Master’s programs in the study of law are designed to provide an introduction to the legal system and a basic understanding of particular areas of law. Iowa Law’s Master of Studies in Law degree is intended primarily to educate students and professionals in other fields who do not wish to practice law but who need to recognize and respond effectively to legal issues arising in their work. Some students seeking this degree have just completed a BA or BS degree and are looking to better position themselves on the job market. Other students are on an established career path but seek to increase their skill set and enhance mobility and promotion opportunities.
Iowa Law’s MSL degree requires 30 semester credit hours of study. Approximately nine credit hours will be comprised of introductory first-year courses on legal method and the common law, and at least two credits will be a seminar or independent study with a writing component. The student will choose the remainder of the courses. With law school approval, a student may choose to take up to nine credit hours of non-law classes in related disciplines such as accounting, statistics, finance, public health, engineering, social sciences, or other disciplines. The balance of the credits will be comprised of elective courses within the College of Law.
The degree will be flexible in both content and structure to accommodate students’ needs. Students may choose to pursue courses within a designated specialty track or to build their own customized track. Some of the specialty tracks will include a Business and Innovation track and a Law and Public Policy track. Other specialty tracks may be approved by the faculty over time. Alternatively, a student may choose, with law school approval, a customized track relating to a different area of substantive knowledge. The degree may be completed in as little as one year of full-time study or in not more than four years of part-time study.