Professor Maury Landsman teaching

M.S.P.L. Program

With a Master of Science in Patent Law, students with scientific and technical backgrounds leverage that knowledge to advance career opportunities in the booming area of patent law. This one-year professional master’s degree program is aimed at students who want to work in cutting-edge technology, but don’t want to be in a lab. 

Inventors and companies use patents to bring new ideas to market and generate revenue. The Law School’s rich program combines traditional study of the complexity of patent law with project-based learning about business strategies and extensive practical hands-on training. We prepare you for a multitude of careers in patent-intensive industries from medical technology to computer software.

When you finish, you will understand the science behind patents, the law that secures them, and the techniques to manage innovation and maximize the value of resulting patents. You also will create a portfolio of practice-based work, including: drafting a patent application, drafting a licensing agreement, presenting a patent strategy and presenting opportunities for innovation.

Flexible Scheduling

Full-time students complete the program in one year. Part-time students may finish the requirements in as little as two years, or elect to take up to three years. All students begin the program with a two-week orientation that prepares you for the rigor of Law School classes and starts introducing you to your new career. 

M.S.P.L. Scholarships

Substantial scholarships are available to M.S.P.L. students. We are now accepting applications for the 2016-17 academic year, with priority for applications received before July 15, 2016. Admissions are rolling, so applications are considered as they are received.

Engaging Classes

The M.S.P.L. curriculum prepares you to take the Patent Bar Exam (your tuition includes an exam preparation class from a leading provider). But your coursework includes so much more:

  • Traditional law school classes
  • ​Workshops where you develop practical skills like problem-solving and drafting patents
  • Intensive training in writing skills necessary to succeed in patent law
  • Project-based capstone course where you complete a portfolio of your work to show employers
  • Proseminar to learn about the wide range of career opportunities in the fields of patent law, innovation management, and technology businesses. 
  • Wide range of electives that allows you to tailor your curriculum to your goals.

World-Class Faculty and Students

Courses are taught both by our internationally respected tenured law school professors and by successful patent practitioners who bring their experience to the classroom. The M.S.P.L. draws from the Law School’s extensive program in Intellectual Property Technology for J.D. and L.L.M. students.

Concrete Results

By the time you complete the program, you’ll have a high-quality portfolio of your work to show prospective employers. The M.S.P.L. program prepares students for several career paths. Learn more in our Frequently Asked Questions section.

Where Our Graduates Work

  • IBM, patent agent
  • Jefferies LLC, equity research associate covering biotechnology
  • Mayo Clinic Ventures, patent liaison
  • Kelly, Holt & Christenson, patent agent


Please send inquiries to

  • Scott Meehan (M.S.P.L. '16)

    Scott Meehan (M.S.P.L. '16)


    “I’ve always loved research and now that I have my M.S.P.L. degree, I’ll get to work with inventors. ”
    Kelly, Holt, Christenson, PLLC

Contact Information

University of Minnesota Law School

Walter F. Mondale Hall | 229 19th Avenue South | Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-625-1000

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