Master of Studies in Law Frequently Asked Questions

Before You Apply

Who will benefit from the Master of Studies in Law degree?

The MSL provides a graduate level legal education to those who frequently come across legal issues in their jobs but do not wish to practice law.

Will the M.S.L. degree help me get into a JD program?

Graduate degrees rarely make or break applicants’ chances of admission, however they do show an applicant’s ability to succeed in a graduate program. If included, graduate records will be looked at in comparison to applicants’ undergraduate records.

If I already have a JD degree, can I get an M.S.L.?

Yes.  An MSL could assist someone who already has a JD degree learn more about a specialized type of law.

Are international students eligible for admission to the M.S.L. program?


Do I need an undergraduate degree?

Yes. Prior to enrolling at Bowen, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from a four-year accredited institution.

Application Process

What is the application deadline?

June 1

How do I apply for the M.S.L program?

Applications must be submitted online using the LSAC online application.

Is there an application fee?


Are letters of recommendation needed?

No. However, applicants are welcome to submit two professional letters of recommendation as part of their Credential Assembly Service (CAS) Report if applying using an LSAT score, or sending the letters directly to the Office of Admissions if applying using a GRE or GMAT score.

What should I write about in my personal statement?

Personal statements should be two to three pages in length, typed and double-spaced. Discuss reasons for wanting to receive an M.S.L. from Bowen. It is particularly important for non-residents to discuss why Bowen interests them in their statements. Other information about your background, life experiences, diversity, and volunteer work can be included, as this information is often very helpful in the admissions and scholarships process.

Do applicants need to submit a résumé?

All applicants must submit a one-page résumé.

Who makes the admissions decisions?

The Faculty Admissions Committee.

When will a student receive an admissions decision on their file?

The length of review varies; it can be as short as a few weeks or as long as a few months. Earlier applicants tend to receive decisions quicker than later applicants. We will not consider an applicant until he or she has submitted all required materials. The amount of time it takes for our Admissions Committee to consider applications doesn’t foretell what decision the committee will make.

Does Bowen have a waitlist?

Yes, Bowen has a waitlist whenever it is made necessary by a high-volume applicant pool. We keep a waitlist of candidates throughout the admissions cycle. Applicants placed on the waitlist are notified by e-mail. The waitlist remains active until the first day of the First Week for first-year students. However, we revisit and render final decisions on waitlist candidates throughout the cycle, as space becomes available.

Does the M.S.L. have a part-time division?

Yes. M.S.L. students enrolled part-time can indicate whether they would prefer day or evening classes. However, if full-time classes are at enrollment capacity, M.S.L. students will be placed in evening classes.

Do I have to apply for only one division?

No. Bowen’s application allows you to indicate a first and second choice.

Is it easier to be admitted to the part-time division?

No. Both divisions have the same qualifications for admissions.

Can I start the M.S.L. in the spring semester?

No. The program only admits a new class in the fall.

Can a prospective student have a tour of the law school?

What are your residency requirements?

The UA Little Rock Admissions Office on our main campus determines eligibility for Arkansas residency status. If you have questions about the residency policy, call 501-916-3127. Generally, a student is considered an Arkansas resident for tuition and fee purposes: (1) If the student is a US citizen, has been an Arkansas resident at least 6 months; or (2) If the student is a permanent resident, has had their permanent resident card for at least 6 months and has been an Arkansas resident for at least 6 months.

Are there different admission standards for non-residents?

No. All applicants are considered in the same admission pool.

What is the tuition for the M.S.L. Program?

Is there financial aid for M.S.L. students?

Are there scholarships available to M.S.L. students?

Yes. The following scholarships are available to admitted M.S.L. students:

Merit Scholarships are awarded in amounts up to 75% of tuition. Academic achievement, LSAT scores, diversity, and quality of application materials are considered in selecting recipients of these scholarships. Personal statements are especially critical.

Non-resident Scholarships are awarded in an amount that allows recipients to pay the resident tuition rate during their first year of study. Students who are ineligible for Arkansas residency following the spring semester of their first year of study are eligible to apply for this award in future years.

Public Service Merit Scholarships are awarded to accepted students who worked for Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Teach for America, or City Year for at least one year. More details about the scholarship requirements can be found HERE. Accepted current or former Arkansas public school teachers are awarded a 50% merit scholarship.

Veteran Benefits: UA Little Rock offers numerous educational benefits to veterans and their families.

Academic Program

When do classes start?

The first day of class for each semester is listed on the academic calendar.

Are M.S.L. courses regular law school courses?

Yes, with the exception of the required Legal Institutions & Methods course.

Will the M.S.L. train me to be a lawyer?


Is this an online degree program?


Do M.S.L. courses count toward the JD degree if I decide I want to pursue that degree?


If I have completed part of a JD program and wish to switch to the M.S.L. program, may I do so?

Presently, it is not possible.

If I start the M.S.L. program but decide to switch to the JD program, may I do so?

Presently, it is not possible to switch from the M.S.L. to the JD program. You will need to apply separately to the JD program for the following academic year.

Are there any required courses in the M.S.L. program?

What is the grading system for students in the M.S.L. program?

M.S.L. students will be given letter grades, i.e. A, A-, B+, etc.

Will I get any advice and guidance in the courses I should take?

Yes, academic advising is provided.

What are the course concentrations?

Are there any courses in which M.S.L. students are not permitted to enroll?

Legal Clinic courses that require Rule 15 certification.

Will courses from other schools and/or previous degrees be considered for credit toward the 30 credits required for the M.S.L. Program?


Is this a generalist program in the study of law, or may I concentrate in an area of law that interests me?

Concentrations are available in addition to a general curriculum.

What are some examples of people who might want to use the M.S.L. degree to reorient their careers?

Human resources professionals, public servants, law enforcement officers, business professionals, school teachers, etc.

May I combine other UA Little Rock graduate or professional studies with the Master of Studies in Law?

We are still developing concurrent degree programs with the M.S.L.

I am uncertain about my career goals. Is there any value in my enrolling in the M.S.L. Program?

Yes, there is a general curriculum option for those looking to explore new fields.