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American University Master of Legal Studies (MLS) online

Earn an online MLS from American University Washington College of Law , and gain the legal skills you need to help your community or organization make informed decisions.

About the program

  • No GRE or LSAT required: The admissions committee believes standardized test scores may not fully reflect a learner's legal proficiency or ability to apply expert problem-solving skills.
  • Scholarships available: Admitted and enrolled online MLS learners are eligible for a $15,000 scholarship.
  • 12-month MLS: Full-time learners can complete the program in as few as 12 months.

About the American University Washington College of Law

The American University Washington College of Law is the first law school in the world founded by women. For 120 years, AU Washington College of Law has prepared learners to champion what matters in society by integrating values of equality, diversity, and inclusivity into its law programs. The online Master of Legal Studies program builds on this enduring legacy, as it prepares professionals, from various backgrounds and locations, to develop legal expertise and make a difference in their organizations.

Tuition and fees

Tuition and fees are subject to change and may increase each academic year. Tuition does not include student fees, technology platform licensing, or support services. Learners are also responsible for travel and accommodation costs related to any in-person immersions or residentials.

Technology and services powered by 2U, Inc., the parent company of edX.

Curriculum: Specializations

The 30-credit online Master of Legal Studies is designed for professionals — who have law-related responsibilities — and who want to increase their legal knowledge and advance their careers. As a learner in the program, you will learn from world-renowned professors, complete self-paced coursework, and gain hands-on experience during an optional in-person immersion. You can also specialize your degree to align with your specific interests. Specializations include:

  • General MLS: Gain a comprehensive understanding of legal concepts, legal procedures, and the overall U.S. legal system.
  • Health Care Compliance: Develop specialized knowledge needed to gain credibility, further the mission of your organization, and advance your career by implementing effective health care compliance programs.
  • Technology: Cultivate fundamental skills to stay up to date with the rapid growth of technology, and to ensure compliance with the laws surrounding the sharing and accessing of information.
  • Cybersecurity: Learn to comply with internet law and data regulations, to protect against data exposure, and to navigate the legal and compliance concepts surrounding big data.
  • U.S. Legislation: Gain an in-depth understanding of the legislative processes and procedures used in state legislatures and local government agencies.
  • Business: Learn to make more effective business decisions and ensure compliance with the law.
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The American University Washington College of Law seeks motivated candidates who are passionate about using the law to positively affect their organizations and communities. Candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. To complete an application, you will need to submit:

  • Online application 

  • Résumé

  • Official transcripts

  • Two letters of recommendation 

  • Statement of purpose 

  • TOEFL scores (if applicable)

  • Application fee

In-person immersion


The online MLS program offers learners the opportunity to bring their classroom skills to a real-world setting at an optional in-person immersion.

During the three-day immersion, you will join your peers on AU’s Washington, D.C., campus to network, hear from experts in the field, and collaborate on group assignments. You will advance your presentation and negotiation skills in simulation exercises, and gain experience applying the skills you’ll have learned in the online classroom and during workshops.

You will also have the chance to explore the AU campus, tour the Supreme Court, and gain exposure to resources unique to the nation’s capital.

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