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A master’s degree in business law prepares you for multiple career avenues, including launching your own business or working as a corporate consultant, human resources manager, or financial analyst. This degree offers extensive knowledge of all business-related legal aspects, such as understanding tax codes, contracts, intellectual property, business ethics, and other regulatory compliance issues.

Many schools require 24 to 36 credit hours for a master’s in business law, which can be completed in one to two years of full-time study. Costs vary based on multiple factors, such as whether you attend a public or private school. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that the average tuition for a graduate degree is $12,596 at public institutions and $28,017 at private institutions.

How to Choose an Online Master’s in Business Law Program

Choose your area of study

The first step in choosing an online master’s in business law program is deciding on your specific goals. Most programs offer a core group of courses, such as contracts and torts. Additional courses comprise a concentration in a certain specialty, such as labor law, international business law, corporate compliance, or health care compliance. Depending on your career path, you’ll want to choose which school and specialty will get you where you want to go.

Remember, while a master’s degree in business law could be a good foundation for a corporate career, you’ll still need a juris doctor (JD) degree to become a corporate attorney. A master’s in business law is typically offered as either a Master of Laws (LLM) or Master of Legal Studies (MLS) degree. LLM programs are designed for students who already have a JD, while MLS programs are open to applicants who only have a bachelor’s.

Research schools and programs

You should only consider institutions that have been approved by a DOE-recognized regional accrediting organization, such as the New England Commission of Higher Education or Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. These organizations evaluate schools to ensure they provide students with a high-quality education. Those who attend a school that isn’t regionally accredited may be unable to access financial aid or transfer credits to another institution if needed.

Ideally, your master’s in business law program will also be accredited by a respected industry group like the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). These programmatic accrediting organizations have particularly high standards for business education.

Students should get as much information as possible on the programs they’re considering, including answers to the following questions:

  • Who are the faculty, and what are their credentials?
  • What mentorship and experiential learning opportunities does the program offer?
  • What support services are available to online students?
  • What networking opportunities do students have?

To learn more about any schools that you’re interested in, you can visit their website, contact an admissions counselor, follow the school on social media, or attend an in-person or virtual open house.

Prepare for tests and applications

Each program varies in its application requirements and process. Nevertheless, most online master’s degree programs require that a student have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. In preparation for applications, it’s a good idea to collect:

  • Official transcripts from any previous colleges you’ve attended
  • Letter(s) of recommendation
  • A resume or records of your work experience
  • A personal statement or statement of purpose outlining your motivations and interest

In addition, some programs may ask students to submit standardized test scores, such as those from the GRE. If you need to take the GRE, prepare and sit for the exam while researching schools.

Before submitting an application, always contact an admissions counselor to ensure you have the most accurate information regarding requirements and deadlines.

Select your program

Some students target a single program based on their needs and interests, while others submit multiple applications to boost their chances of acceptance. Some also write out the pros and cons of each school, then list them in order of preference. That way, these students know which schools they want to apply to and which they would prefer to attend should they be accepted.

Before making your final decision, review your needs and goals again. Do you plan to attend school full-time or part-time? Are you only interested in 100% online programs, or are you fine with a hybrid program that has a few in-person requirements? Some programs offer asynchronous courses, which can be completed at your own pace, while others only offer synchronous courses, which involve remotely attending lectures and completing assignments at the same time as other students — which of these two online learning formats do you prefer?

Whatever path you choose, remember that most schools charge application fees, which can add up if you apply to several schools. If you need financial assistance with these fees, contact the different schools to request a fee waiver.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

When researching schools, it’s also a good idea to verify how much a program costs (including fees) and what types of financial aid are available to students. Financial assistance can include institutional aid like scholarships, grants, fellowships, and assistantships, as well as federal financial aid like loans and work-study.

If you haven’t already, now is an excellent time to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which determines federal student loan and need-based institutional aid eligibility.

If you’re already working, you might have another option: employer tuition assistance benefits, which can offset the cost of tuition for employees. Veterans and active duty military members may also be eligible for tuition discounts from the school.

Talk with your school’s financial aid office if you have additional questions about how to pay for your degree.

Best 50 Accredited Online Master’s in Business Law Programs

Best Online Master's in Business Law Degree Programs

Loyola University Chicago

Texas A&M University School of Law

Widener University

University of the Pacific

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How We Rank Schools

To ensure that the degrees we reviewed are accessible to the greatest number of students, we only reviewed online programs. Please note that some programs have minimal on-campus requirements, even if most coursework can be completed online.

All the programs we reviewed are offered by schools with regional accreditation. Accreditation confirms that the programs meet the highest quality standards for postsecondary education. Degrees and credits from regionally accredited schools are widely recognized and transferable.

Once we found programs that met our criteria, we evaluated them based on faculty, flexibility, cost, outcomes, and reputation. Then, we calculated an Intelligent Score for each program on a scale of 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out our ranking methodology.

What Can You Expect from an Online Master’s in Business Law Program?

Online master’s in business law programs vary based on a school’s focus and mission, but in general, expect a core curriculum that introduces you to the legal system in the United States, from researching cases and statutes to reading, understanding, and writing legal documents. You’ll also learn about laws and regulations and how they relate to the legal system.

From there, your program likely will branch into more specialized areas of study related to business law, with some schools offering a capstone course or thesis seminar. Depending on whether you’re taking classes full- or part-time, you can complete this program within 12 to 24 months.

Potential courses you’ll take in an online master’s in business law degree program

  • Overview of the U.S. Legal System: Although this program focuses on business-related issues, you’ll still need to know about the American legal system and the government’s structure and functions. This class will also cover legal concepts such as due process.
  • Contract Law: Contracts, torts, and property are three building blocks of private law, which involves individuals’ rights and duties to each other. A contract law course will discuss how to form a valid and enforceable contract, problems around creating and enforcing contracts, and remedies for breach of contract.
  • Torts: The law defines torts as “the field of private wrongs.” When an entity such as a corporation or an individual takes action that harms another person or their interests or property, that is a tort. A torts course examines theories of tort liability and breaks down allocating responsibility and calculating losses.
  • Property Law: A property law class delves into what legally classifies as property, what rights property owners have, and how they can acquire and transfer those rights. Property can be private real estate property, personal property, and intellectual property.
  • Business Principles and Ethics: Students will learn business concepts such as the sales cycle, finances, marketing, and managing employees, as well as liability issues and how businesses use legal advice. This course may also cover how politics, economics, and societal constructs affect business and how companies have shifted toward environmental and social responsibility.

What Can You Do With an Online Master’s in Business Law?

Career outlook

The career outlook for individuals with an online master’s degree in business law is promising, with numerous opportunities in both the legal and business sectors. Indeed, many of the occupations in this field are growing at a fast rate and offer particularly high salaries.

These career paths reflect the versatility of a master’s degree in business law, offering opportunities in law, business, compliance, consulting, and academia. Here are some specific job opportunities that may be available for those with an online master’s degree in business law:

  • Arbitrator, mediator, or conciliator — Help opposing parties settle disputes by facilitating communication between parties, interviewing claimants and witnesses, and preparing settlement agreements.
    • Median annual salary: $64,030
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 5%
    • New job openings projected: 400 annually
  • Human resources manager — Oversee the administrative functions of an organization, which often involves ensuring regulatory compliance and settling disputes.
    • Median annual salary: $130,000
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 5%
    • New job openings projected: 15,500 annually
  • Management analyst — Provide expert advice in order to help organizations solve problems and improve efficiency.
    • Median annual salary: $95,290
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 10%
    • New job openings projected: 92,900 annually

Online Master’s Degree in Business Law Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to an online master’s in business law degree program?

Preparation is critical for applying to an online business law degree program. Confirm the application processes at all the schools you’re applying to, and gather the relevant required information, including letters of recommendation, undergraduate college transcripts, your resume, and GRE test scores.

Most schools accept applications and supporting materials electronically through their websites. Prospective students can also create an account through the non-profit Law School Admission Council to apply to several law schools nationwide.

How much does an online master’s in business law degree cost?

The cost will depend on various factors, including the type of institution you attend (public versus private), the length of the program, additional fees assessed by the school, and technology needs. On average, tuition for graduate programs is $12,596 at public universities and $28,017 at private schools.

How long does it take to earn an online master’s in business law degree?

Most schools estimate their online master’s programs in business law take about one to two years to complete for a full-time student. However, some schools offer intense accelerated programs where students can complete their required courses in a compressed time frame. On the other hand, if you are studying part-time, it will take longer to earn your master’s degree.

Is an online master’s in business law worth it?

Ultimately, the value of an online master’s in business law depends on your circumstances, goals, and commitment to the field. It can be a valuable investment if it aligns with your career objectives and offers opportunities for advancement and specialization. If your career aspirations involve working in legal or compliance roles within the business sector, such as corporate counsel, compliance officer, or contracts manager, a master’s in business law can provide valuable knowledge and skills.

An advanced degree can set you apart from competitors in the job market. It demonstrates a commitment to continuous learning and expertise in business law. It may also open the doors to leadership positions and more lucrative salaries and benefits.

Earning your degree online can be an excellent choice for adult learners who have other professional and personal commitments. Also, it demonstrates to employers that the degree holder has superior time management skills and the ability to work well both alone and with others.

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