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Master of Studies in Law (MSL)

An Advanced 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. 

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New! MSL Online Combined Programs

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. Pitt Law offers a multitude of advanced degrees and certifications for non-lawyers who seek an alternative to the traditional three-year Juris Doctor. These programs are designed for graduates and professionals seeking to broaden their knowledge and understanding of legal systems and how they interact with their studies or professional field.

How Can The MSL Enhance My Career?

"The MSL program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law gave me a unique opportunity to focus a year of graduate study on intellectual property rights. Not only has my master’s degree opened up a new horizon of career options, but it has also strengthened my critical thinking and analysis skills tremendously."

Stephanie Minnaugh '03, Master of Studies in Law, Intellectual Property & Technology

"I would say that the MSL program has always been necessary in practically all aspects of business. The job I had immediately after the MSL program was with Ernst & Young’s corporate restructuring practice in Singapore where I had to communicate with lawyers on a daily basis."

Joel Lim '07, Master of Studies in Law, Corporate Law

In their own words, read more Pitt Law MSL graduate testimonials

Alumni Achievements and News

Jessica Moss (MSL, '18) Connects, Houses Artists in Charlotte and Beyond | Charlotte Magazine


Specialized instruction in a large number of specializations

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 a large number of specializations or a customizable self-designed specialization on a select basis.

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.

This is not an online program.

For more information, contact:

Beth Ann Pischke
(412) 648-7120

Faculty Director
Alan Meisel

In this Section

  • Why The MSL?

    Why The MSL?

    Learn more about how the Master of Studies in Law degree from Pitt Law can professionally benefit you. This comprehensive FAQ answers questions from costs to requirements.

  • Specializations


    As one of the oldest Master of Studies in Law programs in the country, Pitt Law offers a large number of specializations in areas such as intellectual property and technology law, elder and estate planning law, and energy law.