Taxation - Master of Studies in Law (for non-lawyer tax professionals)

Georgetown University Law Center offers a world-renowned Graduate Tax Program with the largest tax curriculum of any school in the United States. Students who are experienced tax professionals but not attorneys can now take advanced tax courses at Georgetown Law and earn a Master of Studies in Law (MSL) in Taxation.

While the MSL in Taxation will not prepare or qualify students for the practice of law or to sit for any state bar exam, it does provide experienced tax professionals an opportunity to study tax law at the most advanced levels. Because the courses in this degree program will be offered online, students do not have to reside in the Washington D.C. to enroll in this program.

Online Program Experience at Georgetown University Law Center

Georgetown Law has been offering fully online degree programs since the 2011 –2012 academic year. MSL in Taxation students will use the same tested and proven systems that have been used in our other online programs. Students in the program will take the same courses as our students on campus, interact with their professors and classmates using online discussion boards, and will take a final exam or write a paper at the end of each course.

Our MSL in Taxation offers students the same high-quality instruction and learning experience as the traditional LL.M. in taxation with the flexibility to attend class and complete assignments at times that are convenient to the student. 

Degree Requirements and Curriculum

The MSL in Taxation degree requires the completion of 24 academic credits. Students generally pursue the degree on a part-time basis, but it is possible to complete the program on a full-time basis. Part-time students must generally complete their degree requirements within three years (with possible extensions for up to two additional years). Full-time students will complete the program within one academic year.

Like the Tax LL.M. program, entering students must have either taken a basic federal income tax course as part of their graduate coursework, or alternatively, take our on-demand online course, Foundations of Federal Income Taxation prior to matriculation into the program. The Foundations of Federal Income Taxation course is not for credit and offered online at a flat fee. MSL in Taxation students must take (1) Corporate Income Tax Law I (2) Income Tax Accounting and (3) Introduction to Federal Income Tax, Research &Writing as part of their degree program. The Research &Writing course must be taken in the Fall semester in which an MSL student matriculates, and the class will focus on the ability to research and analyze legal statutory and case law and draft written documents, memoranda and opinions—essential skills for any tax practitioner. All students enrolled in the program will be required to either attend class in person at the Law Center or online in real-time (i.e., on a synchronous basis) using videoconferencing tools at the times the class meets at Georgetown Law.

Aside from the three required courses noted above, MSL in Taxation students will choose the remainder of their classes from our distance curriculum for Tax LL.M. students. Because we believe that MSL in Taxation program candidates have the background to succeed in the program just as those admitted to the Tax LL.M. program, these students will take the same final exams as our Tax LL.M. student body and will be evaluated using numerical grades on the same curve as our Tax LL.M. students.

Certificate Programs

Unlike any tax program offered by other law schools, Georgetown's program is unique in that it allows students the opportunity either to take a broad curriculum of core courses, or to specialize by earning a Certificate in International Taxation or State and Local Taxation. Both certificate programs may be completed either in conjunction with the MSL in Taxation degree or on a stand-alone basis. 


Each online class is captured and streamed by Georgetown's audio/visual partner, Classroom 24/7, and links are posted to Canvas, Georgetown Law's Learning Management System. Classes are typically available to view online approximately 24-48 hours after they are captured.

Below is an excerpt of a lecture given by Professor Stafford Smiley during one of his Corporate Income Tax I - Online classes:

Admission Requirements

The Master of Studies in Law (MSL) program is an advanced degree program for non-lawyers. Successful applicants to this program will have acquired a Baccalaureate degree and have either an advanced degree, several years of work experience in the tax area or a professional license in a relevant subject matter area. Like all of Georgetown Law's graduate degree programs, admission to the MSL in Taxation is highly competitive. To review the admissions process, please check here.

Tuition and Fees

MSL in Taxation students pay tuition at the same rates as other Georgetown Law graduate students. Tuition for the 2017-2018 year is listed here.

More Information

For more information about the MSL in Taxation program, please contact Cynthia Rockwell, Director for Executive and Online Programs, by telephone at (202) 662-9793 or by e-mail at

*Please be advised that Georgetown Law is required to seek approval in several states in order to offer courses online. If we receive an application from a student in a state where we are not authorized, we are required to withhold any offer of admission until the time at which we are authorized by the applicant's state of domicile/residence. If the application cannot be approved prior to the date of matriculation (the first day of classes), your application fee will be refunded.

**Please also be advised that Georgetown Law is required to seek approval in several countries in order to offer courses online. International applicants will be considered on an individual basis.

***Special Information for Maryland Residents: Georgetown Law has been approved by the state of Maryland to offer online courses to residents of that state. Under Maryland law, we are required to provide certain information to students, which relates to our program's registration status with the state as well as procedures for Maryland residents to file complaints or grievances with the Law Center. The Georgetown University Law Center Student Handbook governs the internal student complaint process. Please see the General Administrative Policies section (specifically pp. 78-79). Maryland law provides a student with the right to appeal a final outcome of an institution's grievance procedure by following the Maryland Higher Education Commission Student Complaint Process.

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