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MLS Program Requirements

The Master of Legal Studies program requires 36 credit hours of coursework. 21 credits are obtained through required courses. The other 15 credits are obtained through electives. There is no thesis requirement, but students will produce a major research paper as part of the capstone course.

All classes in the Legal Studies program (those with the prefix “LEGS”) are 3 credit hours. Courses are offered two per semester in sequential 8 week sessions during the regular Fall and Spring terms, and two in the Summer term in sequential 6 week sessions. Required courses are offered once each academic year. Elective courses alternate every other year. All courses are offered online.

Click here to access the Sample Three Year Model Plan of Study.

Required Courses

The following courses are required for graduation in the Master of Legal Studies Program:

LEGS 610: Law & the Legal System
LEGS 620: Researching the Law
LEGS 630: Law & Society
LEGS 640: Administrative Legal Process
LEGS 650: The Legislative Process
LEGS 660: Alternative Dispute Resolution
LEGS 700: Research Capstone

Elective Courses

The MLS program offers several courses which students can use for elective credit. In addition, students may be able to take elective courses in other programs. Students desiring to take any courses from outside the program will need the consent of their academic advisor before pursuing such options.

Currently, the MLS program regularly offers the following elective courses:

LEGS 645: Judicial Legal Process
LEGS 691: Adv. Topics: Elder Law
LEGS 691: Adv. Topics: Financial Regulations for Govt. & Non-Profit
LEGS 691: Adv. Topics: Military Justice
LEGS 710: Family Law
LEGS 720: Media & the Law
LEGS 730: Employment Law
LEGS 740: Commerce Law
LEGS 750: Criminal Law & Procedure
LEGS 751: Punishment & Corrections
LEGS 752: Homeland Security
LEGS 753: Immigration & Border Security
LEGS 760: Administrative Ethics
LEGS 770: Healthcare Law
LEGS 771: Long Term Care Regulation
LEGS 780: Constitutional Law

Independent Study

In some instances students may be able to pursue elective credit through an independent study. Students will determine a course of study between themselves, a faculty member, and their academic advisor. A contract will be approved by all parties which will determine the course of work, products, dates, etc. Students will be enrolled in LEGS 695: Independent Study (a 3 credit course). Any student interested in independent study must obtain the approval of the Director no later than mid-semester of the term before the independent study is to begin. Contact Dr. Adams for more information. Click here to access the Independent Study Contract Form.

Course Descriptions

For a complete list of the MLS program requirements and course descriptions, visit the “WVU Graduate Catalogue
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