Degree requirements for the MSL in Taxation:
- Students who have previously earned a master’s degree must complete 24 credits of online tax coursework. Students who have not previously earned an accredited master’s degree must take 30 credits of online coursework.
- Students must take the required one credit course “Survey of Tax Procedure.”
- Students must complete a final project which will consist of drafting a memorandum to a fictional client in response to one of a series of hypothetical fact patterns. Students will choose one of several different tax subject areas (e.g., business taxation, international taxation, estate planning or tax controversy).
- Students must complete all coursework within a five year period of study.
- Students must earn a Pass or High Pass in all courses which are counted towards the degrees requirements.
We will soon publish a more complete guide to academic policies and requirements for the MSL in Taxation that will govern rules and policies on online class attendance, the grading system, examinations and the School of Law Policies and Procedures for: student files; class performance; freedom of the press; and disciplinary procedures along with the University and Federal policies and procedures for the entire student body. The MSL program is somewhat unique in relation to many of our other programs in that it consists entirely of online courses, and does not feature any on campus coursework.
Aside from a course in Tax Procedure and the final project, there is no prescribed program of study for the MSL, and students may select from a broad range of online courses. Part-time students often begin their studies with any of the following courses: Corporate Tax 1; Multistate Taxation: Income Taxation; Multistate Taxation: Sales and Gross Receipts Taxation; Survey of Tax Procedure; Tax Policy.
Course descriptions can be found online here.
Tuition for the 2013-2014 academic year is $2217 per credit. The academic year starts each fall and ends the following summer. Each fall, tuition may rise. Registration fees vary by semester, and are typically a few hundred dollars for the first credit taken ($334 in spring 2014) and then a smaller amount for each additional credit ($30 in spring 2014). Again, these fees vary by semester. An additional technology fee ($99 in spring 2014) is also charged each semester. A $25 late registration fees can apply for those who register after the start of the semester. A two credit class taken in the spring of 2014 would cost $4,897 in tuition and fees, excluding books, late fees, and the recommended examining device.
Students may purchase a remote proctor unit to take exams in a home or office. This can be used in any quiet, interruption free space with a good internet connection, and costs about $180 with shipping (again, as of spring 2014), and books can range in cost—usually you spend a few hundred dollars up front on the 8 volumes of code and regulations and a few casebooks. Most students already have a laptop or desktop computer with which to view streaming class videos. Students may want to evaluate their system to see if it is time for an upgrade or not. Classes can also be streamed on many mobile devices Regardless of which device is used, a good internet connection is required; it is not possible to download class videos.
The MSL is a 30 credit degree, though NY state allows us to grant advanced standing of 6 credits for those who already have a masters degree. Students who already have a masters degree can thus save roughly $13,000 at current tuition rates as they only need complete 24 credits rather than the full 30 credits. The total cost of the degree also depends on how long one takes to finish it, as the cumulative total registration fees will vary by a few thousand dollars if one finishes in 3 years vs. 5 years, for example.