The Master of Science in Law (MSL) is a part-time, two-year evening program structured for working professionals. New cohorts begin each fall, and are required to earn 30 credits spread over four semesters, with a focus in one of three specialty areas: Environmental Law, Health Care Law, or Patent Law.

During the first year, students will take foundational courses, research and writing classes, and a survey of their chosen specialization. During the second year, students will focus on the specialty area, taking seminars in their specializations and working on a faculty-supervised capstone project. In their final semester students may take a course in one of the other MSL specialties. A sample program schedule is included below, and we encourage students to review Course Descriptions.

Sample Program Schedule

First YearSecond Year
U.S. Law and Legal System 3 Course or Seminar in Specialty 3
Legal Methods 3 Course or Seminar in Specialty 3
Legal Research 2 Dispute Resolution & Negotiation 2
Public Law & the Regulatory Process 3 MSL Course or Seminar 3
Survey Course in Specialty 3 Capstone Project in Specialty 4
Ethics in Law & Public Policy 1    
Total Credits15Total Credits15

Learning Objectives

With a choice among three unique specializations, MSL students will develop an understanding of the law within their chosen field while simultaneously gaining a fluency in the principles and modes of analysis that will complement their existing professional knowledge and experience. The program will allow students to develop necessary core competencies, such as:

  • An ability to recognize and understand the legal regimes and structures that regulate or otherwise affect their professional roles;
  • A capacity to read and understand legal documents, including contracts, judicial opinions, statutes, regulations, executive orders, legislative commentaries, and legal opinion letters;
  • An ability to identify the legal context for effectuating policy, and thus to recognize and better appreciate the legal risks that may affect decision-making in public and private organizations;
  • An understanding of major modes of dispute avoidance and resolution, including negotiation, private settlement, mediation, arbitration, and litigation;
  • The ability to conduct basic legal research and draft documents for internal use; and
  • The ability to assess more effectively when legal issues require or justify the engagement of legal professionals and the ability to communicate more effectively with those professionals in identifying and evaluating the range of options appropriate to specific circumstances.


Courses in the MSL Program are taught by a mixture of Maryland Carey Law faculty members and substantive experts from government agencies, the judiciary, and the practicing bar. The foundational and survey courses will mainly be taught by faculty members, while the specialty seminars and capstone courses will be taught by experienced practitioners in the relevant field.