MASTER OF SCIENCE IN LAW, WATER & ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

Program Description

McGeorge’s world-class Water & Environmental Law Program was the foundation for our online MSL and Water Environmental Law. This master’s degree will provide students with the opportunity to learn from our distinguished faculty and program team as well as various panels of experts who are focused on water and environmental law and the changing policies surrounding both. We want to provide our students with the most robust learning program and acclaimed professionals in the field. We do this by providing each and every student with the resources to learn from the best, interact with esteemed classmates and colleagues, and hear from experts across the field of law.

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

Man walking on wooden walkway in nature. Closeup of human feet in shoes

The online MSL in Water & Environmental Law provides value to land use planners, engineers, environmental consultants, public information officers, lobbyists, public agency and legislative staff, and others who seek expertise in this continually-evolving field, but who do not require a law degree.


  • Enhance potential for career advancement with specialized knowledge in water and environmental law to “talk the talk and walk the walk"
  • Gain in-depth legal knowledge in this specific area of law.
  • Networking opportunities with faculty and experts in the area of water and environmental law, as well as other 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


  • Enhance potential for career advancement with specialized knowledge in water and environmental law to “talk the talk and walk the walk”
  • Gain in-depth legal knowledge in this specific area of law.
  • Networking opportunities with faculty and experts in the area of water and environmental law, as well as other 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, Water & Environmental Law Concentration



The Water & Environmental Law 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.
  • Similar to in-person courses, 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)