Jul 19, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


The Master of Legal Studies degree is intended for working professionals and graduate/PhD students whose fields intersect with the law and who would benefit from legal studies but do not wish to pursue the JD.

Campus Code

Knoxville Campus

Admissions Standards/Procedures

Students seeking admission to the MLS degree program must meet the admissions standards established by the Graduate Council.

Masters Options Available

Written Project in Lieu of Thesis

Academic Standards

A cumulative grade point average of 3.00 is required on all graduate coursework taken at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to remain in good standing and to receive any graduate degree or certificate from the university. MLS students will be graded separately from JD students on a scale that correlates with the University’s grading policies for graduate students. The grades of any MLS student in particular class will not be taken into account for purposes of determining any applicable required course mean or median.

Credit Hours Required

30 law credit hours

Required Courses

  • LAW 503  (2-3 credit hours)
  • LAW 504  (2-3 credit hours)
  • At least two courses (excluding Law 811 and Law 820) based on the required first-year JD curriculum (minimum 4 credit hours)
  • Written Project in Lieu of Thesis (satisfied by LAW 598  or another Law course that satisfies the expository writing requirement (if enrollment is approved by the professor), minimum 1 credit hour.

Additional Course Requirements

Students must complete the remaining credit hours from other Law courses. Students are not permitted to enroll in the following Law courses: 805, 806, 811, 820, 905, 906, 907, 908, 911, 946, 947, 948, 949, 950, 951, 952, 953, 982, 983, 987, 989, 991, 992, 995, 996, 997, 999. A student’s enrollment in upper-level Law courses (i.e., courses outside of the required curriculum for first year JD students) is subject to the approval of the relevant faculty member, who may also require completion of prerequisites that JD students would have completed prior to taking the class. Students pursuing the MLS will register for classes after the registration periods for JD students have closed.

Non-Course Requirements

Students may pursue the MLS on a full-time or part-time basis.

The course of study for the MLS degree must be completed no earlier than 12 months and no later than 48 months after a student has commenced study at the College of Law. Any exception to these rules must be approved by the Dean or the Dean’s designee.

Students must earn all 30 credit hours at the College of Law unless an exception is approved by the Dean or the Dean’s designee.

Students enrolled in the JD program may, subject to approval and other applicable procedures, transfer from the JD program to the MLS program. No more than 15 JD credit hours may transfer toward the MLS degree.