Law and Public Policy

Law and Public Policy Think deeply about issues that matter to our communities.

About Law and Public Policy

Think deeply about issues that matter to our communities.

You’ll build valuable professional skills as you explore the complex relationship between law and public policy. This concentration within the M.S. in Legal Studies program at California University of Pennsylvania focuses on the analysis and application of law in a multitude of contexts.

Delivered entirely online, the law and public policy degree program empowers working professionals and other serious students to address, analyze and critique the law and its public policy implications.

You’ll gain knowledge, skills and confidence as you examine law and public policy from social, administrative, juridical, ethical, operational and managerial perspectives.

Examine the law's comprehensive impact on society.

The intersection of law and public policy has practical ramifications for individuals, communities and our society.

With this in mind, program faculty challenge students to hone their research, writing and analytical skills as they engage with case law, statutory law and administrative regulations and learn to support arguments with reputable sources.

The online master’s in legal studies can be completed in one year of full-time or two years of part-time study.


Move ahead
Cal U’s law and public policy concentration is an excellent option for anyone who needs specialized knowledge and understanding of the law, including professionals seeking to advance their careers or move into leadership roles. Paralegals, law enforcement and business professionals, and those employed in the justice system are ideally positioned to benefit from this graduate-level program.

Core principles
The law and public policy degree program creates wide-ranging educational opportunities. Courses focus on the impact of law on criminal conduct, civil litigation, the international community, administrative agencies, businesses, families and more.

Certificate option
In addition to the master’s degree program, Cal U offers a fully online, 15-credit graduate certificate in law and public policy. Complete the certificate in just 12 months so you can prepare to begin a new career or advance in your current profession. The certificate can be earned as a standalone credential or as part of the master's degree program.


Because it’s entirely web-based, the online master’s in legal studies is a flexible option for busy professionals.
Credits required to complete the law and public policy concentration.
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Degree Benefits

The law and public policy degree program challenges you to think deeply as you analyze and apply the law in various settings.

  • Critique the law and its implications from many perspectives: social, administrative, juridical and more.
  • Examine ethical considerations in legal decision-making.
  • Assess how the law influences our culture, our communities and individuals.
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Graduate Outcomes

Cal U's online master's degree in legal studies prepares you for well-paying and rewarding careers in the legal environment. Because this graduate degree program blends the humanities and business with political science and jurisprudence, the skills students acquire also can be applied to many other professions. Graduates of this program have found rewarding careers with leading employers in this field.

Law and Public Policy Concentration - M.S., Legal Studies

Valuable network

The M.S. in legal studies program attracts a wide range of professionals, including police and other law enforcement officers, paralegals, private sector security personnel, military members, government agents and more. Students can make important contacts and build a valuable career network.


Professional resource

Program coordinator Dr. Christina Toras, a licensed, practicing attorney, is also director of the Institute for Law and Public Policy at Cal U. The institute provides continuing education for a wide range of professionals in southwestern Pennsylvania through degree and certificate programs, and professional development and training opportunities.


Faculty Support

Students in the Legal Studies: Law and Public Policy degree program receive academic and professional advisement from the program coordinator and Cal U faculty. A dedicated faculty adviser will work closely with you to discuss, monitor and guide your program of study and offer career advice.

Law and Public Policy Concentration Courses

The master's degree program emphasizes critical thinking, analysis and intensive writing as related to the most critical legal and policy issues.



Course Credits
LAW 600  Law and Public Policy  3
LAW 601  Law and Ethics 3
LAW 602  Law, Civil Liberties and the Constitution 3
LAW 603  Law and Legal Method 3
LAW 607  Law and Criminal Conduct 3
LAW 608  Law and Civil Litigation 3
LAW 610  Law, Justice and the Family 3
LAW 700  Law and the International Community 3
LAW 701  Law and Administrative Agencies 3
LAW 704  Law, Business and the Workplace 3
Total 30
Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements (Regular)  

  • Bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.00 or higher (Students with a GPA below 3.00 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution
  • International Global Online Applicants

Conditional Admission Requirements

  • Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements.  Those admitted conditionally based on missing document/s have up to a maximum of two semesters to satisfy these requirements:
    • Bachelor's degree with a GPA under 3.00 will be reviewed for a decision
    • Official transcripts
    • Resume with contact information for three professional references with an overview of professional work experience
    • 500-word essay supporting the application

How to Apply:

School of Graduate Studies and Research
California University of Pennsylvania
Box 91
250 University Ave. 
California, PA 15419

  • Submit unofficial transcripts and other documents by mail (using the address above), email ( or fax (724-938-5712) 

For additional information:
Phone: 1.866.595.6348

Legal Studies Online Master of Science (M.S.)

Dual Concentrations


M.S., Legal Studies Faculty

Larry Bassi

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Jeffrey Davidson

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Kevin Govern, J.D., LL.M.

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David Heller
Adjunct Professor

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Brian Kohlhepp, M.A.
Assistant Professor

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William Morgan, J.D.
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David Smith, M.S., M.A., J.D.

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Dr. Christina A. Toras, J.D., M.A.
Professor, Legal Studies Program Coordinator, Director of the Institute for Law and Public Policy

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Michael Vennum, J.D.

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Dr. Karl Williams, M.D., M.P.H.

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