Advance your career
and leadership potential
on your own time.

Become a trusted expert on the critical nuances of compliance and risk management through a flexible online degree program.

In today’s world, it has become a necessity for corporations to understand and abide by the frequent changes in laws and regulations in order to uphold their ethical reputation. Compliance experts within these organizations are responsible for keeping up with the regulatory and compliance changes, understanding how the laws can impact their operation, and assessing the risks. The Online Master of Legal Studies in Compliance and Risk Management from Seattle University Law School has been developed for non-lawyers, to provide the skills and knowledge needed to protect businesses from legal risks.

You have an opportunity to develop fundamental compliance skills with a specific concentration:

Program Courses

Legal Fundamentals

Introduction to the American Legal System

This course will introduce you to core concepts within the American legal system and provide you with sufficient background to prepare you to enroll in upper-level courses. Topics will include the functions of the lawyer and legal profession, American government, sources of law, judicial and court processes, and foundational issues related to contract, criminal, tort, and property law. (2 credits)

Legal Analysis, Research, and Writing

This is a practical skills writing course designed for the non-lawyer. Students will learn useful legal research methodologies, examine basic sources of law for federal and state jurisdictions, learn how to analyze a legal issue using facts and law, and learn how to communicate legal analysis logically and concisely in writing. (3 credits)

Compliance Operations

Foundations of Regulatory Compliance

This course introduces students to the basic structure of regulatory compliance law and the legal institutions that create it. It helps students understand and interpret relevant law by teaching them how to read statutes, regulations, and agency guidance. It also examines many of the ways organizations ensure compliance with governing law, such as compliance protocols and programs. (3 credits)

Risk Management and Auditing

This course covers the process for conducting planning, audit, and risk assessment of organizations to ensure compliance with applicable federal and state laws. Students will learn how to conduct effective audits in order to correct and improve organizational operations through follow-up, monitoring, process change, and education. Students will demonstrate the importance of reporting to both internal and external parties in order to ensure compliance with applicable federal and state laws. (2 credits)

Contract Review and Policy Drafting

Students will learn the structure and foundation of contract law, including how to review and analyze a contract.  In addition, students will examine policies and procedures and learn best practices for drafting policy and procedure documents. (3 credits)

Organizational Investigations

This course focuses on the structure and function of internal investigations, including strategies, tactics, and best practices. Practical skills application will assist students with learning to plan and conduct thorough investigations and turn the results into valuable knowledge for their organizations. This course will also examine the value of workplace investigations in management and management's legal obligations, how to structure the compliance function, the investigation of team members, and ways to assist management to implement the findings. (2 credits)


Depending on your professional goals and interests, you can choose to focus on one of the following concentrations; Healthcare Compliance, Corporate Compliance, Financial Compliance, or Data & Cybersecurity Compliance.

Business Law Fundamentals

This course examines the laws and government regulations that are essential to understanding business law. The concepts covered in this course include contracts, sales and leases, negotiable instruments, agency and employment, business organizations, and taxation of entities. (2 credits) 


Corporate Compliance and Ethics

This course covers specific governing compliance laws and regulations of corporations and analyzes specific case scenarios and topics ranging from antitrust law; data protection; and anti-corruption laws, such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the whistle-blower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, and export controls. Students examine the role of a compliance officer and the coordination and integration of counsel and other experts. The course will explore ethical considerations of a compliance program and will emphasize building a culture of compliance in an organization. (3 credits)  

Financial Fraud

This course is designed to increase your knowledge and understanding of how fraud is conducted and why, including specific prevention and detection techniques. Topics include acquiring fraud awareness, uncovering fraudulent financial reporting and misappropriation of assets, and how allegations of fraud should be investigated in the workplace. This course will also delve into the impact of fraud on an organization and its employees. (2 credits)

Financial Privacy and Cybersecurity

This course covers the primary laws, regulations, and other legal concepts that banks and other financial institutions must adhere to in order to properly safeguard, use, or release protected financial data and information. The following U.S. laws covered in this course include, but are not limited to: the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act; the Fair Credit Reporting Act; and the Bank Secrecy Act. The implementation and influence of international financial privacy laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will also be explored. (2 credits)      

Foundations of Privacy Law

This course explores the principles of privacy law in relation to the affairs of government, non-government organizations, and individuals. Students will examine laws that protect personal privacy, both from a historical perspective and with a more contemporary focus on how these laws change as new technologies emerge. (3 credits)

Data Breach and Response

This course covers the actions organizations should take to decrease the likelihood and impact of security incidents, such as identifying and providing additional protection for valuable data, conducting risk assessments, drafting effective Incident Response Plans, training employees, conducting incident response drills, and purchasing cybersecurity insurance. Students will learn how counsel can assist an organization’s managers to respond to a cybersecurity incident by engaging a forensic investigation firm under attorney-client privilege when appropriate, working with law enforcement, and guiding incident response team members’ communications with executives, Board members, and the media. The course will train students how to respond to investigations by regulators and by the payment card networks when there is a theft of credit and debit card data. The course will study data security class action cases and appeals from regulatory decisions to determine how judicial decisions should affect how organizations respond to incidents. (3 credits)

Healthcare Law

This course will focus on the fundamental federal regulations that impact healthcare professionals and organizations. This course will focus on the regulations that are essential to compliance in the healthcare industry, including, but not limited to, fraud and abuse laws, HIPAA, and the Affordable Care Act. The course materials will allow students to test their knowledge and understanding with exercises designed to provide practical application. Students will be required to demonstrate an ability to interpret and analyze regulations to address arising compliance issues in a variety of health care settings. (2 credits)

Healthcare Industry Compliance

This course addresses compliance by hospitals and managed care organizations with governmental regulations and internal corporate policies. Students will learn to identify and respond to circumstances raising regulatory concerns, to navigate and interpret applicable regulatory schemes, to draft policies and procedures, and ultimately to create and manage a comprehensive compliance program. (3 credits)

Healthcare Transactions Compliance

This course examines the impacts of the pharmaceutical industry and provides an overview of promotional regulatory oversight and applicable laws regulating compliance. In addition, the course will explore the various business transactions that are encountered within the healthcare arena with heightened focus on the pharmaceutical industry. Students will receive and review potential issues related to in-house compliance and learn how to develop an effective compliance program. (2 credits)



This course will require the student to create and submit a comprehensive paper or project for presentation in the course, which showcases the student’s competence in compliance, and for use in the student’s professional portfolio.

Online MLS Program Academic Calendar 2021 – 2023

Important Dates


Priority Application Deadline

June 6th, Fall 2022 Term

Next Start

September 6th Fall 2022 Term

“Our curriculum is designed to help leaders see beyond ‘checking a box’ and learn to ethically create value for any organization.”
Linda Hiemer, JD, Senior Director, Graduate Law Programs, Seattle University School of Law

“The rapid expansion of teleworking and remote operations management occurring across the world in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic will forever change the way companies need to address organizational compliance and ethics.”
David Chen, JD, Affiliate faculty and Seattle University School of Law alumnus