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WVU launches new Master of Legal Studies curriculum

To meet the changing needs of professionals working with evolving policy and regulatory issues in the justice system, homeland security and healthcare, the West Virginia University Department of Public Administration has launched a new 30 credit hour Master of Legal Studies (MLS) curriculum for fall 2018.

The MLS program is tailored to professionals who work with lawyers or within the criminal and civil legal systems. Its broad exploration of law, policies and regulations makes it a perfect fit for individuals working with state or federal agencies who have a desire to advance their careers. Offered 100 percent online, the MLS degree can be completed in 18 months.   

Maja Holmes
Maja Holmes

“The MLS degree is a great example of bringing educational opportunities to working professionals to advance their career goals in supporting institutions and individuals who interact with the legal system,” said Maja Holmes, chair of the Department of Public Administration. “The online delivery, small class sizes and flexible curriculum make the program accessible and meaningful to professionals’ career and personal development.”

Students learn broad knowledge of U.S. law and legal system. Applicants often include mid-career professionals who engage in legal and regulatory issues in the fields of human resources, criminal and juvenile justice, court administration, journalism, social work, regulatory agencies, county and municipal government, military, and business.  

The MLS program prepares individuals to pursue in growing career opportunities in compliance management, arbitration and mediation, and court administration. WVU alumni are employed with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Marshals Service, West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services, WVU Medicine and State of Florida Judicial Court System.

The MLS program began in 1999 as a face-to-face degree in Charleston, West Virginia. It moved to the Department of Public Administration in 2006 as an online program and graduated the first class of online students in December 2008.

For more information about the MLS program and the Department of Public Administration, visit