MORGANTOWN -- Today's workloads means more and more professionals are seeking cyberspace as an avenue to further their education.

That's why West Virginia University's School of Applied Social Sciences has introduced a Master of Legal Studies degree program online. Classes will begin in January.

WVU's MLS is an interdisciplinary program that applies broad-based knowledge to problem solving, decision making and other workplace responsibilities.

The program is tailored to those working in human resources, training and labor relations. A full range of employees can benefit from the offering, organizers say, from legal assistants and paralegals, to judicial and court workers, to mid-level administrative officials.

Seven courses are required for the degree: Law and the Legal System; Researching the Law; Alternative Dispute Resolution; Administrative Legal Process; Law and Society; and the Legislative Process.

Five electives also must be completed from a field that includes Commerce and Law; Constitutional Law; Criminal Law and Procedure; Employment Law; Family Law; Finance and Law; and Media and Law.

The Research Capstone concludes the degree by applying acquired knowledge into a guided, written research project.

Courses will be taught by WVU faculty members and other professionals across the University and the region. The courses are scheduled two to a term in sequential order and are offered on a part-time basis.

The MLS program is currently offered at other colleges and universities. In 2001, it earned the "Award for Excellence" designation for the Mid-Atlantic Region from the University Continuing Education Association.

For more information and an application packet for the WVU program, contact Loretta Hoover at loretta.hoover@mail.wvu.edu or 304-293-2614, ext. 3151.

WVU's School of Applied Social Sciences is housed in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.

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