Government Organization and Leadership

Program of Study

The Master of Science (MS) degree in Government Organization and Leadership (GOAL) requires completion of 35 credit hours, an externship in Washington D.C. and a major paper. Thirteen (13) credit hours may be satisfied by courses taken for the Juris Doctor (JD) degree. Five (5) credit hours of GOAL courses may serve as credit toward the JD degree. The program includes a full-time externship at a government office in Washington, DC. While in DC, students take three classes, participate in conferences, networking events, and other opportunities as they arise.

Degree requirements (35 credits):

Required Courses Taught on Campus
LAW 307Administrative Law3
LAW 406State and Local Governments in a Federal System3
GOL 615Seminar in Interdisciplinary Leadership Theory3
GOL 670Government Organization and Research1
GOL 690Workshop: Emerging Perspectives on Governance2
Required Courses Taught in Washington DC (Fall Semester, 3rd Year)
To participate in this part of the program, students must have at least a 2.25 law school GPA, must otherwise be in good standing, and must have completed four semesters of law school.
GOL 710Counsel Roles and Leadership in Government Agencies3
GOL 720Ethics in Government2
GOL 730Externship Program11
Select a minimum of seven credits from the following list:7
Comparative Constitutional Law
Advanced Constitutional Law
Children, Family, and the State
Employment Discrimination
Health Care Insurance Law
Environmental and Natural Resources Law
Elder Law
Estate and Gift Taxation (Federal)
Energy Law
Food & Drug Law
Federal Courts: Jurisdiction and Procedure of the District Courts
Current Topics in Public Health Law
Federal Income Taxation
First Amendment Freedom of Speech
Health Information Privacy
Immigration Law
Health Care Organizations
Climate Change & International Environmental Law
Mergers and Acquisitions
International Criminal Law
Land Use Law
Legal Issues in Electronic Commerce
Employment Law
Law of Armed Conflict
Native American Law
Patent Law
International Law
Law of Church and State
Education Law
Securities Regulation
Trademarks and Unfair Competition
White Collar Crime
Dynamics of Conflict Resolution and Engagement
Total Credits35


In the 2nd and 3rd years of law school (with additional summer school attendance), students should take the cluster of required, on-campus GOAL classes:  Administrative Law, Leadership, the Workshop on Governance, and State & Local Governments, and the requisite number of qualifying law school elective courses. In the fall semester of the 3rd year of law school, students will participate in the Washington, D.C. courses and the externship.  To graduate with both degrees, students need to complete a total of 124 classroom hours:

  • 89 law school credit hours (5 GOAL credit hours for courses taken during the Washington, D.C. semester count toward both the JD and MS degrees).
  • 35 GOAL credit hours (13 law school credit hours count for both the JD and MS degrees).

To complete both the MS-GOAL and JD requirements in 3 years, students should plan to earn seven or more hours of law credit during their two summer school sessions. Students should be aware that participation in the GOAL program may reduce opportunities to participate in certain other law school extracurricular offerings, such as Law Review, Moot Court, and trial teams.