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Best Online Master’s Degrees in: International Law

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Explore a Master's Degree in International Law

International law is the study of the creation and enforcement of treaties, agreements, and other laws. An online master's degree in international law can give a student a unique specialization that will enable them to work in a field that is growing in importance as the world is becoming more globalized. This degree, primarily offered by schools in Australia and Europe, typically takes 40 credit hours to complete, although the length of the curriculum may vary depending on the institution.

Class Curriculum

The master's degree program in international law is designed to provide students with a specialization in all aspects of international law. As such, students may be required to enroll in courses such as international criminal law, international human rights, and international law and the use of armed force, as well as other elective courses. Read on for a closer look at three international law courses:

  • International Business Law. An international business law course covers the laws governing the international sale of goods, payments and finances of international sales, methods of doing business in foreign markets, and elementary customs law. The course also examines international dispute settlement and international taxes.
  • Law of the Sea. This course examines the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, other international agreements, and current state practice. Students also assess each of the major maritime zones and examine issues regarding the military use of the ocean, navigational rights, and fisheries.
  • International Human Rights. The international human rights course covers the key concepts, debates, documents, and institutions of human rights law. Students will acquire an understanding of the organization of the United Nations as well as other areas, such as in academia and nongovernmental organizations, in which international law is used.

International law students are typically assessed by their performance on extensive research essays and exams. Students may be required to complete more than one 5,000-word research essay in a semester, and these assignments typically take up a significant percentage of the overall grade.

Building a Career

Graduates of the program may be qualified to work as an attorney within an international, non-governmental, and humanitarian aid organization, or as government counsels for a governmental agency. Generally speaking, lawyers advise and represent their clients in court or before government agencies, conduct research and analyze legal problems, and interpret laws. Government counsels write and interpret laws and regulations and represent their country or organization in an international court.

Lawyers, regardless of their specialization, earned a median annual salary of $112,760, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employment of lawyers is expected to increase 10%, or about as fast as average for all occupations, from 2010 to 2020. However, these numbers are no guarantee of salary or job opportunity, which is determined by location, employer, and the state of the economy.