Online Master of Legal Studies (MLS) in Taxation

Earn a Master of Legal Studies in Taxation From a Top-Ranked Law School

Designed for professionals who do not hold a Juris Doctor (J.D.), the online MLS in Taxation program allows students to pursue excellence with Washington University’s top 20-ranked School of Law, 1 the oldest operating law school west of the Mississippi River.

Students in the online MLS in Taxation program will gain a specialized understanding of the complexities of tax law, which can help position them for career advancement at their current company or across a wide range of industries.

Acquiescence and Accreditation

Washington University’s online MLS in Taxation program has obtained acquiescence by the American Bar Association (ABA). Learn more about acquiescence on the ABA website. For more than a century, Washington University in St. Louis has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Find out more about the university’s HLC accreditation.

A Curriculum Designed for Professionals

Taught by a faculty of tax law experts who bring real-world experience to the classroom, the online MLS in Taxation program equips professionals with a fundamental understanding of tax law, including the procedural and technical aspects. Students will gain critical thinking and analytical skills as well as the tools needed to anticipate and address changing tax legislation.

Graduates are prepared to assist individuals and organizations in all major areas of tax law, such as accounting, government and corporate taxation.

Program Highlights


total credits


required courses


credits of electives


Students in the online MLS in Taxation program must complete 9 credits from the general curriculum before beginning the tax curriculum and may choose from a variety of electives to meet their individual career goals. Optional learning experiences allow students to tailor this degree to their specific interests or skill set. Take a look at our course catalog to view course descriptions.

Required Courses

  • Federal Income Taxation
  • Introduction to U.S. Law & Methods
  • Legal Research & Writing


  • State and Local Taxation
  • Federal Tax Procedure
  • Federal Estate and Gift Taxation
  • Accounting for Tax Attorneys
  • Taxation of Employee Benefit Programs
  • International Taxation
  • Tax-Exempt Organizations
  • Tax Research Writing
  • Externship
  • Supervised Research

If you have earned a J.D., the university offers a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation online. To learn more, request information for the online LL.M. in Taxation program.


Optional Learning Experiences

Students can supplement their online classes with an optional externship and faculty-guided research opportunities. Each is designed to provide students with more hands-on experience to practice their new tax law expertise.

Externship Opportunities

We help students find a law firm near their community to complete a 3-credit externship. During this time, students will apply their new knowledge and skills to real cases in the tax field.

Faculty-Guided Research

This 3-credit research course, supervised by expert faculty, allows students to meet with professors regularly to develop a thesis paper on a tax-related topic that interests them or aligns with their career goals.

Earn your MLS in Taxation entirely online from @WashULaw.

Develop a strong legal foundation and tax law expertise to successfully advance your career. No J.D. required.

The final deadline for the January 2024 cohort is December 4, 2023.



Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university to apply. LSAT and GRE scores are not required. To apply, you must submit the following:

  • Statement of purpose
  • Résumé or CV
  • Official transcripts
  • Online interview

Online Student Experience

The MLS in Taxation program is delivered through real-time classes in HD video hosted on our interactive, online learning platform, Zoom. With small breakout groups and live chats, students can attend online sessions with their classmates in a collaborative environment and complete weekly course work on a flexible schedule while maintaining their current work status.

Students will be given access to two legal research databases used by lawyers and law firms that will help them complete course work and legal research: LexisNexis and Westlaw. These resources provide students with access to legal materials, such as public records, law journals and court cases. Learn more about the student experience.

Classes Taught by On-Campus Faculty

Our renowned faculty members who teach on campus are the same globally recognized experts who teach the MLS in Taxation program online. Professors are dedicated to teaching students how to apply integral tax law knowledge and concepts to real-world situations. Learn more about our faculty.

Careers for MLS in Taxation Graduates

The online MLS in Taxation program prepares students to leverage their new legal knowledge and tax expertise on the job and advance within their organizations and industries. Upon graduation, students will be equipped to succeed in many fields, including legal, finance, business and government. Tax law career paths can include:

  • Tax consultant
  • CPA
  • M&A consultant
  • Tax specialist government contractor
  • International tax professional
  • State and local tax professional
  • Financial product adviser
  • Financial entrepreneur
  • Financial tech professional

Individualized Career Support

During the program, students will have access to our career services, such as one-on-one career advising, the Virtual Career Center and networking opportunities through the School of Law alumni network, to help them meet their career goals after graduation. Learn more about career services.

Gain a competitive advantage with specialized tax law training. Request information about the online MLS in Taxation program today.

12022 Best Law Schools. US News & World Report. Ranked in 2021.arrow_upwardReturn to footnote reference