,590

    Medical and Health Services Manager

    $104,280

    Network and Computer Systems Administrator

    $84,810

    Nurse Practitioner

    $111,680

    Postsecondary Education Administrator

    $97,500

    Paralegal/Legal Assistant

    $52,920

    Police Officer

    $65,540

    Probation Officer

    $55,690

    Registered Nurse

    $75,330

    *2020 figures via Bureau of Labor Statistics and O*Net

    Non-Matriculated Option

    We recognize some students may wish to complete online courses within Drexel University’s Thomas R. Kline School of Law without being enrolled in a degree or certificate-granting program. The non-matriculated option is available for those who wish to take coursework for professional growth without enrolling in a particular degree or certificate program.

    Interested in applying as a non-matriculated student? Select "Non-Matriculated – School of Law (Online)" as your program of interest on the online application. Official transcripts and a resume are required. Non-matriculated students are not eligible for financial aid.

    Learn more about non-matriculated options at Drexel University.

    Online Legal Studies Faculty Insights

    • Learn more about our distinguished faculty as they share thoughts on both the Cybersecurity and Information Privacy Compliance concentration and the industry as a whole.
    • Paul Flanagan, Kline School of Law’s Assistant Professor of Law, shares his story of being one of the first chief compliance officers in the country on Drexel’s 10,000 Hours Podcast.

    Drexel's 10,000 Hours Podcast: The Roger Federer of Compliance

    How do you go from being a nationally ranked tennis player to being a pioneer in the compliance field? Just ask Paul Flanagan, who started out hitting hundreds of backhands a day and ended up being one of the first chief compliance officers in the country. (But his proudest moment is still the time he beat his older sister in tennis.)

    Archived Webinars

    The Drexel Difference: What Makes Our Master of Legal Studies Program Unique?

    Learn more about what makes our MLS program unique and what students appreciate most about their experience in the program.

    Graduates of Drexel’s Online MLS Degree Give Their Testimonials

    Photo and testimonial from Nadine Dunbar

    Photo and testimonial from Brenna Haddad


    Drexel University offers a variety of Graduate Minors that can be added to any master's degree program.
    State restrictions may apply to some programs.

    Curriculum

    This program is organized into four 10-week quarters per year (as opposed to the traditional two semester system) which means you can take more courses in a shorter time period. One semester credit is equivalent to 1.5 quarter credits.

    Beginning in the Fall of 2022, the Kline School of Law’s fully online degree and certificate programs will no longer be offered on the 14-week Semester system. Students who start before Fall 2022 will transfer their credits to the quarter program. For questions, please contact lawadmissions@drexel.edu.

    Required Core Curriculum Courses
    LSTU 550 Introduction to the Legal System 4.0
    LSTU 551 Compliance Skills: Auditing, Investigation & Reporting 4.0
    LSTU 552 Ethics and Professional Standards 4.0
    LSTU 553 Legal Research and Analysis 4.0
    LSTU 554 Risk Assessment and Management 4.0
    LSTU 560 MLS Masters Capstone I 3.0
    LSTU 561 MLS Masters Capstone II 2.0
    Electives/Concentration 20.0
    Total Credits 45.0

     

    Health Care Compliance Concentration
    Required Courses
    LSTU 600 Health Care Rules and Regulations 4.0
    LSTU 601 Health Care Quality, Patient Safety and Risk Management 4.0
    LSTU 602 Patients and Privacy: HIPAA and Related Regulations 4.0
    Select two LSTU elective courses 8.0
    Total Credits 20.0

     

    NCAA Compliance and Sports Law Concentration
    Required Courses
    LSTU 610 NCAA Governance I: Division I 4.0
    LSTU 611 NCAA Governance II- Division II and III 4.0
    LSTU 612 NCAA Infractions and Enforcement Processes 4.0
    Select two LSTU elective courses 8.0
    Total Credits 20.0

     

    Human Resources Compliance Concentration
    Required Courses
    LSTU 620 Legal Issues in Employee Hiring and Termination 4.0
    LSTU 621 Human Resources Compliance: Managing the Employer/Employee Relationship 4.0
    LSTU 622 Human Resources in Practice: Negotiation, Mediation, and Alternative Dispute Resolution 4.0
    Select two LSTU elective courses 8.0
    Total Credits 20.0

     

    Criminal Law Concentration
    Required Courses
    LSTU 630 Corrections Law 4.0
    LSTU 631 Criminal Law 4.0
    LSTU 632 Criminal Procedure: Investigations 4.0
    Select LSTU elective courses 8.0
    Total Credits 20.0

     

    Higher Education Compliance Concentration
    Required Courses
    LSTU 640 Legal Landscape of Student Rights and Campus Safety 4.0
    LSTU 641 Institutional Compliance: Aid and Accreditation 4.0
    LSTU 642 Higher Education Institutions: Financial Rules and Regulations 4.0
    Select two LSTU elective courses 8.0
    Total Credits 20.0

     

    Entrepreneurship and Law Concentration
    Select four courses from the list below: 12.0
    ENTP 501
    Entrepreneurship Practice & Mindset
    ENTP 515
    Pitch It!
    ENTP 535
    Social Entrepreneurship
    ENTP 540
    Approaches to Entrepreneurship
    ENTP 575
    Entrepreneurship in Education
    ENTP 601
    Social and Sustainable Innovation
    ENTP 641
    Innovation in Established Companies
    ENTP 671
    Life After Launch
    ENTP 681
    The Startup Way: How to Drive Innovation in Entrepreneurial Companies
    Select two LSTU elective courses 8.0
    Total Credits 20.0

     

    Financial Regulatory Compliance
    Choose three courses from the list below: 12.0
    LSTU 649
    Foundations of Financial Regulation
    LSTU 650
    Legal Regulation of Global Financial Crimes
    LSTU 651
    Legal Regulation of Investment Advisers
    LSTU 652
    Legal Regulation of Investment Companies
    LSTU 653
    Broker/Dealer Regulation
    LSTU 654
    Banking Law
    Select two LSTU elective courses 8.0
    Total Credits 20.0

     

    Cybersecurity and Information Privacy Compliance
    Required Courses
    LSTU 660 Information Privacy Law 4.0
    LSTU 661 The Law and Strategies Surrounding Cybersecurity 4.0
    LSTU 662 European Union Data Privacy and Protection 4.0
    Select two LSTU elective courses 8.0
    Total Credits 20.0

     

    Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Regulatory Compliance Concentration
    Choose three courses from the list below: 12.0
    LSTU 555
    Compliance Communications
    LSTU 602
    Patients and Privacy: HIPAA and Related Regulations
    LSTU 603
    Legal Regulation of Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Research and Development
    LSTU 604
    Legal Regulation of Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Sales and Marketing Practices
    LSTU 605
    Food and Drug Law
    LSTU 660
    Information Privacy Law
    LSTU 661
    The Law and Strategies Surrounding Cybersecurity
    LSTU 662
    European Union Data Privacy and Protection
    Select two LSTU elective courses 8.0
    Total Credits 20.0

    View Course Descriptions

    Admissions Criteria

    • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • GPA of at least 3.0
      • If you don't meet this requirement you're still encouraged to apply and your file will be reviewed on an individual basis

    Required Documents

    With multiple ways to submit documents, Drexel makes it easy to complete your application. Learn more by visiting our Completing Your Application Guide.

    • A completed application
    • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions (including trade schools) attended
    • One letter of recommendation (professional or academic)
      • Letter should speak to your performance and accomplishments, and attest to your ability to succeed within the program
      • The department may request a second letter of recommendation
    • Submit one of the following:
      • Academic Writing Sample
        • Submit a previously graded academic paper
      • A Problem of Practice (750-word maximum)
        • Identify and describe a problem of practice relevant to your current (or a former) context of professional practice
        • Describe the significance of this problem to this organization
        • Based on your present understanding of the problem, discuss the potential underlying causes and contributing factors that have created the current challenges
        • What questions could be explored to learn more about the problem that may help to create potential solutions
    • Resume
      • Quality and quantity of professional experience will be evaluated
    • Standardized test score reports (GMAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT) can be submitted, but are not required
    • Additional requirements for International Students

    Tuition

    The tuition rate for the academic year 2023-2024 is $915 per credit.

    The Thomas R. Kline School of Law online graduate programs have recently switched to a quarter calendar schedule. The tuition rate reflected above is now per quarter credit.

    For the academic year 2023-2024, students enrolled in an online graduate academic program will be charged a graduate online program fee of $125 per year.

    • This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
    • Special tuition rates available for Drexel University AlumniMilitary members, and members of our Partner Organizations
      • These rates apply only to new online students and students being readmitted.
      • These rates apply only to fully online courses. Hybrid or on-campus courses may have different rates.
      • Tuition rates are subject to increase with the start of each academic year in the fall term.
      • All students must contact applyDUonline@drexel.edu within the first two weeks of the term to request tuition savings for which they qualify.
      • Special rates cannot be combined. If you qualify for more than one special rate, you'll be given the one with the largest savings.
      • When receiving special tuition plans with Drexel University Online, you may not combine them with other tuition benefits that may be available from Drexel University.

     

    Academic Calendar

    2023-2024 Academic Year

    Term

    Classes Begin

    Classes End

    Exams Begin

    Exams End

    Fall 2023

    September 26, 2023

    December 9, 2023

    December 11, 2023

    December 16, 2023

    Winter 2024

    January 8, 2024

    March 16, 2024

    March 18, 2024

    March 23, 2024

    Spring 2024

    April 1, 2024

    June 8, 2024

    June 10, 2024

    June 15, 2024

    Summer 2024

    June 24, 2024

    August 31, 2024

    September 3, 2024

    September 7, 2024

     

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