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MLS Program

Our Master of Legal Studies program is an option for learning about the law without getting a J.D. It can increase job opportunities for a wide range of professions. If you find yourself needing a better foundation for working with and understanding law and regulation without becoming a lawyer, this degree may be right for you.

The MLS program offers two flexible formats in order to complete the program: an in-person weekend format or a fully online format.

2020-2021 Important Dates and Deadlines


October 1 Application Opens
April 1 Priority Application Deadline
June 30 Application Deadline

 

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MLS Application Requirements

The Admission Committee will consider your file incomplete until the following items have been received and processed:


1Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university

You may apply before you receive your undergraduate degree. However, before you matriculate, you must provide official transcripts showing that you have been awarded a baccalaureate degree from a college or university whose accreditation is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or be the foreign equivalent of a U.S. baccalaureate degree.

Providing your Social Security number, date of birth, and the information requested in the Personal Background and Miscellaneous sections of the application form is voluntary. You must respond to all other questions, and then digitally sign and date the form. Please answer the questions asked on the application form in the space provided and use additional pages or electronic attachments only when necessary. Failure to answer required questions may delay the processing of your application. Reapplicants must submit a new application.

A nonrefundable $55 application fee ($65 for international applicants) is required for applications submitted by April 1. Applications submitted after April 1 will be assessed a $30 late fee. The application fee must be paid using a credit card or debit card.

Applicants must upload a copy of all post-secondary transcripts for all post-secondary schools ever attended. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable to complete the admissions application. These transcripts will be used as working copies during the admissions evaluation process.

PLEASE NOTE: Before starting classes at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, admitted students must submit official copies of all of their post-secondary school transcripts and proof of graduation regardless of credits being transferred or applied toward degree requirements. This includes college or university transcripts from high school concurrent enrollment programs. The official transcript(s) must be submitted directly to the University of Utah from the colleges or universities you have attended. For transcripts submitted through the U.S. Postal Service, the address is University of Utah Office of Admissions, 201 S. 1460 E., Room 250 SSB, Salt Lake City, UT, 84112. For transcripts submitted digitally, the email address is admisstranscripts@sa.utah.edu.

You are required to submit a writing sample as part of your application. Writing samples may include, but are not limited to, academic papers, inter-office memoranda, or client letters. Redacted confidential information is appropriate. There are no page or word limits. The purpose of this requirement is for you to demonstrate your written communication skills.

Candidates are required to submit a personal statement. The personal statement is also viewed as a document demonstrating your writing ability; therefore, the personal statement must be written by you. The Admission Committee’s goal is to assemble an intellectually stimulating community of students composed of individuals who have diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Your personal statement needs to address your reasons for pursuing an MLS degree and how you expect to apply this education professionally. In addition to work experience and superior academic ability, we seek students whose life experiences, backgrounds, and interests will enhance our educational community. This includes, but is not limited to, qualities such as leadership, maturity, organization, knowledge of other languages and cultures, sincere commitment to community service, a history of overcoming disadvantage, extraordinary accomplishment, or success in a previous career. The subject matter of your personal statement is up to you.

Your personal statement should be at least two, but no more than three pages double-spaced. The personal statement should let the Admission Committee know more about you as a person and should address the above qualities if that information is not presented in other areas of your application. Issues addressed in your personal statement may include what background, experiences, and events (positive or negative) have affected you.

You are required to have two, but may have up to three, letters of recommendation submitted on your behalf. Letters of recommendation should come from people who know you well and have had the opportunity to observe you performing the various skills listed on our Letter of Recommendation form. This form is included in an automated email that is sent out by the Apply Yourself system to all recommenders listed in your application. You will need to provide the names of your recommenders and their email addresses in the application system.

Foreign transcript evaluation and a TOEFL score report (if necessary). Foreign transcripts must be submitted directly to the University of Utah Office of Admissions. You may submit any other information you believe is relevant.

Applicants whose native language is not English must submit official results from the TOEFL test and the test needs to have been administered in the last 12 months from application. You must contact the Educational Testing Service and request that your TOEFL score be sent electronically to the University of Utah Office of Admissions with the TOEFL code 4853. Please contact iao@sa.utah.edu for more information.

Admissions Criteria


For U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, and Resident Aliens:

  • The MLS application does not require a standardized test score (GRE, GMAT, MAT, LSAT)
  • Applicants need to demonstrate a track record of professional experience
  • Applicants need to compile a competitive grade point average in undergraduate work. Some exceptions will be made based on career experience and length of time between undergraduate degree and MLS application.
  • Academic Preparation – No specific pre-law curriculum is required for admission to the MLS Program at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law. Generally, you should seek, or have taken challenging courses from instructors who insist upon high standards of performance. Many undergraduate courses and majors can help you develop the specific skills you will need to succeed in graduate school and in your career. In particular, you should take courses that develop written and spoken communication, reading and comprehension, logic and analytical thinking, and problem-solving. It is important that you master English and learn effective study skills.
  • Diverse Admissions Criteria and Review Process –Admission to the S.J. Quinney College of Law is competitive; however, no candidate is accepted or rejected solely on a numerical basis. Factors such as breadth and difficulty of academic background, and significant work experience or life-broadening activities are also considered. Also considered are extracurricular and community activities, leadership ability, advanced degrees of study, geographic and language background. You may disclose important diversity factors such as your age, gender, racial or ethnic identity, disadvantaged socioeconomic or educational background, sexual orientation, non-traditional cultural background, or other similar information.

Learn More about the MLS