Legal Studies Master's Degree

Legal Studies Master's Degree Online Master of Science (M.S.)

About the Legal Studies Master's Degree

As a student in the 100% online Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Legal Studies, you will develop comprehensive knowledge about law and public policy in local, regional and international contexts. At California University of Pennsylvania, you will focus on the law and legal systems to better understand how individuals depend on order and communal stability.

Through the study of jurisprudence and legal analysis, you will become adept at the real purpose of law in modern life. You'll have the opportunity to further specialize your studies by choosing from one of the following concentration options:

Benefit from our comprehensive online graduate degree.

The Cal U online legal studies master's degree is distinct from other master's degree programs because of its focus on the practical legal and policy issues related to homeland security, criminal justice, and law and public policy.

  • The homeland security concentration enables students to examine and apply the legal issues related to homeland security at the federal, state and local government levels, as well as in the private sector.
  • Criminal justice concentration students focus on understanding and applying the legal and policy issues related to criminal justice agencies in federal, state and local governments.
  • Law and public policy concentration courses help students learn and apply the principles of legal research and policy analysis to a wide variety of complex governmental policy issues.

 These concentration areas are also available as 100% online graduate certificates.


Degree Flexibility:  Students can earn their master's degree 100% online in two years of full-time study and be prepared for a new career or for advancement in current employment. This degree program gives students the opportunity to study specialized areas with such courses as: Domestic Extremism; Executive Protection and the Law; Law, Science and Forensic Applications; Law and Police Process (Police Civil Liability); Digital Imaging, Forensic Photography and the Law; Law, Justice and the Family; and Law and the International Community.

Program Advantages: Students in the M.S. in Legal Studies program benefit from a very interactive learning environment with professionals from a variety of career fields through the United States. Professors in the program have practical experience and expert knowledge of the subjects they teach, and can provide students with valuable opportunities for networking and partnering on research for publication in various academic and professional journals. FBINAA Logo.


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As a fully online program, Cal U's Master of Legal Studies is flexible and accessible.
Concentrations available in the legal studies program: criminal justice, homeland security, and law and public policy.
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Degree Benefits

The 100% online master's degree in legal studies is designed for working professionals and serious students to analyze and apply the law in myriad settings. Earning your master's degree will prepare you to:  

  • Interpret and analyze legal materials such as case law and statutory materials.
  • Explain the public policy impact of judicial rulings and legislative policy.
  • Frame legal issues for specific legal dilemmas.
  • Weigh and evaluate legal arguments and legal remedies in a particular dilemma.
  • Conduct legal research on diverse topical coverage in law.
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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 a variety of career fields. Because this graduate degree program blends the fields of humanities, business, political science, jurisprudence, criminal justice and homeland security, the skills students acquire also can be applied to many other professions. Cal U graduates are sought by leading employers in the legal and public policy sectors, including:

  • Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • Local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.
  • Department of Homeland Security.
  • Local, state, and federal correctional agencies.
  • Juvenile justice agencies.
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency.
  • Private sector security.
  • Law firms.
  • Local, state, and federal government agencies.
Legal Studies 100% Online Master's Degree
legal studies masters degree

Homeland Security:


Graduate students in the homeland security concentration study such issues as domestic extremism in the United States; biological, chemical, nuclear and WMD threats in homeland security; intelligence practice in homeland security; domestic extremism; terrorism, threat and vulnerability analysis, and protection. Elective courses enable students to explore digital imaging; forensic photography and the law; law and the international community; financial investigations; law, science and forensic applications; and other specialized topics.

legal studies masters degree

Criminal Justice:

The criminal justice concentration examines financial investigations, criminal justice organization and management, justice studies, sexual assault investigations, and police civil liability. Criminal justice students in the legal studies master's degree program can also choose from a range of elective courses such as: polygraph and lie detection; law, punishment and corrections; domestic extremism; digital imaging, forensic photography and the law; law and public policy; law, science and forensic applications; and other specialized areas.

legal studies masters degree

Law and Public Policy:

Courses in the law and public policy concentration focus on the impact of law on criminal conduct, civil litigation, the international community, administrative agencies, business and the workplace. Graduate students in the law and public policy concentration can expand on their studies with such elective courses as law and the police process; law, culture and society; law, science and forensic applications; law and the environment; and more.

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

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
    • Unofficial 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

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.
Adjunct Faculty

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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, 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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