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Pepperdine University Master of Legal Studies (MLS) online

Develop superior legal expertise as a nonlawyer, with Pepperdine Caruso School of Law’s online Master of Legal Studies program.

About the program

  • ABA-accredited: Pepperdine Caruso School of Law is an ABA-accredited top-ranked law school.
  • No test scores required: Applicants are not required to submit LSAT, GRE, or GMAT scores.
  • Open to nonlawyers: An MLS is designed for professionals across industries who want to gain expertise in U.S. law and legal procedures, without becoming lawyers.

About Pepperdine University

Pepperdine University is a private institution located in Malibu, California. Its learners and graduates focus on purpose, service, and leadership. Pepperdine was founded by George Pepperdine, with a grand opening on September 21, 1937. After more than 80 years, Pepperdine remains committed to Christian values and to the highest standards of academic excellence.

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.

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Flexibility — choose your concentration

Pepperdine’s curriculum allows learners the options of specific concentrations, or to generalize their studies. The program offers the following concentrations:

  • General: Learners can gain a broad understanding of legal concepts regarding business, education, advocacy and healthcare.
  • Dispute resolution: Learners hone their focus and gain skills in arbitration and conflict mediation.
  • Human resources: Learners explore the fundamental legal principles of human resources and, by completing specialized coursework, master salary negotiation, hiring and termination, and noncompetition and confidentiality agreements.
  • Litigation: Learners study litigation-specific coursework and build the required expertise they need to stand out in their industry in occupations such as as compliance officers, paralegals, legal assistants, nonprofit employees, and managers.
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Courses begin at three different times during the year — in January, May, and September. The admissions committee reviews applications on a rolling basis. Learners can apply prior to their cohort’s deadline and receive an earlier admissions decision and have their application fee waived. GRE or GMAT scores are not required. 

To complete an application, you will need to submit:

  • Official transcripts from all former institutions

  • A letter of recommendation

  • A résumé and statement of purpose

  • A video interview

Residency and study tour

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In addition to the coursework offered, there are two unique opportunities available for learners who wish to obtain more in-depth real-world experience. These two opportunities are:

  • Malibu campus residencies: For two in-person weekends, learners have the opportunity to take part in 1-credit residencies. These residencies give them the chance to engage in mock trials and case studies. Learners work with peers and faculty, and get to apply legal concepts to real-world situations.

  • Online law study tours: The Pepperdine Caruso School of Law offers three elective study tours in London, Geneva, and Washington, D.C. Tours are optional electives for all learners of the online School of Law master’s programs, and can be taken instead of the Malibu campus residency. The capacity for these study tours is limited, and they are available by department approval only.

Learners interested in these unique programs should inquire about them quickly upon acceptance.

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