Admitted Students to Graduate Programs in the American Legal System

  • Academics


    Trying to figure out which courses to take can be both confusing and frustrating because there are so many options, but limited time and available credits within the program.

    Connecting with your advisor is critical. After admission, you’ll virtually or personally meet with your advisor in the Office of Student Engagement to discuss your course options for the following Fall and Spring. Your advisor will provide you with course options to meet your education plans, as well as student visa enrollment requirements. Questions about your options or your program? E-mail the Office of Student Engagement at  with your questions or schedule a time to chat with an advisor.

    Once the courses are open for registration, your advisor will guide you through the registration process and let you know how to get your books, first assignments, and other materials so that you come to the first class prepared.


    This highly customizable program will allow you to meet your professional goals.  You will have access to approximately 140 specialized electives offered to current MSU Law students and you will be guided by an advisor and by faculty focused on your area(s) of interest to make sure your program brings you the most benefit possible.

    Required courses include:

    One of the following courses:
    LAW 530D: Research, Writing, and Analysis (2 cr.)
    LAW 530E: Research, Writing, and Analysis: Intellectual Property Perspective (2 cr.)
    LAW 530N: Research, Writing, and Analysis: Criminal Law Perspective (2 cr.)
    LAW 530Q: Research, Writing, and Analysis: Social Justice Perspectives (2 cr.)

    Two of the following courses:
    LAW 500F: Criminal Law (3 cr.)
    LAW 500G: Property (4 cr.)
    LAW 500R: Torts I (4 cr.)
    LAW 530B: Contracts (4 cr.)
    LAW 500M: Business Enterprises (3 or 4 cr.)
    LAW 500N: Constitutional Law II (4 cr.)
    LAW 532: Administrative Law (2 or 3 cr.)

    Each student will design their curriculum based on their professional needs and interests and will select elective courses to total to the program required 24 credits. We’ve provided a few examples of tracks to provide inspiration for your course selections, but we encourage you to review the Course Descriptions for yourself to explore your options.

    Real Estate Focus
    Required Courses RWA (2)
    Property (4)
    Contracts (4)
    Potential Electives Mortgages
    Sales and Leases
    Basic Income Tax
    Corporate Income Tax
    Land Use Planning


    Business Focus
    Required Courses RWA (2)
    Business Enterprises (3) or (4)
    Contracts (4)
    Potential Electives Advanced Corporate Law
    Antitrust Law
    Corporate Finance
    Mergers and Acquisitions
    Securities Regulation I
    Product Liability


    Human Resources Focus
    Required Courses RWA (2)
    Business Enterprises (3) or (4)
    Contracts (4)
    Potential Electives Labor Law
    ADR in the Workplace
    Contract Drafting
    Labor Arbitration


    Legislative and Policy Focus
    Required Courses RWA (2)
    Administrative Law (3)
    Constitutional Law (4)
    Potential Electives Communications Law and Policy
    Government Relations and Lobbying Law
    State and Local Government Law
    State and Local taxation
    Civil Mediation
    Classes Related to any Policies of Interest


    Environmental/Natural Resources Focus
    Required Courses RWA (2)
    Administrative Law (3)
    Property (4)
    Potential Electives Wildlife Law
    Animal Law
    Natural Resources Law
    Agriculture Law
    Energy Law
    Environmental Law
    Biotechnology Seminar
    Regulating Environmental Risk


    Criminal Justice Focus
    Required Courses RWA (2)
    Criminal Law (3)
    Property (4)
    Potential Electives Criminal Procedure: Investigations
    Criminal Procedure: Adjudication
    Juvenile Law
    Trial Practice Institute - Forensic Science
    Criminal Trial Advocacy I
    Criminal Trial Advocacy II
    Applied Evidence


    Communications/Entertainment Focus
    Required Courses RWA (2)
    Contracts (4)
    Property (4) or Administrative Law (3)
    Potential Electives Entertainment Law
    Sports Law
    IP Survey
    Employment Law
    Communications Law and Policy
    Trade Secret Law
    Licensing Intellectual Property

    Students must complete their degree in no more than two years.

    Course offerings may vary from year to year.

  • Admitted Student Timeline

    Students will begin their program during the Fall semester in Mid-August.

    Admitted Student Timeline

    Here are important dates and tasks for you to keep in mind after admission:

    March-May: Register for and attend a visit program for admitted candidates if you are able to. Each visit program provides an outstanding opportunity to interact with faculty members, current students, staff, and potential classmates.

    March 1: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) due for students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents and wish to have financial aid for Fall Semester. Students who complete the FAFSA may still get financial aid but may find communication of their federal loans delayed. The Federal School Code for MSU Law is 002290. The FAFSA may be completed online:

    April 1: Application deadline

    April-May: Work with an MSU Law academic advisor to register for Fall courses.

    May 1: I-20 or DS-2019 application and documentation due for processing (international students only)

    June 22: For students eligible for federal financial aid, this is the suggested deadline for completing a Direct Loan Stafford Loan Promissory Note ( and, if needed, the GradPlus Promissory Note or other private, credit-based loan application. (The promissory notes may be completed after this date, but loan funds may not be credited to the student’s account by the fall billing date.)

    July/August: Purchase and read materials for Immersion Week.

    July 1: Official Transcripts and English proficiency test scores due.  Deadline to convert conditional admission to full admission.

    July 16: First date eligible to enter the country on DS-2019 or I-20 (international students only)

    Early August: Check First Assignments web page to find out your first reading and other assignments, purchase books, and prepare readings for the first day of class.

    August 18: Required International Student Orientation (all international students, including Canadians)

    August 19: Immersion Week (all new incoming students)

    August 25:  Regular classes begin (all students)

    December 9-December 18: Final examinations

  • Your Student Visa

    If you’re an international student, now that you’re admitted, you’ll need to get your student visa if you’re not otherwise eligible to study in the United States.

    Our SEVIS and Admissions Coordinator, Lisa Willson, is here to guide you through all the necessary steps to get your student visa. You will be submitting documentation to her via our student portal, and she will follow up with you to let you know what she needs to complete your I-20. It’s critical to be in touch with Lisa often so that you keep the process on track and get here in time for classes to begin.

    Learn more about the visa process.

  • Orientation

    Your legal education as a new, first-year law student at MSU begins with Immersion Week, a mandatory component of the program that is designed to help you transition to being a successful law student in the United States. You’ll also attend a mandatory international student orientation.

    Immersion Week includes your first required course, Foundations of Law, a commitment to professionalism program, and multiple opportunities to meet and interact with faculty members and classmates.

    International Student Orientation begins August 16th

    Immersion Week 2019 begins August 19th

    Highlights of Immersion Week include:

    • Foundations of Law is a one-credit hour course taught during Immersion Week. The course provides a common foundation for students from a wide variety of academic majors. There will be assigned readings for Foundations of Law that incoming students must read prior to Immersion Week.
    • Professionalism in Action Program features a discussion about legal ethics, with remarks delivered by practicing attorneys and judges.
    • Lunch and other events will be hosted to introduce you to faculty members, staff, and your classmates.
    • Presentations will be given by the MSU Law Career Services staff.
  • Next Steps

    You’ve been admitted. Congratulations!

    Now what? There’s a lot to do to prepare for your life in East Lansing.

    Here are the critical next steps you need to take to make sure that you’re ready to begin your classes.

    • Get your student visa if you’re an international student.
    • Set up your MSU netID to access your StuInfo account, msu email, and more

      After admission, you received an email from the Office of Graduate and International Programs (OGIP) that included your PID (personal ID number starting with the letter “A”), PAN (personal access number), and instructions to activate your MSU NetID.  Your NetID—an identifier automatically generated from your name—comes before “” in your MSU e-mail address.

      Your MSU e-mail and NetID are very important, as they serve as your communication link to MSU Law. They also serve as passcodes for you to access resources only available to MSU students. Check your MSU e-mail regularly for important academic information from the Office of the Registrar and the Office of Student Engagement, as well as daily announcements from the Events Office and the Office of Graduate and International Programs.

      Use your MSU e-mail account to send messages to MSU Law faculty and staff. All official communication regarding classes, billing, graduation, and other matters must be from your MSU account.

      Do not set up your MSU e-mail account to automatically forward to another account (e.g. Gmail or Yahoo! Mail), as important e-mails may be filtered or discarded as spam or junk mail.

    • Figure out where you’re going to live.
    • Make Travel Arrangements

      Lansing has a local airport, the Capital City Airport (LAN). If you choose to fly directly to Lansing, you will need to take a taxi from the airport to East Lansing, which should cost roughly between $30-50 dollars for a one-way trip. It is generally expected that you tip taxi drivers at a rate of 10%.

      Many students choose to fly into the Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) and take the Michigan Flyer bus ( from the airport to downtown East Lansing. You will need to take a taxi or public transportation from the drop-off point outside the East Lansing Marriott to your destination in East Lansing/Lansing.

    • Figure out how you’ll get around East Lansing

      One of the easiest ways to get to and from campus is by riding the city buses operated by CATA, which stop right next to the Law College building. Easily plan your route by entering your home address and the Law College as your destination.
      MSU’s main CATA boarding center and transfer point—which is just steps away from the Law College—is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The center has bus schedules and maps, indoor seating, a community policing office, convenience store, public restrooms, vending machines, an ATM, and more.

      Contact CATA at 517-394-1000 if you have questions about riding the bus or would like to purchase a bus pass.

      Parking on Campus
      If you choose to drive on campus, you need to make parking arrangements ahead of time to avoid being ticketed. The MSU Parking Office has information on parking options. Also, review MSU’s student parking and driving regulations (PDF).

    • Purchase your books and complete your first assignments.

      Your law school assignments begin before you start classes. Professors, including those for courses during your orientation, will assign readings to you.

      Your first assignments will be posted about a month before your classes begin. Find out the books you need and the first readings you need to complete (before the first class).

      Most students purchase their books through online vendors. Books are also available at several campus-area bookstores, including the book store in the basement of the International Center at MSU, about two blocks from the Law College.