As colleges and universities navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, we're continuing our efforts to provide you with useful student resources and the latest online program information. Check our coronavirus resources page to learn more.
Earning a master's in business law can lead to many exciting opportunities for lawyers and other professionals in related fields. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the demand for business lawyers is projected to grow between 2019 and 2029 as corporate regulations increase in complexity and outsourcing costs cause organizations to hire more in-house lawyers.
Graduates with business law training also enjoy significant career flexibility and financial rewards. Throughout this page, we examine the best online master's in business law programs and provide information about common coursework and relevant career opportunities. For more information, consult our master's in business law program guide.
What Are the Best Online Master's in Business Law Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top 5:
Is your school on this list? Get the BestColleges ranking seal.
|1||Tulane University||New Orleans, LA|
|2||Loyola University of Chicago||Chicago, IL|
|3||Western Michigan University||Lansing, MI|
|4||The University of Alabama||Tuscaloosa, AL|
|5||Widener University||Chester, PA|
- How We Rank Schools
At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students.
Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our Ranking Methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.
2020 Best Accredited Online Master's in Business Law Programs
Is your school on this list? Get the BestColleges ranking seal.
|New Orleans, LA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 85%||
Tulane's online master's degree in labor and employment law appeals to working professionals who want an asynchronous program. The 30-credit curriculum includes coursework in legal analysis, an introduction to employment discrimination law, and sex and gender issues in the workplace. Full-time students can earn their degree in two years.
The university helps degree-seekers and alumni earn high-paying jobs by offering an extensive alumni network. Students can also access CRIS — an online portal that features job postings and career development courses.
Admission requirements include GRE scores and undergraduate transcripts. Tulane does not charge out-of-state tuition to online degree-seekers. All incoming learners submit FAFSA results to apply for federal aid programs.
Loyola University of Chicago
|Chicago, IL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 74%||
Practicing attorneys who want to specialize may be interested in Loyola's master's in business law and compliance program. The hybrid curriculum features three core courses: business planning, international business transactions, and a business law thesis. Through approximately 25 electives, students can explore topics like contracts and entertainment law. Students must earn a total of 24 credits, including a written thesis.
Specialized career services for law students include one-on-one advising sessions, mock interviews, and the latest information concerning judicial clerkships throughout the nation. Thanks to these resources, 91% of Loyola's School of Law alumni find a job within 10 months of graduation.
Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree and a law degree. Students who live outside of Illinois do not pay higher tuition rates. Loyola's advisors help prospective and current students explore federal and private financial aid opportunities.
Western Michigan University
|Lansing, MI||Graduation Rate: 74%||
WMU's Law School offers an online master's in corporate law and finance. Courses in this 36-credit program include advanced corporate transactions, corporate professional responsibility, and corporate governance and finance. Students can customize the program by selecting a global track or a small business track.
WMU provides law students with personalized resources like career coaches, mock interview programs, and networking opportunities. These services help nearly two-thirds of alumni find a job before or immediately after graduating.
Admission requirements include a JD, one recommendation letter, a personal statement, and a writing sample. Full-time students receive a significant tuition discount compared to part-time learners. Merit-based scholarships award up to full tuition to eligible learners.
The University of Alabama
|Tuscaloosa, AL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 72%||
UA's online master of laws program offers a concentration in business transactions. During the 24-credit curriculum, students analyze tax procedures, partnerships, and executive compensation. In the program's final year, students take comprehensive examinations on UA's Tuscaloosa campus.
Approximately 94% of alumni report finding a job within 10 months of earning a degree. UA helps students achieve professional success by posting the latest job openings and resume guides on Symplicity — the university's online career resources platform.
Prospective students submit undergraduate and graduate transcripts, and UA recommends — but does not require — one recommendation letter. The program does not charge out-of-state tuition.
|Chester, PA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 63%||
Widener offers a dual MBA/master of jurisprudence in corporate and business law. Students complete 48 credits to earn both degrees in just 2.5 years. All coursework can be taken online.
Participants complete 24 credits of business classes as well as 24 credits of law classes. Coursework covers topics like corporate compliance and ethics, managing business processes, and information systems and data analytics. Students also take two capstone courses.
Applicants to the dual-degree program must hold a bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students should send in transcripts, a resume, two letters of recommendation, and a summary describing why they want to enroll in the program. Some students may also be asked to submit GMAT scores.
What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Business Law Program?
A master's in business laws program usually takes 1-2 years to finish, depending on the program's format and a student's course load.
A standard law degree, such as a juris doctor (JD), typically prepares graduates to work as lawyers. Alternatively, a master's in business law allows lawyers to specialize and focus their interests. Other professionals who don't want to practice law but are interested in obtaining a deeper understanding of business law may also be interested in this type of program. These business law programs usually take 1-2 years to finish, depending on the program's format and a student's course load.
Students may come across different types of business law programs, such as commercial law or international business law. While these may all overlap, commercial law tends to focus on domestic transactions and international law emphasizes international trade and transactions. Many international trade programs attract international lawyers looking for cross-border practice eligibility.
Though business law sometimes takes the form of a concentration, students can further specialize by choosing focused courses and research topics. Grouping finance-related courses or topics in property law, for example, can prepare graduates for niche roles. Additionally, these programs typically feature internships, which students can use to expand their professional network.
Admission Requirements for Online Master's in Business Law Programs
Admission requirements for an online master's in business law program vary depending on the school and program focus. Applicants need at least a bachelor's degree, although some programs target individuals who hold a JD and ample work experience in the field.
Some schools also set GPA cutoffs and require applicants to submit standardized test scores, such as LSAT or GMAT scores. Read through our Graduate Admissions Guide for more information about this process.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.
What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Business Law Program?
In online master's in business law programs, students usually enjoy a significant amount of course flexibility. Programs typically feature a handful of required core classes, while allowing learners to choose the bulk of their coursework. The following list showcases a few common courses that students might encounter while earning their master's in business law.
- Corporate Transactions
In this course, students learn about the legal proceedings and regulations surrounding common corporate transactions. They cover various types of transactions, possible pitfalls, and negotiation processes. Coursework may also investigate franchising, financing, and acquisitions.
- Contract Law
Students in this course learn how the legal system upholds and enforces contracts, along with the processes and proceedings that take place if a contract is violated. Learners also look at contract drafting, ethics, mediation, and common problems.
- Mergers and Acquisitions
This course delves into the legalities of mergers and acquisitions. Students learn about the valuation of organizations, financing, and resource allocation. Covered topics often include contract drafting, government regulations, and subsequent restructuring after a takeover.
- Corporate Ethics and Responsibility
In corporate ethics and responsibility courses, students examine topics in corporate corruption, social responsibility, and ethical corporate governance. Learners explore moral obligations of corporations and how value can be created or lost by making ethical or unethical decisions. Additional topics may include ethics in financial transactions and organizational culture.
- Intellectual Property
In this course, students examine laws surrounding intellectual property, such as copyrights, patents, trademarks. They also learn about the legal processes involved in intellectual property theft and trademark violations, along with how these cases are resolved inside and outside of courtrooms.
Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree
- Scholarships and Financial Aid for Online College Students
- Your Guide to the FAFSA
- Private Student Loans Guide
What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Business Law Degree?
Earning a master's in business law can help lawyers set themselves apart on the competitive job market. The BLS projects 4% job growth for lawyers between 2019 and 2029, which is on par with the average projected growth for all other jobs in the U.S.
In addition to law professionals, workers in other fields — like finance or human resources — can benefit from earning a master's in business law. This degree can help workers specialize and qualify for career advancement and higher salaries.
Learn more about law careers, and see where a master's in business law can take you.
Lawyers provide legal counsel and advice on various matters. In business law, these professionals typically handle contracts, transactions, taxes, and other corporate issues. According to the BLS, 50% of lawyers work for legal services organizations and 17% are self-employed.
- Arbitrator, Mediator, or Conciliator
These professionals help people and organizations settle disputes by facilitating communication, managing contracts and settlements, and ensuring adherence to laws. According to BLS data, 20% of arbitrators work for local government agencies, 17% work for state government agencies, and 12% are self-employed.
- Financial Manager
Financial managers oversee an organization's finances, ensuring that a company follows the law while pursuing financial opportunities. Financial managers analyze markets and organizational spending and use their findings to help their business make informed decisions. According to BLS data, 30% of these professionals work in finance and insurance; 14% work in professional, scientific, and technical services; and 11% work in management.
- Human Resources Manager
Human resources managers handle the relationships between an organization's staff and management, and they ensure their organization adheres to labor laws. They also address contract and benefits issues and manage organizational culture. According to BLS data, 14% of these managers work in professional, scientific, and technical services, while another 14% work in company management.
- Top Executive
Top executives set organizational targets and develop the policies and processes that help meet established goals. They may handle finances, staffing, and performance analyses, along with reporting to the board of directors on various issues. The BLS reports that 24% of top executives are self-employed; 11% work in professional, scientific, and technical services; and 9% work for the government.
Business Law Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Business Law Programs
- Is a master's in business law worth it?
A master's in business law can help lawyers and other professionals specialize in a niche area. Graduates can access lucrative law and management positions. The flexibility imparted by a business law degree also enables graduates to move between various industries.
- What can I do with a master's in business law?
With a master's in business law, practicing lawyers can set themselves apart and qualify for corporate law positions. Graduates without a JD can explore management positions in the business and financial sectors. Alternatively, some graduates go on to pursue a Ph.D. in law, which can lead to postsecondary teaching careers.
- How much money can I make with a master's in business law?
The salaries available to graduates with a master's in business law depend on many factors. For example, the BLS reports that lawyers make a median annual salary of $122,960, while workers with management occupations earn a median annual salary of $105,660.
- What are the highest-paying jobs I can get with a master's in business law?
One of the highest-paying careers for graduates with a master's in business law is financial manager. According to the BLS, these professionals earn a median annual salary of $129,890. The top 10% of earners in the field make more than $208,000 per year.