Best Online Master’s in Business Law Programs 2024

Discover the best online master's in business law programs and what to expect.
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Updated on April 23, 2024
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As you review potential online master's in business law programs, you'll find plenty of different options to suit your specific interests. For instance, a master of legal studies requires a bachelor's degree as a prerequisite, while the master of laws (LL.M.) in business law mandates all applicants hold a juris doctor (JD) before applying.

On this page, you can learn more about the available business law master's degrees and discover the differences among them.

Featured Online Master's in Business Law Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

2024 Best Online Master's in Business Law Programs

We use trusted sources like Peterson's Data and the National Center for Education Statistics to inform the data for these schools. BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site. from our partners appear among these rankings and are indicated as such.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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#1 Best Online Master’s in Business Law Programs 2024

Florida State University

  • Tallahassee, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $1,200
Out-of-State | $1,200

Credits to Graduate: 26

Established in 1949, Virginia's George Mason University is a public research institution that serves over 43,000 students annually. Among the school's top online programs is a master of law program that's designed for foreign-trained lawyers who can complete this program in just one year.

Throughout this 26-credit online program, students complete core classes, including an introduction to United States law, economics for lawyers, and professional responsibility. The bulk of the program consists of 19 credits of electives that can help students fulfill eligibility requirements to sit for a bar exam in the U.S. 

Applicants must provide official transcripts, a personal statement, a current resume, and proof of English language proficiency.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$5,616
Out-of-state
$18,746
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$10,662
Out-of-state
$26,657
Retention Rate
94%
Acceptance Rate
25%
Students Enrolled
44,134
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
58% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#2 Best Online Master’s in Business Law Programs 2024

George Mason University

  • Fairfax, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $690
Out-of-State | $1,357

Credits to Graduate: 24

Florida State University is home to a flexible and affordable LL.M in business law that students can complete entirely online. Online business law students complete 24 credits before graduation and tackle vital courses such as business organizations, civil litigation fundamentals, regulatory compliance, and government contracting.

This business law master's program offers concentrations in areas such as cybersecurity, employment law, financial regulation, and healthcare regulation management. Prospective students must hold a JD from an ABA-accredited college or university. Additionally, applicants must include a personal statement, resume, and letters of recommendation.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$9,796
Out-of-state
$33,960
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$13,426
Out-of-state
$35,377
Retention Rate
85%
Acceptance Rate
90%
Students Enrolled
39,238
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
78% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

How We Rank Schools

To create this ranking, BestColleges sourced the most recent data available from the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard. We then ranked each school according to the top variables college students selected in our College Choice and Admissions Survey. To learn more, check out our full rankings methodology or read the summary below.

To qualify for our rankings lists, each school must be an accredited public or private, nonprofit institution. Each eligible school was then ranked based on a formula measuring:

  • Affordability (30%)
  • Student outcomes (30%)
  • Reputation (20%)
  • Diversity and social mobility (20%)

In addition, we only included colleges with graduation rates in the top third of all online colleges.

What Can I Do With a Business Law Degree?

Earning a master's degree focused on business law can give you the skills and qualifications necessary to apply for many jobs. Some graduates may decide they want to work in the courtroom and pursue work as a paralegal or litigation attorney after graduating.

Others may find they enjoy the business side of things and move toward finance or human resources positions. If you feel passionate about educating the next generation of business law experts, a professorship may offer the right path.

Possible Jobs With a Business Law Degree
Jobs Median Pay (2023) Job Outlook (2022-2032)
Intellectual Property Paralegal $60,970 4%
Business Law Professor $84,380 8%
Financial Analyst $99,890 8%
Human Resources Manager $136,350 5%
Litigation Attorney $145,760 8%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Additional Career Options

  • Compliance manager: According to Payscale, compliance managers currently earn an average base salary of about $86,261 per year and work in many different industries. Business law knowledge is highly valued in this sector, as these professionals frequently work on legal, regulatory, and compliance issues. They also often work alongside attorneys to develop systems and policies.
  • Policy manager: As the title implies, policy managers oversee the policies of their organization, ensuring they follow all regulations and laws. They may review existing policies for legality or develop new policies to meet new needs. As of 2024, these professionals earned an average base salary of just over $54,099 annually, per Payscale.
  • Corporate counsel: Corporate counsel, also known as in-house counsel, provides legal and non-legal guidance to businesses and acts as their attorneys, responds to legal complaints, and ensures compliance with all laws and regulations. They also advocate for their clients within trials and appeals. These members earn an average annual base salary of about $131,195 as of 2024, according to Payscale.

Which One Should I Choose: Master of Arts or Master of Science?

With so many different master's degrees centered around business law, it's important to understand how these programs compare and contrast. Below, you can read about four options you may encounter during your research.

Master of Laws vs. Master of Science in Law

LL.M. programs approach the study of law from a humanities perspective, emphasizing studies in history, communications, and philosophy.

A master of science in law focuses more on technical aspects, including the study of data, technology, and business topics. Graduates may decide to work in more scientific realms, such as medicine or technology.

Master of Legal Studies vs. Master of Science in Legal Studies

Master of legal studies programs appeal to those who don't want to become lawyers but do want to work within legal systems. Earning one of these degrees qualifies graduates for roles such as compliance officer, court administrator, and paralegal.

MS in legal studies programs can help students think like legal professionals, enabling them to navigate legal issues and understand the business law landscape. Common classes may include employment law, business contracts, regulatory policy and process, and corporate governance.

What to Expect: Types of Master's in Business Law Programs

After deciding whether a master of arts or a master of science more closely aligns with your professional goals, it's time to figure out which type of law program will work best for your trajectory. We examine some of the most common ones below.

MA or MS in Legal Studies With an Emphasis on Business Law

Master of legal studies programs require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree in business or a related subject and demonstrate an interest in business law. These programs typically require between one and two years of study and cover topics such as U.S. law and legal systems, legal research and writing, and business law ethics.

MA or MS of Law in Business

These programs look for candidates with at least a bachelor's degree and some professional experience. Designed to include courses from both the LL.M. and JD curricula, these programs present students with a nice blend of topics. These commonly include general business law, navigating the regulatory state, and contracts and negotiations.

Master of Dispute Resolution

Both lawyers and non-lawyers are drawn to master of dispute resolution degree programs, as they provide specialized training in an important area. Typically lasting between one and three years, these programs typically include coursework in arbitration practice and advocacy, cross-cultural conflict and dispute resolution, and negotiation theory.

Master of Jurisprudence With an Emphasis in Business Law

While an MJ doesn't allow you to practice law, it does offer valuable knowledge, particularly focused on business law. Most programs take between one and two years to complete and emphasize studies in topics such as global regulatory compliance, risk management and auditing, and advanced compliance analysis.

JD/MBA Joint Degree Program

Designed for those who want to become lawyers and possess a thorough knowledge of the legal landscape, joint JD and MBA programs usually take between three and four years to complete and require candidates to hold a bachelor's degree and supply LSAT/GRE scores. Classes focus on both legal and business topics and typically vacillate between the schools of law and business.

Frequently Asked Questions About Business Law Programs

Can I be a lawyer if I get a master's in business law degree?

It depends. Any person who wants to practice as a licensed lawyer must successfully earn a JD, pass their state's bar exam, and seek licensure. Unless you specifically pursue a JD, you cannot be a lawyer.

Because part of understanding business law involves being able to decipher a company's finances, you will be expected to understand accounting and fiscal concepts in most jobs. That said, you probably won't encounter any advanced mathematics classes in your master's degree.

Depending on your intended profession, a master's in business law can be very useful. The knowledge gained in these programs is in demand by hiring managers and translates well to many different industries and positions.

Earning a master's degree related to business law can be very beneficial, as evidenced by BLS findings. As of 2023, lawyers earned a median annual salary of $145,760; those in the top 10% of earners brought home more than $239,200 per year during the same period.

The career path you take within business law largely determines the type of work you do. While HR managers, financial analysts, and compliance officers usually spend their time in offices, courtroom-based professionals, such as lawyers and judges, work directly within legal systems.


Note: The insights on this page — excluding school descriptions — were reviewed by an independent third party compensated for their time by BestColleges. Page last reviewed March 29, 2024.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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