Northwestern msl program

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Master of Science in Law

Where STEM, Law, and Business Converge

MSL logoScience, engineering, and technology are increasingly driving the world economy. STEM professionals who understand and anticipate the legal, regulatory, and business implications of their work will be best prepared to lead the development of innovation and policy.

The unique MSL curriculum centers on the intersection of law, business, and technology, with specific focus areas in business law and entrepreneurship, intellectual property and patent design, and regulatory analysis and strategy. Courses are designed specifically for MSL students, and students have the flexibility to design course plans that fit their particular interests and professional goals.

MSL students greatly benefit from studying at one of the nation’s most prestigious law schools. Students have access to a highly successful alumni base, in addition to world-renowned faculty and broader Northwestern University resources. Northwestern Law is also a long-standing leader in curricular innovation, known for launching several other path-breaking programs. MSL students truly enjoy the best of both worlds: an innovative, new law degree awarded by an established, world-class law school.

Degree Formats

The MSL degree is offered in three formats:

MSL Online Part-time 

The MSL online program is designed for STEM professionals around the world who wish to advance their careers by deepening their understanding of law and business within the STEM context. The online MSL is a part-time program, which can be completed in two to four years. 

For additional information about Northwestern Law's Master of Science in Law program, please email [email protected]


MSL Program

These awards were established in 2019 to honor the teaching excellence of faculty teaching Master of Science in Law (MSL) students. The recipients are selected by students enrolled in the MSL program.

MSL Outstanding Residential Professor

RecipientsAcademic Year
Peter DiCola2020-2021
Katie Marie Zouhary2019-2020

MSL Outstanding Online Professor

RecipientsAcademic Year
George Pike2020-2021
Susan Provenzano2019-2020

Small MSL Class

RecipientsAcademic Year
Nancy Gamburd2018-2019

Large MSL Class

RecipientsAcademic Year
Michael Barsa    2018-2019
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Dual Degree for Northwestern Undergraduates (BS/BA-MSL Program)


Director:  Leslie Oster

Program Overview

The BS-MSL and the BA-MSL are dual degree programs that include an undergraduate BS or BA degree from either the McCormick School of Engineering or the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences plus a Master of Science in Law degree (MSL) from the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. Undergraduate students can be admitted to the program as early as their junior year, allowing them to immediately begin participating in various Law School activities. Admitted students have the option of enrolling in certain MSL courses during their senior year. 

Classes, Credits and Transcripts

Students admitted to the program who wish to begin MSL study while still undergraduates will meet with advisors from both schools. With advisors’ approval, admitted students can take up to 4 MSL courses during their senior year. These MSL classes can be taken during two MSL terms; the second half of fall semester (Fall 2 term) and the first half of spring semester (Spring 1 term).

For Weinberg Students:
Credits earned in MSL courses while the student is an undergraduate will be counted toward the MSL degree and not toward the undergraduate degree. When Weinberg graduates matriculate in the MSL program, they will complete only the number of credits remaining after the credits they completed as undergraduate students are subtracted from the required total of 28 credits. 

For McCormick Students: 
Credits earned in MSL courses while the student is an undergraduate will be counted either toward the undergraduate degree or the MSL degree; the decision about where to apply the credits will be made by the student with advisor approval. If the credits are applied toward the bachelor’s degree, then, once enrolled in the MSL, the student will take the full number of credits required to complete the MSL degree. If the credits are applied toward the MSL degree, then, once enrolled in the MSL, the student will be required to complete only the number of credits remaining after the credits completed as an undergraduate are subtracted from the required total of 28 credits. If any of the MSL courses completed while the student is an undergraduate are required courses, the student will not have to repeat those courses as an MSL student, regardless of whether the credits for those courses are counted toward the bachelor’s degree or towards the MSL degree. 

For both Weinberg and McCormick Students: 
MSL courses taken while the student is an undergraduate will appear on the undergraduate transcript. Notations will be made on the law transcript if the student is counting MSL credits taken while an undergraduate toward the MSL degree and also if the student has satisfied particular MSL requirements prior to enrollment in the MSL Program. Since bachelor’s and law degrees are reflected on separate transcripts, students will have to request both documents to demonstrate completion of the respective coursework and degrees. 

Meet Northwestern Law

Since the start of the online format of the MSL program, we have been adding new courses each year; for the upcoming spring semester, we have added four new classes to the online curriculum. These courses include two electives that have traditionally been offered in the residential format and will now be offered for the […]

The MSL Class of 2020, comprised of nearly 90 residential and online students, has officially graduated! This year’s graduating class was special in more ways than we can count, but a few attributes that make the class unforgettable include their tenacity, resilience, confidence, and camaraderie displayed throughout the program – oh, and completing their degrees […]

After the Master of Science in Law degree was launched in 2014, we began hearing from STEM professionals in all parts of the US and the world who were very interested in the content of the degree, but could not move to Chicago to enroll in the program. With the goal of making the degree […]

Dan Hoefler of Northwestern’s Digital Learning recently published the below article about the launch of the online MSL program. Read the full article below! First Cohort of Northwestern Law’s New Online Program Begins Classes On Monday, August 27th, the first cohort of Northwestern Pritzker School of Law’s new online Master of Science in Law (MSL) program officially began its […]

Admitted Students Day is an exciting chance for faculty and staff to meet the incoming cohort and to give them a sense of Law School life. Last month, we had the pleasure of hosting students and their families for a tour of campus, an informational session with staff, and a welcome from our outgoing dean, […]

Camera Crew Films Professors Sue Provenzano and Martha Kanter

This fall will see the start of the new MSL Online program, a unique opportunity that brings the rigorous legal training of the residential program to an even wider group of STEM professionals. Though the application process, admissions standards, academic requirements and curriculum will be consistent between the two formats, online education has to be […]

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin featured the new online version of the Master of Science in Law and talked to Leslie Oster, program director of the MSL, about the benefits of the online degree. “Creating an online version makes the degree more accessible to a wider range of students,” Oster said. “It will also help extend the reach […]


Msl program northwestern

MSL Students

Welcome, Incoming MSL Students!

We are very pleased to welcome you to our MSL Program and can promise you an exciting and rewarding year of study. Please carefully review the information below to help you prepare for your arrival. If you have any questions, you may contact Alhadidi, MSL Program Assistant.

Orientation Week Schedule 

Before You Arrive

There are a few things you must do before arriving on campus, as listed below.

Admission Health Records (AHR)
Please be sure to review and comply with the immunization requirements as soon as possible. Failure to comply with all health requirements will complicate registering for classes. For more information about the AHR and health entrance requirements, please visit the Entrance Health Requirements website.

You can mail your completed AHR to:
Northwestern University Health Service
Attn: Health Information Management Service
633 Emerson Street
Evanston, IL 60208-4000

Official Transcripts
If you have not already, please submit official copies of all your transcripts to the Admissions Office prior to the start of orientation. Official transcripts (including the institution's seal, the degree and date the degree was awarded, the grade point average, and a school official's signature) should be sent directly to the Admissions Office from the issuing institution.

All transcripts should be mailed to:

        Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
        Office of Admissions and Financial Aid
        375 E. Chicago Avenue, RB 130
        Chicago, Il 60611

Laptop Requirements

  • All incoming students are required to have a computer that meets or exceeds the University's recommended guidelines.
  • For further information and links to Dell and Apple educational purchase website, go to Laptop Requirements.
  • Laptops that do not meet the minimum specifications will receive limited support from IT.

Public Service Events

  • Day of Service sites (Actual sites may vary): Alliance for the Great Lakes, Greater Chicago Food Depository,  Habitat for Humanity Restore, Jarvis Bird Sanctuary, Legal Prep Charter School, PAWS Animal Shelter, Red Door Animal Shelter, Talcott Fine Arts and Museum Academy, The Center on Wrongful Convictions, Women's Justice Institute.
  • Day of Service site for Sunday, August 29th: Deborah's Place
MSL Student Perspectives: Erwin Cruz (MSL '17), Director, IP Strategy and Management


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