The Master of Energy Regulation and Law (MERL) degree program focuses on law and policy governing energy use, production, and transmission. Students can complete the 30-credit program in as little as 12 months but can take up to five years to obtain their degree.


Vermont Law School's MERL program responds to the rapid growth of the alternative energy sector as well as the environmental problems associated with traditional energy production. The emergence of a smart electric grid and the prospects for electrifying the transportation sector are revolutionizing the energy field. Well-trained professionals with the MERL degree are needed to be effective agents of change in business, economics, public policy, nonprofit administration, and law.

MERL students choose electives from more than 50 courses in energy and environmental law taught by the world-renowned faculty of Vermont Law School. Energy courses are taught by faculty associated with the law school's highly respected Institute for Energy and the Environment.

The Master of Energy Regulation and Law program provides students with practical training in public advocacy and writing for a legal policy audience, opportunities for independent research with support from faculty, and externships at organizations around the country and the world.

The MERL can also be obtained online​.

Thanks to the enhanced analytical skills and legal knowledge I received, I'm continually offered projects with legal, political, and regulatory components. This has diversified my work and completely reshaped my career path.

Keith Dennis,MSEL'05
Lead Energy Project Specialist
U.S. Department of Energy
Washington, D.C.