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What is an MLS degree?

The Master of Legal Studies degree is designed for working professionals seeking to enhance their knowledge in Cybersecurity and Data Privacy while gaining a comprehensive understanding of how the law intersects with and applies to these fields.

What are the program courses for the MLS in Cybersecurity and Data Privacy?

Descriptions and a complete list of courses are available here.

Who teaches the classes?

The classes are taught by seasoned faculty from the CSU College of Law’s JD program and experienced cybersecurity and data privacy professionals. Visit our Faculty page to learn more.

What can I expect in terms of workload?

The time required for each course depends on the units or credits awarded for the course. The program has two instructional terms–Fall and Spring. Courses run for 15 weeks each term. As a part-time program, students are expected to take two courses per term for a total of 30 credits.  The workload varies for each course, but on average students should plan to study on average 8-10 hours per week for each course.

  • Most modules in each course are taught  “asynchronously,” meaning that work and study can be done at your convenience, but within set timeframes to proceed through the course materials. These consist of the following:
    • Readings
    • Pre-recorded lectures
    • Discussion threads
    • Quizzes
    • Written assessments
  • Most courses have one or more “synchronous” components that consist of live “virtual” classes or group work  (with the possibility for slight variance in each class). While students are strongly encouraged to participate during these live classes to gain the full benefit, they also will be recorded and archived for your flexibility and referral.
How much does the Online MLS degree cost?

Please visit our Tuition page.

How many courses must I complete in order to earn the MLS in Cybersecurity and Data Privacy?

Students must complete 30 credits to earn the MLS.

Will transfer credits be accepted?

After you are enrolled in the Program and successfully complete 12 credit hours with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, you may seek approval to transfer up to 9 graduate credits from relevant courses at another institution. For more information contact the Transfer Center.

What is required as part of the application?

Candidates fill out an online application form. As part of the application process you provide:

  • A completed online application.
  • A current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • A personal essay describing how you expect to use your MLS degree.
  • An official transcript showing that you earned a Bachelor’s degree, plus official transcripts from any other institution from which you received a degree. A certified translation must be attached if a transcript is not in English.
  • If English is not your first language, an official TOEFL score report must be sent directly from ETC.

At the discretion of the admissions committee, applicants with a final undergraduate grade point average under 3.0 may be asked to submit one standardized test score, such as the LSAT, GRE or GMAT.

How are admissions decisions communicated to applicants?

We will email you the admissions decision and as well as reminders to submit any missing materials.

If I am accepted, how much time will I have to decide whether to enroll or not?

We request that you let us know whether you plan to enroll no later than two weeks prior to the start of the term in which you plan to start. This is necessary to ensure that you have plenty of time to finalize the process.

Are MLS students eligible for financial aid?

Yes. An MLS student is eligible for student loans in any semester in which they are taking at least 6 credits of coursework. To learn more, please visit:

Is it possible for my employer to cover all or part of the MLS tuition?

You should check with their individual employers. Of the companies that do assist with tuition payments, some have a limit on the amount of tuition that can be covered in any given year. We encourage you to reach out to your Human Resources department to see if this benefit is available to you.


How are the online courses organized? Are they self-paced?

The Cybersecurity and Data Privacy online MLS program is designed to fit the needs of working professionals while also facilitating regular and substantial interaction with the professor and other students. The courses in this specialized MLS program are all single-semester with weekly modules. Each of our expert instructors develops the content for each course, and so there is some variation. In most courses, however, students should expect the following:

  • Weekly “modules” covering new topics and material through mix of formats, including:
    • Reading assignments
    • Lectures
    • Discussion questions
    • Exercises
    • Quizzes
    • Other interactive activities
  • Modules are designed around specific, related topics. Most courses will release new modules each Monday and students usually have one week to complete the assigned material at their own pace. 
  • Most of the modules in each online course are asynchronous. This means that you do not need to be online at the same time and have the flexibility to do the work when it’s convenient for you, as long as you complete the activities by the assigned deadline. 
    • Some assignments, such as weekly discussions, may have mid-week deadlines. 
    • Some papers or projects may be assigned over several weeks or the course of a semester. 
  • To facilitate planning, instructors in most cases provide assignment deadlines in the syllabus that you will receive at the beginning of each course. 
  • The courses in this program provide regular and substantial interaction between faculty and students. For this reason, students will generally work on one weekly module at a time so that they are working at the same pace as their classmates. 
  • Most of the courses also include several synchronous, or “live” classes. We strongly encourage you to participate online at the same time as the professor and your colleagues using the live conferencing technology integrated into the course. Any mandatory synchronous sessions will be announced at the start of each course to allow for proper planning. Our expert faculty also engage with you through periodic “live” office hours, and may sometimes schedule guest speakers or special events where students can interact live with experts in the field. These sessions also will be recorded in case you are unable to participate.
What are the technical requirements for the online program?

Students need to have regular and reliable access to a computer and high-speed internet. 

*Note that mobile and tablet devices will not provide full access; students will need a laptop or desktop computer with video conferencing capabilities, including a webcam.

Is there a residential component?

Students in the Program are invited to attend the annual Cybersecurity & Privacy Protection Conference held in the Spring semester as guests of the Center. A truly cross-sector event, Cleveland State University College of Law’s Cybersecurity and Privacy Protection Conference is one of the leading educational and networking events in the Great Lakes Region, and features rich content of interest to legal and compliance professionals, information technology and security experts, and executives responsible for developing security and privacy policies. 

I live in a state outside of Ohio, can I apply?

The online program is currently available to prospective students from every U.S. state* and international students. *with the exception of California. Under SARA (State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement) we are not approved to accept students from the State of California at this time. To learn more about SARA, visit:

As an online student, can I participate in on-campus events?

Yes. You are a part of our community and as such we invite you to participate in any way that is meaningful for you. We are happy to provide a campus tour, to introduce you to faculty, to connect with professionals in your area of concentration, and to participate in academic and social events. If you are planning a visit, we encourage you to contact your admissions advisor in advance so that we can help make your stay meaningful and rewarding.

Does the MLS program help me get into a JD program?

No. The MLS is not intended to prepare students for the JD degree. It is designed for professionals who need to understand the significant legal and business risks posed by data security and privacy issues, but do not need a JD.

Will my MLS courses count towards a JD degree if I subsequently attend law school?

No. American Bar Association regulations do not permit any academic credits earned prior to beginning a JD program to be credited toward the JD degree.

Does the MLS prepare me to become a lawyer?

No. If you want to become a lawyer, the MLS Program is not for you. You should apply to our JD Program instead. The MLS prepares you with the knowledge and skills necessary to enter the fast-growing data security and privacy fields and to advance to senior positions within your organization. It will not permit you to take the bar examination and so it is not intended for people who want to practice law. If that is your interest, you should apply to our JD Program.