The Catholic University of America

Enhance Your Career with the Master of Legal Studies
Program at the Catholic University of America
Columbus School of Law

Master of Legal Studies Program

The Master of Legal Studies (M.L.S.) program from the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law offers flexibility, versatility, and broad-ranging instructional excellence.

The 26-credit program equips students with both a general understanding of the American legal system and specific knowledge of their chosen field of interest. During the first semester, all students enrolled in the M.L.S. program take Introduction to American Law and Legal Methods. This introductory course designed exclusively for M.L.S. students provides an overview of the American legal system and teaches the process of legal analysis. All M.L.S. students will conclude their studies by working with a faculty member on a final project. The remaining credits allow candidates to further their knowledge in their chosen field of interest.

The M.L.S. degree program enhances the ability of professionals to work with lawyers and legal issues, to gain a deeper knowledge of a particular legal field, and to understand laws and regulations. Students can choose to concentrate in the fields of Compliance and Corporate Responsibility, Criminal JusticeEmployment and Human ResourcesIntellectual Property, and Political Law. Alternatively, students may choose a General U.S. Law option, which allows students to design a course of study that best suits their interests and needs.

M.L.S. degree recipients will be able to distinguish themselves in their chosen profession based on the specialized knowledge they have gained regarding the role of the law across industries and in particular disciplines.

“The M.L.S. Program at CUA Law has worked very well with my daily schedule. Although I work full-time, I’m still able to take 2 courses per semester, which allows me to graduate in two years." – Lina Woo, M.L.S. student

How it Works

Catholic University’s M.L.S. degree is designed for part-time students and generally offers classes at times that accommodate the schedules of those who work full time. During the first semester, candidates for the M.L.S. degree will take a class that introduces students to the American legal system and legal methods with other M.L.S. candidates. In addition, each M.L.S. candidate will complete a final project under the supervision of a faculty member. If students follow the suggested curriculum, all degree requirements for the M.L.S. can be completed within three or four semesters. However, candidates have up to four years to complete the degree requirements if candidates choose to take fewer classes each semester.


How to Apply 

Admission to the program is based on a portfolio of information, including a completed application form (see below), undergraduate and graduate transcripts from any accredited schools attended, a personal statement that speaks to the applicant’s interest in the program, a resume, a letter of recommendation, and any standardized test scores (such as the LSAT, GMAT, MCAT, GRE, SAT, or ACT) that the applicant wishes to submit. International students will also be required to submit proof of language proficiency through a TOEFL or IELTS score. Applicants are expected to meet the minimum admissions requirements for other graduate programs at The Catholic University of America. Graduates of foreign universities are eligible for the M.L.S. program and encouraged to apply. Applications for Fall 2019 are currently being accepted.

Applicants to the M.L.S. program should understand that the MLS is not intended to prepare students for the J.D. program. Further, under rules promulgated by the American Bar Association, the accrediting body for law schools, no credit may be given towards the J.D. for any courses taken in the M.L.S. program. However, students who successfully complete courses in the M.L.S. program will have a better understanding of law than people who have not. If they eventually do enroll in a J.D. program, the M.L.S. experience might prove beneficial.

PDF Version

For further information, contact the CUA Law admissions office:


Aplly for the LL.M. Program at CUA Law

Admissions Contact Information

Phone: 202-319-5151


Schedule a Tour & Visit

Columbus School of Law
Office of Admissions
Suite 340
3600 John McCormack Rd., NE

Washington, DC 20064

Mailing Address:

Columbus School of Law
Office of Admissions
The Catholic University of America
Cardinal Station

Washington, DC 20064

Assistant Dean for Admissions

CUA Law is a proud participant of the Yellow Ribbon Program