MSL in Government Procurement

General

Program Description

Since 1960, GW has provided a rigorous curriculum spanning the inter-disciplinary reaches of government procurement education. Today, the federal government's annual acquisition of services, supplies, and construction accounts for more than $500 billion. State and local government procurement add significantly to the volume of government procurement and the associated legal practice opportunities. As the global marketplace becomes more fluid and integrated, knowledge of international and comparative public procurement becomes increasingly vital. The evolution of the World Trade Organization has sparked fresh dialogue about the role of public procurement for both developing and developed countries. Our diverse course offerings and expert full-time and adjunct faculty are empowering the future leaders and policy-makers in the acquisition community here and abroad.  

GW Law is the birthplace of the government procurement law discipline. The distinguished members of our faculty are recognized as thought leaders in the field, producing scholarship that changes the way the world thinks and talks about public procurement. Our experiential, practice-based curriculum prepares students for the demands of a complex procurement law practice. We offer an unmatched variety of degrees, for attorneys in training, attorneys, and non-attorneys with experience in the government procurement field.

The courses in this practice area explore the body of rules regulating the process by which the federal government enters into contracts with private parties and oversees the performance of those contracts. Government Contracts is a one-semester survey course for students seeking a general overview of the law in this area; those preferring a more in-depth course of study may choose instead the Formation of Government Contracts and Performance of Government Contracts sequence. Advanced courses in this area include a series of seminars designed to provide students with a richer understanding of how procurement systems operate, both in the U.S. and abroad, and selected topics courses designed to provide students with varying perspectives on emerging issues in the law.

GW Law’s MSL helps meet the growing demand for non-lawyers to be familiar with the many ways that law influences industry. The MSL program is intended for professionals who are not interested in earning a law degree or practicing law but work in jobs where knowledge of the law is important. The knowledge gained can augment career preparation or professional advancement.

Who Can Benefit?

  • Federal or governmental affairs officers
  • Journalists
  • Consultants
  • Expert witnesses who testify before government agencies
  • Compliance officers
  • Procurement specialists
  • Policy Analysts
  • Others who seek legal insight into related careers

Enjoy a Flexible, Diverse Curriculum

With a rigorous but manageable curriculum, the MSL program offers students the flexibility to design a courseload individually tailored to meet their needs.

Mandatory Courses - 11 credits

Elective Courses - 13 Credits (to be chosen from this representative sampling)
  • Formation of Government Contracts (6502) - 3 credits
  • Performance of Government Contracts (6503) - 3 credits
  • Anti-corruption and Compliance (6511) - 2 credits
  • Government Contracts Cost and Pricing (6506) - 2 credits
  • Advanced Writing (65xx) - 1 credit





  • Government Contracts Advocacy (6505) - 3 credits
  • Comparative Public Procurement (6508) - 2 credits
  • State and Local Procurement Seminar (6509) - 2 credits
  • Procurement Reform Seminar (6509) - 2 credits
  • Foreign Government Contracting Seminar (6509) - 2 credit
  • Government Procurement of Intellectual Property Law Seminar (6512) - 2 credits
  • Federal Grants Law (6514) - 2 credits
  • Procurement in International Development (6516) - 2 credits

Graduates will be awarded the MSL degree, with a notation regarding their area of concentration.

Learn At Your Pace

To ensure maximum flexibility, the program can accommodate both full-time students interested in completing the degree in one year and part-time students who may wish to take one or two courses a semester or summer session, if relevant course work is offered. All enrolled students will take courses on the Foggy Bottom campus, alongside JD and LLM students, thereby benefitting from the experience of faculty, budding legal professionals, and seasoned practitioners.

Access the Heart of the Nation’s Capital

All students benefit from GW Law’s incomparable location in the heart of Washington, D.C., across the street from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, two blocks from internationally known law firms on K Street, three blocks from the U.S. Department of State, and a subway ride away from the Supreme Court and a host of nongovernmental and policy agencies. Our students routinely interact with high-level practitioners and policymakers from those nearby institutions in internships, externships, other volunteer opportunities, and a host of lectures and timely programs on current issues of the day.

MSL Admissions

GW Law’s MSL helps meet the growing demand for non-lawyers to be familiar with the many ways that law influences industry. The MSL program is intended for professionals who are not interested in earning a law degree or practicing law but work in jobs where knowledge of the law is important. The knowledge gained can augment career preparation or professional advancement.

Entrance Requirements

MSL applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree or equivalent and have a minimum of three to five years of professional experience related to their area of concentration, as assessed by accomplished program directors and deans. Students whose undergraduate degree was earned from a non-U.S. school where English is not the language of instruction are required to meet the minimum language test requirement. Applicants must also have strong letters of recommendation from those who are in a position to comment in detail on the nature of their work and the benefit of the MSL to their career advancement.

Online Program

MSL students in the Government Procurement MSL have the option to complete the degree entirely online. This option is only available for the Government Procurement MSL. The application process is the same, as outlined below. To choose online study, select the “online” option when applying.

Last updated Oct 2020

About the School

Since enrolling its first class in 1865, The George Washington University Law School has produced some of the finest minds across the spectrum of legal scholarship.

Since enrolling its first class in 1865, The George Washington University Law School has produced some of the finest minds across the spectrum of legal scholarship. Read less