Program Description

Built on the foundation of McGeorge’s nationally-ranked program in public law and its renowned Capital Center for Law & Policy, this online master’s degree provides our students with the opportunity to learn from scholars and practitioners who are experts in law, legislative process, regulatory agencies, and policy-making.

Pen lying on a contract or application form, wide angle view.

The program helps students build marketable expertise with the guidance of our MSL faculty, who are chosen for outstanding teaching as well as depth of knowledge in government law and policy. Courses emphasize real-world knowledge and development of practical skills.

The online MSL in Government Law & Policy is specially designed for local, state, and federal agency employees, lobbyists, legislative staff, and others who seek to enhance their skills in lawmaking, regulation, election law, and lobbying, but who do not require a traditional law degree for their success.

  • Enhance potential for career advancement with specialized knowledge in government law & policy to "talk the talk and walk the walk"
  • Understand the nuances of legal protocol, and how lawyers think
  • Networking opportunities with faculty and experts in the area of government law & policy, as well as other alumni and current students who practice and work in this field of study
  • Distinguish yourself from other professionals with a unique degree and focus
  • Research and publish in the field:
    • To dive deep into topics, and increase your credibility with a publishable piece of research
    • With a research-focused MSL, which can be a gateway into Ph.D. work

At the end of this degree program, graduates should be able to:

  • Identify and understand basic concepts in U.S. substantive law, legal theory, and procedure.
  • Apply knowledge and critical thinking skills to law and policy issues relevant to area of study and, where appropriate, apply basic tools of legal research analysis, reasoning, and problem solving.
  • Demonstrate communication skills, including effective listening, critical reading, clear writing tailored to specific audience and goals, and the ability to verbally convey legal and policy concepts relevant to area of study.
  • Demonstrate judgment, ethics, and professionalism relevant to the role of non-lawyers working within a legal framework, including avoidance of the unauthorized practice of law.

A bachelor’s degree is required for admission to the program

Master of Science in Law, Government Law & Policy Concentration

The Government Law & Policy concentration is earned through part-time, fully online, asynchronous, courses with the following requirements:

  • A total of 26 units over approximately two years with students typically enrolling in two, three-unit courses each semester
  • Fall and spring semesters are 15 weeks long. Summer courses, when offered, run on a four-week semester. One summer course will provide students the option to visit the McGeorge campus over a long weekend in Sacramento, the capital city of California.
  • Online students interact with their professors and classmates for an average of one hour per week and read/study for an additional two hours per week for every credit unit awarded
  • Students will complete their assignments on a weekly "asynchronous" basis, meaning that students do not need to be online at the same time, allowing students the flexibility to schedule their coursework around other commitments**
    • **From time to time, a course may offer optional "live sessions," which will be announced at the beginning of the semester to allow for proper planning.

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“I chose McGeorge because the classes build up specific knowledge about things that only people working in the field might know. It gets you a step ahead of the competition.”

— Brandon Chaidez ’18

“My decision to come to McGeorge was influenced in large part by the caliber and dedication of the professors here. The professors not only want to teach us the current law, but also encourage us to challenge laws that are antiquated or prejudicial to marginalized community members."

— Vallerye Mosquera ’15, Sacramento Immigration Attorney

"When I work with McGeorge alumni, they seem experienced, polished and able to connect the dots. The experience, attention to detail, and rigor of the program really shows, and for these reasons, we love hiring McGeorge students as law clerks at SMUD."

— Andrew Meditz ’09, Senior Attorney, Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)

Hear Our Podcast on How You Can Build Your Experience with an MSL Degree