Master of Studies in Law (MSL)

An Alternative to the Traditional Juris Doctor

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. The MSL program enrolls a small number of students each your and is therefore able to provide students with individualized attention, especially in their first semester when adjustment to law school can be challenging. This is not an online program.


Students who successfully complete a Pitt Law Online Certificate—in Health Care Compliance Online or Human Resources Law Online—may apply the 15 credits earned in the online program to the Master of Studies in Law (MSL) degree. This option allows students to earn both the certificate and the MSL in 30 credit hours, at an accelerated rate, and with reduced tuition costs. To learn more, watch this video or contact

Apply Now

Ready to apply to Pitt Law's Master of Studies in Law program? Applicants to the MSL program can apply via an online application or paper application below. Questions about the MSL program and the application process can be directed to

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MSL Specializations

Pitt Law has one of the oldest Master of Studies in Law programs in the country. Only a handful of students are admitted each year. Pitt Law is unique in that it offers its MSL students the opportunity for specialization in a large number of fields of study or a customizable self-designed specialization.

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.

Requirements and Tuition

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.

Early Option for Legal Studies Majors

Learn more about the unique opportunity for College of General Studies students at the University of Pittsburgh to pair their Legal Studies BA with the MSL.

Frequently Asked Questions

The comprehensive FAQs can answer questions that you may have regarding the expectations, benefits, requirements and costs of the program. Questions not answered by this FAQ may be directed to the Master of Studies in Law program administrator at

Courses & Electives

In addition to two required courses, MSL students may choose from over 200 first-year and upper-level law school courses in which they take these courses alongside Juris Doctor students.

Alumni Testimonials

Learn how the Pitt Law MSL Degree has helped our graduates and read the survey of MSL alumni satisfaction with the Pitt Law MSL Program.

Contact Us

Would you like to know more about the MSL program and how it can professionally benefit you? Fill out our contact form to ask questions about the MSL Program.