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Joseph F. Rice School of Law

  • Master of Studies in Law participants

Master of Studies in Law

Earn an online master’s degree in Health Systems Law in 30 hours with no GRE or LSAT.

Advance Your Career with an MSL in Health Systems Law

This 30-hour, post-bachelor’s degree is for health care professionals and continuing students who want to advance their career, mitigate risk for employers and navigate an ever-changing, health care landscape. Students will gain an advanced understanding of health care systems, applicable laws and regulations in the United States, and legal risks inherent to the field.

Taught by accomplished health care professionals and attorneys practicing in the field, this 100% online and on-demand graduate degree has no GRE or LSAT requirement.

This program is ideal for:

  • Hospital and public health administrators
  • Health care compliance officers
  • Health insurance compliance officers
  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Physician assistants (PA)
  • Pharmacists
  • Physical and occupational therapists
  • Attorneys and paralegals
  • Athletic trainers
  • Students interested in careers in the health care field


Students will take 27 credits of required coursework and three credits of elective coursework.

Required Courses (27 credits)   

The class would serve as a broad introduction to the law and as the introductory class to any Master’s program that may be offered by the Law School in the future. This class would address broad legal concepts such as sources of law, basic principles of contracts, dispute resolution, jury trials, and the risks of litigation.  This class would include instruction on creative problem-solving skills using the law and analytical thinking.  Finally, this class would include a leadership component.

This course provides a holistic understanding of the various aspects of the healthcare system related to sources of care, sources of payment, and regulatory and other legal systems that constrain and control the behavior of these sources and how these sources impact each other. In the lab component, students will learn methods of legal research to locate sources of health care regulations that require compliance and to collect required information. This course will include a research lab component.

This course covers the requirements for organizations that handle protected health information, especially those required by HIPAA and the HITECH Act. It will include information about which entities need to comply with laws protecting such information and to what extent.  It will focus primarily on the privacy, security, and breach response requirements of HIPAA and the information security requirements of the HITECH Act as they apply to both covered entities and business associates.

This course offers detailed training in helping hospitals fulfill all reporting and structural requirements for Medicare, including working with private certifying organizations and maintaining proper physician credentialing systems. 

This course provides an understanding of the requirements for properly billing third-party payers and for compliance with federal laws and regulations prohibiting healthcare fraud and abuse. This course will include instruction on preventing Medicaid and Medicare Fraud.

This course examines how various employees and institutions can limit the risks to patients and risks (including risks of legal liability) to individual doctors, other medical professionals, and health care institutions and businesses. The course also explores prohibitions against self-dealing and methods used by health care institutions to identify, prioritize, and manage various risks. This course will include instruction on federal laws and regulations meant to prohibit self-dealing and prevention of inadvertent compliance failure.

This course will consider various types of ethical issues that workers in the healthcare field may encounter, including bioethical issues and legal ethical issues that govern lawyers with whom they work.  In addition, the course will include instruction on legal and ethical issues surrounding end of life decisions. 

This course examines contracts that are common in health care. Examples include contracts between insurance companies and patients, insurance companies and hospitals, hospitals and employees, and among multiple health care providers. The expectation is that the student will be able to understand these contracts, anticipate areas that are likely to be covered by them, and understand when they should be concerned about minimum insurance market requirements, antitrust, and nonprofit taxation issues that could arise.

Each Master’s student will be required to complete a substantial written research project under the direction of a professional advisor.

*This requirement may be waived if a student has a J.D. degree or equivalent prior legal experience; in substitution, the student will be required to take both LAWH 710 and LAWH737

Elective Courses (3 credits)

This course will provide an understanding of the role and duties of public health officials in the healthcare system, the various public health regimes that require compliance, and the role of public health funding streams in achieving quality compliance for private parties. This course also provides a broad overview of health systems in other nations.  This course will include an examination of health care systems from a legal and structural perspective in nations outside of the United States.

Understanding of the requirements for properly billing third-party payers and survey of federal laws and regulations that prohibit healthcare fraud and self-dealing.

Comprehensive Assessment

All master’s candidates must complete a comprehensive assessment to demonstrate knowledge acquired in coursework and apply it practically. The completion of LAWH 755 Directed Independent Study, which requires completion of a paper or equivalent project, will satisfy this requirement. Projects must reflect significant work addressing a hypothetical or real-world issue involving legal compliance or health law or policy.


  • Resume/CV
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
  • Undergraduate degree performance
  • GRE or LSAT scores (optional)
  • Statement of interest in the program
  • Two recommendations from professional or academic references

Certificate in Health Care Law Compliance

Not sure if you're ready for a 30-credit hour graduate degree? Check out our certificate in health care compliance.

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