Besides the three required courses, MSL students can choose from UC Hastings’ plentiful course offerings. With support and advice from their faculty advisor, students plan their coursework and choose courses that meet their own needs and interests.
With guidance from UC Hastings’ world-class faculty, MSL students can focus on the subjects that interest them. In addition to pursuing formal specializations in areas such as health law, business law, compliance, and others, our MSL students work with their dedicated advisors to tailor a course of study that aligns with their individual interests. These areas include international law, criminal justice, dispute resolution, environmental law, start-up technology, and other critical areas in today’s fast-moving economy.
Yes. All MSL students must take the following courses:
- Legal Research and Writing for Masters Students (Fall, 2 units)
- Introduction to Law for Masters Students (Fall, 2 units + Spring, 1 unit)
- At least one of the following first-year classes: Civil Procedure 1, Constitutional Law 1, Contracts 1, Criminal Law, Property, or Torts
The Master of Studies in Law program has the following learning outcomes:
- Doctrinal and Substantive Knowledge. Students are able to identify, explain, and employ basic concepts and rules of law in both core legal areas and in their own chosen area of specialization;
- Problem Solving and Critical Thinking. Students are able to identify the relevant issues in a fact pattern and craft legal arguments and conclusions supported by factual evidence and legal rules; and
- Research Skills. Students are able to independently retrieve, organize, analyze, and evaluate paper and electronic legal and interdisciplinary resources, and differentiate the types and relevance of authorities.
In order to earn an MSL degree, students must complete a total of 24 units, which includes both required and elective coursework.
MSL Students have access to a full range of course offerings at UC Hastings. MSL students take two courses designed for MSL students: Legal Research and Writing and Introduction to Law for Masters Students. All other courses will be a mixture of J.D. and MSL students.
Click on ‘How to Apply’ for a list of all requirements.
To be considered for admission, candidates must have earned a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and have career goals or work experience in a field that would be supplemented by study in the MSL program.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. The priority deadline for financial aid is April 15. After April 15, admissions and scholarship decisions will be made on a space available basis.
UC Hastings warmly welcomes applications from international students interested in the Master of Studies in Law program. In addition to the general application requirements, a TOEFL score of 90 or more, or an IELTS score of 7 or more is required for international applicants who have not received a degree from a university where the primary language of instruction was English.
Most international students attending UC Hastings do so with an F-1 student visa, unless they are a permanent resident or hold another visa status that permits them to study full-time. In order to obtain an F-1 visa, you will first need to be admitted to the MSL program. Once admitted, you will be contacted by the International Student Advisor to complete all relevant F-1 forms. International students must be able to show proof of funds from personal savings, family support, scholarships, or loans that will cover the cost of education and living expenses for each year of study at UC Hastings.
Tuition for the 2018-2019 academic year is estimated to be $39,000 with no distinction made between in-state and out-of-state residents. In addition, students are required to pay additional administrative fees. Please visit our Cost of Attendance page to view a breakdown of the tuition and fee schedule.
There are a limited number of merit-based and need-based scholarships available to qualified Master of Studies in Law (MSL) students. In order to be considered for a scholarship, please complete Application Form for MSL Scholarships. Applicants who are interested in receiving aid are strongly encouraged to submit their complete applications by April 15.
Full-time students and part-time students (U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents only) who are taking at least six credit hours a semester are eligible for the federal loan program, which includes the Unsubsidized Stafford Loans and Graduate PLUS Loans. MSL students applying for financial aid should submit the FAFSA and the UC Hastings Financial Aid Supplement form.
No. American Bar Association regulations do not permit credits acquired in the MSL program to be credited toward a JD degree.
We recognize that individuals interested in the MSL program will have varying time commitments. To accommodate these needs, the MSL program at UC Hastings is offered both on a full-time and part-time basis. Course requirements are the same for both programs. Please see our MSL Program Overview for more details about courses and degree requirements.
No. At this time we do not offer any weekend or evening classes. MSL students take classes with the JD students and as such classes are held from 8:30 am – 6:00 pm Monday through Friday. Please note that although MSLs are in classes with JD students, MSL students are graded on a separate curve.
Full-time students will be expected to complete their degree requirements in two consecutive semesters in one academic year. The part-time Master of Studies in Law program is meant to accommodate working professionals who cannot complete their degree requirements in one academic year. Part-time MSL students must complete their degree requirements within four years of enrolling in the program.
Yes. MSL students may focus their degree in the subject areas that interest them, such as Business, Compliance, Criminal Law, Dispute Resolution, Employment, Environmental Law, Gender and the Law, Government, Health Law, Human Resources, Intellectual Property, International Business and Trade, International Law, Law Enforcement, Media, Project Management, Social Work, Start-ups and Entrepreneurship, Tax, and Technology. We are also eager to support students interested in designing their own course of study. All students benefit from one-on-one advising throughout their time at UC Hastings
Many professionals increasingly deal with the modern regulatory state, participate in legal processes, research legal actors and institutions, and interact with legal systems. The MSL is designed for professionals who want to have a sophisticated understanding of legal reasoning and doctrine, but who do not need the three-year J.D. degree.
Yes. One of the many benefits to the MSL program is that it can be tailored to individual interests and needs. A business owner or entrepreneur may wish to focus their elective course work on contracts, tax, corporation and intellectual property law.