Northwestern Law Launches Online Master of Science in Law Degree


Law, Business, Tech Students

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law will launch a new online Master of Science in Law (MSL) degree in the fall of 2018. Its campus-based MSL, which currently has 106 students enrolled, launched in 2014, and provides practical, business-centered legal training to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals.

“The online format will expand the Law School’s ability to educate the next generation of leaders in this multi-disciplinary space,” said Northwestern Law Dean Daniel B. Rodriguez.

Law School officials said the online classes are a more accessible instructional option for STEM professionals around the world who wish to advance their careers by deepening their understanding of law and business within the STEM context. Students in the online program will receive the same degree as students in the residential program — the application process, admissions standards, academic requirements and curriculum will be consistent between the formats. 

“The MSL residential program has continued to grow, with more applicants and students each year,” Rodriguez said. “Its graduates are pursuing excellent opportunities across a variety of industries, including education, engineering, finance and consulting, in addition to law and entrepreneurial endeavors. It is now clear there exists a substantial market for this degree.” 

Students in both formats also can choose among a rich and varied selection of electives that cover business law and entrepreneurship, IP and patent design, and regulatory analysis and strategy.  

“Our faculty are working closely with experts from Northwestern University Information Technology to thoughtfully redesign the MSL courses for the online environment, taking advantage of the new format to create rich and varied learning experiences,” said Professor Leslie Oster, director of the MSL program.

The decision to bring the MSL program online is part of the Law School’s commitment to expanding the concept of legal training and bringing innovation to legal education. This newest development complements the Law School’s many curricular and programming initiatives at the intersection of law, business and technology, including its leading JD-MBA program with Kellogg; the Kellogg core classes offered exclusively for law students; the Donald Pritzker Entrepreneurship Law Center; the Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship and Business Enterprise concentrations; the Innovation Lab; the Entrepreneurship Team ProjectNUvention; and the “Bridges” Conferences.