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Master of Science in Energy Legal Studies

Master of Science in Energy Legal Studies 

The only graduate program in the nation accredited by the American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL) 

10 Integrated Courses | 30 Credit Hours | 2 Years, one night a week | Prerequisites not required

Cohort 13 begins January 9th, 2018

Energy professionals understand the collaborative nature of success in the industry amongst all the disciplines and how each discipline regularly encounters the legal environment of accounting, acquisitions & divestitures, surface and sub-surface property rights, regulatory compliance, infrastructure, and much more.  Energy Legal Studies focuses on the legal principles that underlies the entire life-cycle and scope of any element one may follow through the industry and all that it touches along the way: contract law, property law, environmental law, administrative/regulatory law, corporate law, and oil and gas law.  Along with acquiring this significant, substantive knowledge, the Energy Legal Studies track enhances students’ abilities to write, speak, and think critically, and to engage in successful negotiations in their careers in energy.

The professionals in the Energy Legal Studies program represent almost every discipline that can be found in the energy industry. Acquisitions and divestitures, accounting, regulatory, health, safety and environment, legal relations, government relations, public relations, financial analysts, and many more. Oftentimes, professionals with these backgrounds realize their career path will lead them to positions that will address difficult legal and regulatory compliance issues. Earning a graduate degree in Energy Legal Studies will ensure they will have the working knowledge needed to be successful in those roles as they advance in their careers.

Flexibility for Working Professionals 

The Energy Legal Studies graduate degree enables energy professionals to continue meeting the demands of their career and other commitments while earning a highly-respected degree from one of the best business schools in the world. Cohorts meet one night a week on campus or through our distance education format.  

Distance Education - Attend Class Virtually

Students who live outside of a 50-mile radius from the Oklahoma City campus can attend class virtually, through our live-streaming technology. Attend class in real-time, with your cohort and professors, from anywhere in the world.

Contact Information

Meredith Wegener, Director of Energy Programs
mwegener@okcu.edu or (405) 208-5593. 

You may also request more information from graduate admissions.

The Meinders Experience
  • Cohorts are comprised of industry professionals with diverse backgrounds, providing an exclusive opportunity to build a strong and supportive network.
  • Guest lecturing gives students the opportunity to learn from executives and elicit candid responses about their professional experiences.
  • Faculty with outstanding academic and business credentials maintain a contemporary, business-related focus in the classroom.
  • Attend all Meinders-sponsored events and conferences free of charge.
  • Access to premier financial and investment data at the Bloomberg Terminal.
Required Courses (Sequential order)

MGMT 5723 - Leadership and Management in the Energy Industry 
Provides an overview of all sources of energy throughout all generation and delivery cycles. Explores leadership and management in the energy industry with current, high-level energy executives. Evaluates the interactions between land, legal, engineering, geology, geophysics, and product marketing departments of an energy company. Enhances the ability to manage organizations and members. Organizational structure, design, culture, change and development are studied. Future energy sources, environmental issues, social responsibility, industry ethics and leadership issues are examined. 

ELAW 5703 - Legal and Ethical Environment of the Energy Industry 
Provides an overview of the law, ethics and legal analysis. Examines areas of law and ethics that relate to the contemporary business environment in the energy industry. Areas of study include: contracts, torts, crime, business organizations and the legal and ethical responsibilities of energy industry leaders. 

ELAW 5353 - Fundamentals of Contracts 
Covers fundamental principles of contract liability; offer and acceptance; consideration; statute of frauds; contract remedies; the parole evidence rule; performance of contracts; conditions; effect of changed circumstances; and other issues related to contract formation and enforcement Prerequisite ELAW 5703 

ELAW 6523 - Fundamentals of Property Law 
Study of the fundamentals of property: property interests in land and in wealth other than land; formation of interests in land; the estate concept; possessory and non-possessory interests; concurrent interests; the lessor-lessee relation; the allocation and development of land resources. Prerequisite ELAW 5703 

ELAW 6533 - Legal Principles of Oil and Gas 
Nature of property interests in oil and gas; conveyancing of interests in oil and gas; legal interests created by oil and gas leases; validity of leases; habendum, drilling, and rental clauses; assignment of interests of lessor and lessee; rents and royalties; and conservation of oil and gas. Prerequisite ELAW 5703 

ELAW 6543 - Environmental Law and Regulatory Compliance 
Introduction to the legal regulation of environmental quality and its intersection with the energy industry. Course considers the foundations of environmental regulation; the scientific predicate for environmental regulation; the objectives of environmental regulation; and the choice of regulatory tools, such as state and federal administrative regulation, taxes, permit schemes, liability rules, and informational requirements. Analyzes the principal environmental statutes, particularly the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Liability Act, and the National Environmental Protection Act Prerequisite ELAW 5703 

ELAW 6613 - Energy Contracts & Issues 
Applies the fundamentals developed in Contracts and Property and examines contracts used in the energy industry for exploration, production, and development and for investment; the nature of the relationships created by such contracts; the rights and duties of the parties; and governmental regulation of such contracts. Examines the importance of identification of the identity, entity, estate or individuals involved in the ownership, investment or participation in an energy deal and the implications thereof. Prerequisite ELAW 5353, ELAW 6523, and ELAW 6533

ELAW 5453 - Negotiation and Dispute Resolution 
Designed to improve students' understanding of the negot1at1on process and their practical skills as participants in energy deals and negotiations. Integrates intellectual and experiential learning by combining reading and lectures with exercises, role-plays, presentations, and in-depth class discussion. 

ELAW 5153 - Legal Research and Citation 
Teaches the sources and techniques for legal research and proper citation of those sources. Focuses on the comprehensive, thorough research path necessary to complete the Legal Writing paper and project 

ELAW 5253 - Legal Writing and Analysis and Capstone Experience 
Develops and hones students' ability to analyze and write about a complex energy and legal issue. This course will serve as the culmination of the entire program wherein students will receive guidance in writing a research paper and prepare a presentation. The students will work in groups, prepare an energy industry "white paper." and present their work Prerequisite ELAW 5153 

Admission Requirements
  • Bachelor’s Degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or above
  • Two years of relevant work experience preferred
  • Statement of purpose (minimum 500 words) addressing background in the energy industry, business experience, and purpose for seeking degree.
  • Full professional resume
  • Two letters of recommendation from employers/supervisors
  • Qualifying GMAT/GRE score (score may be waived based on work experience)
Current Tuition and Fees

Tuition for both the Master of Science in Energy Management and Energy Legal Studies is determined in an effort to ensure that these innovative degrees are of the highest quality in all aspects. Current tuition for the 10 degree courses in either program is $590 per credit hour. The total current fees in either program is presently $4,690. Textbooks are not included. Additionally, ALL Energy Management and Energy Legal Studies students will be required to make their Capstone presentations live, in-person in Oklahoma City. The expense of any travel for the Capstone presentation is not included in the above-listed tuition and fees. 6/15/16

Students may be eligible for scholarships and Meinders Corporate Partner Benefits.

Student Testimonials

OCU alumna Fonda Manwell shares her experience as a graduate student in OCU's Energy Legal Studies graduate program.  She details her remarkable journey as a student, starting out as an assistant and now holding the position as Director of Government Affairs for a prominent energy company in just three years.


OCU alumnus Josh Cornell, land manager for an energy company in Tulsa, OK shares why he chose OCU’s Energy Legal Studies graduate program over a generalized MBA or JD program.  

The Energy Legal Studies graduate program at OCU is energy-specific that focuses on the legal components of operating an energy company.  Courses include leadership and management, contract law, property law, environmental law, energy contracts, negotiation and dispute resolution, research and legal writing and analysis.