Cumberland School of Law’s Master of Studies in Law (MSL) is a 34-hour master's degree program offered completely online. Designed for individuals who have not already earned a Juris Doctor (JD), the program will help position you for advancement in your current field or it can help set you apart for a new career path. Our faculty are industry experts, practicing attorneys, Cumberland School of Law faculty and Samford University faculty from other disciplines.

Our program prepares students for professional careers through real-world courses and training and encourages graduates to pursue relevant professional credentials from industry-leading organizations. Students are empowered to communicate and interact effectively with attorneys, compliance professionals, and other members of the legal community, while developing core competencies in a specialized field of study which are necessary for professional success.

Upon completion of this program, students will be equipped to:

  • Utilize legal databases to access the primary sources of law in the United States: statutes, regulations and court decisions.
  • Analyze key issues in policy and compliance from ethical, legal and economic perspectives.
  • Interpret and evaluate cost effectiveness and outcomes used in decision making.
  • Communicate complex ideas, orally and in writing, using legal and industry-specific terminology

Choose a Concentration

Admission Requirements

All applicants must complete and submit an application. All materials must be submitted through the online system which includes detailed instructions. It is the applicant’s responsibility to log into his or her application to confirm that all required materials have been received. Official transcripts must be submitted directly from the awarding institution to:

Cumberland School of Law
800 Lakeshore Drive
Birmingham Alabama, 35229
ATTN: Grad Law.

Please allow ample time for transcript orders to be processed.


  • Completed application
  • Official undergraduate transcript (3.0 GPA)
  • Two letters of recommendation 
  • Professional resume
  • Personal essay

Important Dates

  • Application Open – November 1, 2023
  • Application Deadline for Fall 2024 Admission - July 15, 2024
  • Deadline for FAFSA - July 15, 2024
  • Fall 2024 Term Begins - August 26, 2024

International Applicant Information

Tuition and Fees, Financial Aid

Master of Studies in Law (MSL) (34 credit hours), 2023-24 Academic Year
Charge Amount
Credit Rate $938/hour***
Distance Learning Fee $100 per course x 11 courses
University Graduate Fee $350 per term (fall and spring) x 4 terms; $219 (summer) x 2 terms
Total Approximate Cost $34,830

***The above rates are for 2023-24. On average, there is a 3% tuition increase each academic year.

Graduate Estimated Cost of Attendance

Financial Aid

For information about financial aid, please visit the Office of Financial Aid online or call their office at 205-726-2905 or 1-800-888-7245.


Custom Concentration

Withrow Newell"As a graduate of the Master of Studies in Law (MSL) program at Cumberland School of Law, I wanted to share the profound impact it has had on my professional journey. From the outset, the MSL program was the ideal platform for my graduate studies, blending rigorous legal training with practical applications for nonlawyers. The depth of legal understanding I gained has not only set me apart in my research endeavors but also enhanced my perspective on various industry-specific issues. This unique blend of legal knowledge and industry insight has been a key differentiator in my career. This program paved the way for me to become a faculty member at a local university. Here, my teachings focus on policy, contractual law, and the legal implications within the hospitality industry. The knowledge and skills acquired from the MSL program have been invaluable in shaping my teaching methodology and in providing students with a comprehensive understanding of the legal landscape in our field." — Withrow Newell, MSL ’22, instructor, University of Montevallo

Financial Services Regulatory Compliance Concentration

"My experience at Cumberland School of Law was truly transformative. Obtaining my Master of Studies in Law with a focus in financial services regulatory compliance was a lucrative investment, to say the least. During my time in the program, I generated an elaborate network of scholars, educators, attorneys and other field professionals.

"Since obtaining my degree, I was promoted from my prior role and am now stationed in Washington, D.C. Even though I have more than a decade of experience in the financial and mortgage banking industries, this program armed me with expanded knowledge of applicable governing regulations and regulatory enforcement and I’m able to quickly adapt to constant regulatory changes. In addition, I have become proficient at interpreting and applying complex laws and regulations governing the post-2008 financial services industry by ensuring accuracy to maintain organizational integrity.

"I could not recommend this program enough to any graduate learner who is interested in the intersection of financial services and regulatory compliance."

—Tasia Craig, MSL ’22
Rental Assistant Demonstration (RAD) Closing Coordinator
United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Recapitalization

“Cumberland School of Law’s MSL program exceeded my expectations in all facets. As a working mom and professional by day and student by night, I was able to thrive through a flexible and interactive learning experience, thoughtful and practical curriculum, and professors with decades of industry expertise. Earning the MSL from Cumberland has not only led to career advancement for me but has also given me the critical thinking and analysis skills necessary to succeed in the increasingly complex and challenging role of a banking compliance professional.” —Jennifer Newman, MSL ’22, senior compliance manager, Cadence Bank

Taylor Treankler

"I currently am in the Risk Management department for a $6 billion bank. I obtained my undergraduate degree in marketing back in 2016, but I really wanted to have an educational background in the field I have been in since 2017. The current compliance officer that is looking to retire in the next 2-4 years has not only developed the formalized compliance program we have now, but has maintained it since 1999! So I have a lot of learning to do to fill her shoes! Many of the front-line bankers attend the Graduate School of Banking, the cost of which is covered by the bank. However, officers in our specific department do not attend this school. I still felt I deserved further education in my field but wasn’t sure what existed out there. When I came across Samford’s MSL program, with a focus in Financial Services Regulatory Compliance, I was ecstatic! This is exactly what I was looking for. Professors and classmates were super involved in the classes, which made it very worthwhile. I learned a lot while gaining great connections that I still utilize! Plus, examiners love to hear that we have someone with a Masters in the field of compliance! My MSL degree hangs proudly in my office as I work to become the bank’s next compliance officer."—Taylor Treankler, MSL '22, vice president of Risk Management, CRCM, FLE

Health Law and Compliance Concentration

"As a 20+ year business professional, obtaining the MSL degree was the most logical step in ensuring I would be able to confidently lead with the knowledge of the law in the workplace.

"Cumberland’s esteemed faculty was committed to providing students with practical information that has proven to be beneficial for my employer, my colleagues and my career. Through illuminating lectures, stimulating case studies and interactive class assignments, I have expanded and honed a set of powerful legal skills, including critical thinking, risk management and analysis, and communication and advocacy skills. When I enrolled in the fall of 2021, I was serving as the director of operations at Cumberland School of Law, leading all fiscal and administrative affairs for the school. Shortly before graduating in April 2023, I accepted an amazing opportunity to become an administrator at two world-renowned health care providers, UAB Medicine and Children’s of Alabama. There is no doubt in my mind that Cumberland’s MSL program, in combination with decades of experience, has prepared me to contribute at an exceptional level in this role and beyond.”—Barika Hamilton, MSL ’23