Master of Science Degree in Legal Studies

A wide variety of industries have a need for professionals with legal knowledge. Our master’s degree in legal studies online program is designed for working adults seeking to expand their career opportunities by arming themselves with the knowledge of the law, legal terminology, and procedures.*

Kaplan University’s Master of Science in Legal Studies provides a solid foundation in legal doctrine and concepts; it also gives students the chance to develop and refine their abilities to identify and analyze legal issues. The curriculum focuses on the legal system, dispute resolution, legal research and writing, legal reasoning and analysis, ethical decision making, jurisprudence, legal history, and substantive areas of law. You can select the curriculum track that best suits your needs, and design your curriculum by choosing electives to enhance your area of expertise.

Attending classes online at Kaplan University is an interactive, supportive, and engaging experience. The program was developed professors who are industry professionals in law, social science, and teaching, and is guided by a national advisory board of subject matter experts in a variety of law-related areas. Courses include live seminars, discussion boards, and one-on-one instructor feedback.

As one of the largest providers of online legal studies programs in the United States, Kaplan University has helped over 6,500 legal studies graduates achieve their educational goals since 2001. This means that when you earn your degree from Kaplan University, you join one of the most active and diverse alumni communities in the legal field.

Master of Science in Legal Studies Program Highlights

Designed with practicality in mind, this master’s degree in legal studies program will challenge you to solve real-world issues by applying legal principles in a case study format. Our small classes—taught by instructors with professional industry experience—mean you get personalized support in an interactive learning environment.

Start building a strong foundation of legal knowledge by completing the program's core requirements. These specialized online courses are designed to teach you:

  • Legal Principles: Apply legal principles and concepts to the analysis of complex social, political, and economic issues
  • Ethics: Reflect on the ethical and moral implications of the law and legal processes
  • Leadership: Apply principles of leadership to shape change and improve the application and direction of the law and the legal system in relation to institutions and society
  • Reflective Practice: Utilize the skills of a reflective practitioner to analyze and solve problems within a professional context
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Higher Education at the Highest Standards

Kaplan University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and committed to the highest standards. Our specific programs hold additional industry-relevant approvals and accreditations.

What are the Career Opportunities?

The knowledge, skills, and experience you acquire while earning your master's degree may help you stand out to employers when competing for senior management and administration positions with corporations, membership groups, educational institutions, or government agencies.*

How Do I Get Started?

Kaplan University offers multiple start dates, giving you greater flexibility with your education, life, and work schedules.

08

Nov

Online and Campus Start Date

November 08, 2017

31

Jan

Online and Campus Start Date

January 31, 2018

18

Apr

Online and Campus Start Date

April 18, 2018

05

Jul

Online and Campus Start Date

July 05, 2018

19

Sep

Online and Campus Start Date

September 19, 2018

05

Dec

Online and Campus Start Date

December 05, 2018

Curriculum: Research Track

Desired Track
Research Track
  • Research Track
  • Exam Track
  • Core

    Total Core Credits: 40

    Total Program Credits: 55

    • LS 500: LEGAL METHODS AND PROCESS Change

      This course introduces students to the legal sys­tem. The course will examine the organization of the court system, the different types and sources of the law, the roles of professionals in the legal system, and the way the law is created. Students will study the parallel court system in the federal and state system, as well as the development of rulings and procedures of administrative agencies. In addition, the course will explore laws made in a legislative body.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

      LS 698: Applied Research combines research and writing skills with application in a professional setting. This is a capstone course.
    • LS 501: ETHICS AND THE PROFESSIONAL Change

      This course will explore the concept of ethics and its relationship to the professional. The course will examine concepts of normative ethics, professional behavior and moralistic ethics, and the relationship of ethical decision making to institutions and organizations in society. The focus will be on general ethical principles and the determination of fundamental and common values in society that govern societal institutions.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      LS  500

      LS 698: Applied Research combines research and writing skills with application in a professional setting. This is a capstone course.
    • LS 502: LEGAL RESEARCH, ANALYSIS, AND WRITING Change

      This course focuses on reading, analyzing, and applying the law found in a variety of legal sources including cases, statutes, administrative rulings, and journal articles. Topics will include methods to analyze cases to determine the facts, issues, analysis, and holdings of a case as well as determining the meaning and purpose of statutes, legislative enactments, and administrative rulings. Students will engage in a variety of legal writing, including case briefs, memoranda, and opinions, and will engage in computerized research and develop skills in writing as well as proper citation of legal materials.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      LS  500

      LS 698: Applied Research combines research and writing skills with application in a professional setting. This is a capstone course.
    • LS 503: JURISPRUDENCE AND LEGAL HISTORY Change

      This course will provide students with a view of the sources and historical development of legal principles as well as the philosophical foundations of American legal principles. Students will develop an understanding of significant trends in American legal history as well as current trends in development of law and the philosophy of the law that is the underpinning of many public policy actions.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      LS  500

      LS 698: Applied Research combines research and writing skills with application in a professional setting. This is a capstone course.
    • LS 504: APPLIED RESEARCH IN LEGAL STUDIES Change

      In the first of two courses in applied research in legal studies, students will be introduced to applied research within the profession, which encourages adoption of the role of a reflective practitioner who seeks to simultaneously understand and change the professional setting. Students will examine the history of applied research and the intersection of applied research and experimental research. This study allows participants to develop an understanding of the processes and how they can impact their own professional setting.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      Third to last term

      LS 698: Applied Research combines research and writing skills with application in a professional setting. This is a capstone course.
    • LS 526: ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL WRITING FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS Change

      Writing effectively and accurately is a necessary skill in the academic and professional worlds. Academic and Professional Writing for Graduate Students is designed to prepare students for the demands of academic and professional writing in their coursework, professional career, and for their final capstone/research paper. Students will learn to communicate complex and difficult material clearly to a wide variety of expert and nonexpert readers, and write for the kinds of audiences that they will encounter as professionals and who rely on the words on the page to make meaning. This course will introduce students to the basic elements of academic and professional writing at the holistic and sentence level. Students will gain an understanding of audience and purpose, as well as the graduate research, writing, and formatting process. Emphasis is placed on citing and quoting primary materials, organization strategies, and grammar, editing, and usage so that students hone and fine-tune their writing skills.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

      LS 698: Applied Research combines research and writing skills with application in a professional setting. This is a capstone course.
    • LS 698: APPLIED RESEARCH Change

      Students experience the art and science of applied research while they develop the tools of reflective inquiry and collaborative practice. Students will engage in analysis of current issues and challenges to explore and practice applied research methods as a logical extension of professional practice. Integral to this process is the examination of both informal and systematic ways to ask and answer questions. Students will design a research plan for their own applied research project. 

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      LS 504

      LS 698: Applied Research combines research and writing skills with application in a professional setting. This is a capstone course.

    Choose Your Courses Below

    • LS 506: UNDERSTANDING CIVIL RESPONSIBILITY Change

      This course explores the resolution of private disputes between citizens and institutions in society. You will study the methods established by society for the measure of appropriate conduct in personal and institutional relationships. You will also study the process provided for the resolution of those disputes and the remedies in place in society for the violation of those measures.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      LS  500

      LS 698: Applied Research combines research and writing skills with application in a professional setting. This is a capstone course.
    • LS 507: UNDERSTANDING CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY Change

      This course explores the processes of establishing individual responsibility for violation of individual societal standards of behavior and the remedies for violations of those standards. Students will study the requisite state of mind necessary to prove criminal conduct, the specific types of crimes, punishments for crimes, and defenses. Students will also study the impact of criminal conduct and standards on societal institutions and organizations.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      LS  500

      LS 698: Applied Research combines research and writing skills with application in a professional setting. This is a capstone course.
    • LS 508: FAMILY AND THE LEGAL SYSTEM Change

      This course explores a myriad of family law issues in the legal system. These issues include children's rights, shared custody, privacy rights relative to domestic relations, same-sex marriage, and interracial adoptions, among others. This course is vital to any legal studies professional, as it discusses the various concepts and roles that a professional can encounter in the field of family law.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      LS  500

      LS 698: Applied Research combines research and writing skills with application in a professional setting. This is a capstone course.
    • LS 509: CONTRACTS AS PRIVATE LAW Change

      This course will deal with the concept of the contract as a tool in a society of individuals to establish private law through agreement. Students will study basic elements of the contract including offer and acceptance, damages, and restitution as well as the relationship of the contract as a foundational aspect of societal institutions and organization and the philosophical underpinnings of the contract as an interface between law and society.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      LS  500

      LS 698: Applied Research combines research and writing skills with application in a professional setting. This is a capstone course.
  • Open Electives

    Total Open Electives Credits: 15

    Total Program Credits: 55

Can I Afford This?

Kaplan University is committed to helping you find more ways to save on college tuition. Our Tuition Cap, military reductions, and transfer and experiential learning credits are some of the ways we can help lower the cost of your tuition and help you graduate sooner.

Ways to Save

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*Kaplan University cannot guarantee employment or career advancement.

Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), 2015-2016 Total Degrees and Certificates Conferred, First Major, Legal Professions and Studies, on the Internet at nces.ed.gov/IPEDS. Based on total number of degrees and certificates granted by Kaplan University compared to other Title IV, 2- and 4-year degree-granting institutions.