Apply to the Master of Studies in Law Program

The MSL is an advanced graduate degree designed to impart many benefits of a juris doctor degree without the concurrent time and financial investment. You’ll take classes alongside J.D. students who are studying to become lawyers, but focus on specialized areas to enhance or advance your career, all without sitting for the bar or actually practicing law. With two years of relevant work experience or a graduate degree, a standardized test, such as an LSAT or GRE, is not required.


The Admissions Committee reviews applications holistically when making admissions decisions.

The applicant's undergraduate record, personal statement, letters of recommendation, resume,  and work experience, if any, are important when the Admissions Committee is making admissions decisions. It is very important for students to articulate in their personal statement why the MSL program is a good fit with their particular goal(s) in mind.

The application deadline for the MSL Program is June 1, 2023.  Applicants are encouraged to apply well in advance of the deadline since the application process is competitive.  Applicants are notified of the Admissions Committee's decisions promptly via U.S. Mail. 


To apply to the Master of Studies in Law Program, applicants must submit the following items:

- A completed online application (select "Law Fall 2023" to begin your MSL application); 

- An official transcript showing that the applicant has earned a Bachelor's degree, and official transcripts of all other college, graduate, and professional studies, whether or not a degree was obtained;

- A current resume;

- A personal statement describing how you expect to benefit from the Master of Studies in Law degree; and

- Two letters of recommendation.

Students must also have at least one of the following:

- A score on a standardized test, such as the LSAT, GRE, GMAT, or MCAT; or

-A graduate degree; or

-At least two years of relevant work experience.


All application materials should be sent to:

Program Director, Master of Studies in Law
Roger Williams University School of Law
Ten Metacom Ave
Bristol, RI 02809




RWU Law believes that every qualified person should have access to education regardless of financial status. The Financial Aid Office provides information about and access to a variety of sources to supplement each student's available funds. Major sources of funds include the Federal Government and private loan providers.

Financial aid is available for the full cost of attendance, including both direct costs (tuition, fees, books, and supplies) and indirect costs (housing, utilities, food, transportation, etc.) of attending.

Additional information about financial aid may be found at:

Next step:FAQs


Who will benefit from the Master of Studies in Law (MSL) degree?

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The Master of Studies in Law Program is designed for students who want to bring formal legal training and knowledge to their work or whose job prospects would improve if they added that knowledge or those skills to their resume. Anyone who works or would like to work regularly with lawyers or laws and regulations could benefit from the MSL Program. It is designed for anyone who could benefit from a formal understanding of law but does not need the three year JD degree.

What are the degree requirements?

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The MSL degree will be awarded upon the completion of 30 semester credit hours. MSL students will be eligible to enroll in first year and upper level course. All MSL students are required to take Introduction to the Study of Law, a 1L required course, and a capstone/directed research course.

Can you practice law with an MSL degree?

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No. If you want to practice law, a Juris Docor (JD) degree is required.

What is the tuition for the MSL program?

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Tuition for the MSL Program is $977 per credit.

Are there fees associated with the MSL Program?

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Yes.  MSL students pay the same fees as JD students.

Are MSL students eligible for financial aid?

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Yes.  MSL students are eligible for student loans in any semester in which they are taking 5 credits or more of course work.

Is the MSL program full-time or part-time?

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MSL students can attend on either a full-time or part-time basis.

Do MSL students take regular law school courses?

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Yes.  With the exception of the Introduction to the Study of Law, the courses students take in the MSL Program are courses attended by students in the JD Program.

Will MSL students be assigned a faculty advisor to help select courses?

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Yes. All MSL students will be assigned a faculty advisor.

Does the MSL Program help me get into the JD Program?

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No. The MSL Program is not intended to prepare students for the JD Program.

Can credits transfer from the MSL Program to the JD Program?

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No. Under ABA regulations, credits earned in the MSL Program cannot count towards a JD degree.

Can credits transfer into the MSL Program?

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JD credits earned within the last five years are eligible to transfer into the MSL Program. However, credits are eligible for transfer only if the applicant earned a grade of C or higher in the course, and under no circumstances will more than 15 credits be accepted towards satisfying the requirements of the MSL degree.

Can graduate course work outside of RWU Law count towards the MSL degree?

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Students may take up to 6 credits in Roger Williams University's Graduate School Programs that may count towards the MSL degree provided that prior approval is obtained from the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs or the MSL Program Director. The Associate Dean of Academic Affairs or Program Director will help you determine the appropriateness of taking RWU graduate level courses.

Will course work from other undergraduate or graduate schools be considered for credit toward the MSL degree?

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No. Credits from prior undergraduate or graduate study will not be accepted toward completion of the MSL degree.

How do applicants educated outside of the United States submit transcripts for the MSL Program?

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Applicants educated outside of the United States are required to submit an official evaluation of all foreign credentials and the evaluations must include a course by course evaluation. Applicants may use any foreign credential service that is a member of NACES, however we recommend WES transcript evaluation.