Online, On Purpose: The Government Law & Policy Program at McGeorge


To keep supporting students during the Covid19 crisis, most graduate schools have moved their programs online. That means you have more options than ever when it comes to choosing an online Government Law and Policy program from which to earn your Master of Science in Law. 

At first glance, these programs might look similar, but not all online learning is created equal. Courses originally produced for in-person instruction don’t translate directly to the digital space. The MSL from McGeorge School of Law, on the other hand, was designed for online learning.

Online learning might be your first choice, or you might be reluctantly investigating remote learning because you don’t want the pandemic to delay your goal of getting a master’s degree. In either case, choosing the right online learning program can make a big difference in the value you get from the program. As you decide between MSL programs, consider these factors: 

– Was the program designed for online learning?

– Will you have opportunities to connect with classmates and faculty and build your professional network? 

– Does the program have a history of excellence in online instruction? 

Designed for online learning

In a commentary for CalMatters, Lark Park, Director of the California Education Learning Lab, wrote: 

The current COVID-19 pandemic can catalyze public higher ed to make advances like never before: to reimagine how faculty use technology and collaborate with each other and engage students; to invigorate institutional collaborations between UC, CSU and community colleges for the benefit of students; to make significant gains in the use of open, online educational resources. 

McGeorge’s MSL program has been harnessing these types of opportunities since long before the pandemic crisis. Carefully designed to foster learning and skills development for professionals, the Government Law & Policy program uses innovative technology, invites collaboration, and helps students access the tools and resources they need to advance their careers.  

McGeorge knows that the online space presents different opportunities and challenges than in-person learning. When a program that was never designed to work online suddenly goes digital, both students and professors are at a disadvantage. Professors struggle to convert lessons to an online format, while students try to make sense of a changing learning environment. Often, students are left confused and overwhelmed. 

Creating an online curriculum isn’t as simple as just taking an existing course and putting it online. Converting a program for online delivery takes time and intention. Digitizing course material is just the beginning of the process. Decisions must be made about what combination of learning material—lectures, quizzes, live Zoom sessions, readings, and so on—best support the goals of a course. Courses must be structured in a way that fosters engagement with professors and between students. Opportunities for self-assessment must be provided. Course delivery must be engaging and accessible, and support must be readily available if needed. 

While other programs are scrambling to create effective learning spaces for students, McGeorge’s Government Law & Policy program continues to find new ways to support student success. 

How to choose an online graduate program

When choosing where to enroll in the fall, master’s students should weigh their options carefully. They should choose programs that are designed for online learning and foster communication and collaboration. 

Of course, many students start by evaluating the curriculum. The program should offer opportunities to learn about relevant and timely topics in government law and policy. Yet a strong curriculum is just the start. How it is delivered separates programs that are designed for online learning from those that have been hastily converted. 

In our program, you can count on online courses that are clear and intuitive to use. You’ll view short, interesting and engaging video lectures. You’ll read relevant materials and engage with your professor and other students on online discussion boards. You’ll complete assignments that are crafted to work especially well in an online environment. We use tools and technology that supports robust engagement, and we’ll ensure you receive ample feedback and stay on track for successful course completion. 

Excellence in online learning

McGeorge School of Law is investigating every opportunity to enhance online learning for our students. We already have a strong foundation with our nationally-ranked program in public law and our renowned Capital Center for Law and Policy. Faculty from these programs lead course delivery and development for the online MSL. Our online MSL program is taught by McGeorge’s distinguished full-time faculty, practicing lawyers, and industry experts who are well versed in online instruction. 

McGeorge School of Law’s MSL in Government Law & Policy is now and always has been designed for online learning. Discover the difference an optimized online curriculum can make. Enroll today.