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Master in Law Curriculum

This degree is currently available exclusively to the Penn community of current graduate students and staff.

Our curriculum is designed for students and professionals coming from disciplines outside of the law who wish to complement their academic and professional pursuits with an understanding of the law that impacts their fields.  The ML curriculum grounds students with a foundation in U.S. law and provides them opportunities to develop specialized legal knowledge applicable to their fields by combining our uniquely designed ML coursework with classes from our upper-level law curriculum.

ML Degree Requirements

Eight courses are required to complete the Master in Law degree. Although the degree is structured for the student to complete 4 ML foundational courses and 4 courses from the JD curriculum, there is some flexibility between these two categories according to the following requirements:

A minimum of four courses must be from the ML foundational curriculum.  The following three courses are required for the degree and are designed to ground students in key legal concepts in the US legal system and integrate students into the law school classroom:

  • Introduction to U.S. Law and Legal Methods (LAWM 511-301)
  • Introduction to General Business Law (LAWM 528-301)
  • Navigating the Regulatory State (LAWM 529-301)

Remaining ML foundational courses which students can use to specialize according to their interests are:

  • Introduction to the American Constitution (LAWM 505-301)
  • Introduction to Technology Law and Ethics (LAWM 506-301)
  • Compliance and Corporate Governance (LAWM 522-301)
  • Introduction to Health Law and Policy (LAWM 530-301)
  • Medical Negligence & Tort Law Fundamentals (LAWM 513-301)
  • Contracts and Negotiations (LAWM 515-301)
  • online Fundamentals of US Legal Research (LAWM 536-301)
  • online Introduction to Patent Law (LAWM 576-301)

The foundation courses provide a comprehensive overview of the fundamental aspects of law and legal principles across disciplines, including jurisdiction and sources of law, business entities, the regulatory environment, the role and function of administrative agencies, and much more. 

ML students may take more than four ML foundational courses.  At least one of the student’s eight courses required to complete the degree must be taken from Penn Law’s JD curriculum. The remaining coursework can be taken from either available classes in Penn Law’s rich and varied JD curriculum, or from its ML offerings designed for non-lawyers (ML courses are listed with the suffix ’301’ e.g. LAWM XXX-301).

Coursework may be completed on a full-time or part-time basis and members of the Penn community may take one or more ML courses either as stand alone courses of interest or before or without enrolling in the ML degree program.   Note that a maximum of two ML courses taken prior to matriculation in the ML program may be applied toward the ML degree if request is made and approval is given by the ML program.

Starting the ML program with Introduction to US Law, LAWM 511-301 is highly recommended.  This class is offered Fall, Spring and Summer sessions.

The Master in Law Foundation Courses:


View ML summary course descriptions here.



  • **New Course** Medical Negligence & Tort Law Fundamentals-LAWM 513-301: Thursdays 5:30-8:15pm
  • **New Course** Contracts and Negotiations - LAWM 515-301: Tuesdays 5:30-8:15 pm
  • **Dean Ruger teaching** Introduction to American Constitutional Law - LAWM 505-301: Mondays 5:30-8:15 pm
  • Corporate Compliance: Policy and Practice - LAWM 522-301: Thursdays 5:30-8:15 pm
  • Introduction to U.S. Law and Legal Methods - LAWM 511-301: Mon/Wed 9:00-10:20am
  • Introduction to General Business Law - LAWM 528-301: Wednesdays 5:30-8:15 pm
  • Navigating the Regulatory State - LAWM 529-301: Mondays 5:30-8:15 pm
  • Introduction to Health Law and Policy - LAWM 530-301: Tuesdays 5:30-8:15 pm
  • Introduction to Tech Law and Ethics - LAWM 506-301: Wednesdays 5:30-8:15 pm
  • Introduction to Patent Law - LAWM 576-301: Online 



  • Introduction to U.S. Law and Legal Methods - LAWM 511-301 (Tuesdays & Thursdays)
  • Introduction to General Business Law - LAWM 528-301 (Mondays & Wednesdays)



  • Introduction to U.S. Law and Legal Methods - LAWM 511-301
  • Introduction to American Constitutional Law - LAWM 505-301
  • Introduction to General Business Law - LAWM 528-301
  • Navigating the Regulatory State - LAWM 529-301
  • Introduction to Health Law and Policy - LAWM 530-301
  • Introduction to Technology Law and Ethics - LAWM 506-301
  • Fundamentals of US Legal Research - LAWM 536-301

All ML courses are full credit (1 CU) courses.

Upper Level Penn Law courses

In addition to the foundation courses which are specifically designed for students coming to us from outside of the law school, up to four courses from Penn Law’s upper level JD curriculum may be taken to complete the Master in Law coursework. In these upper level courses, Master in Law students will sit along side and interact with Penn Law JD students, enriching the entire classroom with their unique perspectives and experiences while also enabling Master in Law students to better understand how lawyers approach and analyze legal issues in various disciplines. 

To view our courses in the JD curriculum, please visit COURSEFINDER HERE.

Dual Degree Candidates

Dual degree candidates may request credit towards their Master in Law degree for up to two law-relevant classes taken outside of the law school while enrolled in a dual or joint program, deemed relevant to their Master in Law studies and subject to the policies and approvals of their other academic program.

*Course schedules are tentative until confirmed and listed as final by the Penn Law Registrar during Advance Registration.  ML courses may be found in Penn in Touch under the course code LAWM.