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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.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects job growth of 10% for lawyers from 2021 to 2031, with a median annual salary in 2021 of $127,990. The job growth for financial analysts is also strong, projected at about 9%, with a median yearly salary in 2021 of about $95,570. People with a master’s in business law also can work in senior-level finance positions or settle disputes as arbitrators and mediators. This field has about 6% projected growth, with a median annual salary of $49,410.

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. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that in 2020-21, the average tuition for a graduate degree was $12,394 at a public institution and $26,621 at a private school.

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 specialization, 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 paralegal, you’ll still need a law degree to become a corporate attorney. Those with a law degree can pursue a master’s in business law or a master of law (LLM) in business law.

Research schools and programs

As you compare different schools, you’ll want to confirm that they are accredited, meaning they meet specific educational quality standards. The accreditation status will impact your ability to receive federal student loans, apply for future jobs, and continue your education. Students can check a school’s accreditation status with the U.S. Department of Education. They should also confirm that their program has accreditation through the American Bar Association or the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

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?
  • Are classes delivered synchronously or asynchronously?

This information is often found on the school’s website, social media profiles, and marketing materials. If you have more questions or can’t find what you want to know, contact the school’s admissions office and speak with a program representative.

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 scores. If you need to take the GRE, prepare and sit for the exam while researching schools.

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 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.

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 loans 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

For this list, we concentrated on master’s degrees in business law. The most common type of master’s degree in this field is a Master of Law (LL.M) degree.

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. Such a class also will 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. Such a course would also cover how politics, economics, and societal constructs affect business and how companies have shifted toward environmental and social responsibility.

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, 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 was $12,394 at public universities and $26,621 at private schools during the 2020-21 academic year. However, online students can save on transportation costs, housing, and living expenses.

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.