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Masters Degrees

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A master’s degree from Vermont Law School is about more than legal theory. By studying advocacy, regulations, legislation, and markets, you will acquire the tools needed to create a more sustainable world.

VLS master’s degrees are one-year programs designed for those who do not seek a professional law degree. The 30-credit programs allow you​ to choose from more than 50 courses taught by VLS’s world-renowned faculty. Programs are designed to be completed in in 12 months on-campus or 18 months online, but students have up to five years to obtain their degree. All master’s degrees can be pursued jointly with our juris doctor program.

Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP)

Administered by Vermont Law School’s highly respected Environmental Law Center, the MELP program is focused on the political, scientific, and communications aspects of environmental law, with an added emphasis on economics and advocacy. The innovative curriculum is comprised of traditional law offerings and MELP-specific courses in writing and advocacy designed to benefit graduates in the public and private sectors. Experiential learning opportunities with state and federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, and advocacy groups ensure you’re ready to move ahead in your career or take on a new position.

Summers-Only MELP Program
You can complete the summers-only MELP program by taking courses during one Vermont Law School Summer Session, engaging in a summer externship, and taking one class via online learning.

Master of Energy Regulation and Law (MERL)

Taught by faculty associated with Vermont Law School’s highly respected Institute for Energy and the Environment, the MERL program is focused on law and policy governing energy use, production, and transmission. You’ll develop a broad-based understanding of the intersection of energy and law, regulation, policy, and economic analysis. Practical training in public advocacy and writing for a legal and policy audience, opportunities for independent research with support from faculty, and externships at organizations around the country and the world prepare you for immediate challenges and opportunities. As with the MELP, online learning opportunities are available for students who wish to pursue a MERL.


Taught by faculty affiliated with the school's Center for Agriculture and Food Systems, the MFALP program teaches students to use law and policy to support sustainable and just food systems. The curriculum includes food and agricultural law and policy classes, a wide range of environmental law and policy electives, and courses in writing and advocacy. Experiential opportunities with state and federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, and advocacy groups prepare graduates for careers in policy and advocacy.

Master of Arts in Restorative Justice (MARJ)

The MARJ program was created for students who want to address deficiencies in our justice system and become the next generation of justice leaders. The curriculum combines traditional law courses with restorative justice courses, simulations, and experiential learning opportunities to prepare graduates for careers in restorative justice. The program is poised to train students who want to develop new approaches to criminal justice.