Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law (MJIL) - College of Law

Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law (MJIL)

The College of Law is not accepting applications or matriculating new students into the M.J.I.L. program beyond the fall 2019 term.

Online Degree Program

In the nearly 250 years that have passed since the signing of the first treaties between the United States government and American Indian tribes, the legal complexities in managing the various relationships between and among tribes, state and federal governments has only increased. Today, the tribal leaders of 567 federally recognized tribes manage the interests of 2 million tribal members across more than 56 million acres of land.* It is of utmost importance that tribal members particularly those who serve in management or leadership positions understand the nuances of Indian law and how it impacts their communities, their businesses, and their sovereignty.

To address the distinct needs of those in tribal leadership and management, as well as professionals at state and federal agencies, practicing attorneys, and scholars with interest in Indian law, The University of Tulsa College of Law provides a unique online graduate program offering unparalleled academic experiences and career results: the Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law (MJIL). Whether you already work in or with tribal government leadership or are seeking to launch a career through which you can contribute to a tribal community, choosing the MJIL program could change everything for you. The MJIL program is available in part-time and full-time formats to students across the country and can be completed in 18-24 months. For professionals and paraprofessionals looking to work more effectively in Indian Country, there is no preparation quite as powerful as the MJIL degree.

Read about Joannie Suina Romero who recently earned a Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law from TU and is now running her own company called Corn Pollen Consulting which helps Native communities foster growth and development.

Areas of knowledge

  • Legal principles that guide Indian policy
  • Workings of tribal government
  • Indian family law
  • Indian property rights and land titles
  • Indian civil and international rights
  • Jurisdiction in Indian Country
  • Water law and water rights
  • Legal writing and research in Indian Country

*Data taken from the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 2017

  • Program Learning Outcomes

    Students will:

    1. Comprehensively research Indian law and policy related issues using the modern research tools.
    2. Review complex fact situations involving the principals of federal Indian law and tribal government, and from them distill the issues concerning the ways that tribes interrelate with federal or state governmental entities, or with individuals, and memorialize their understanding.
    3. Become familiar with the major federal Indian law policy shifts over time and how they have impacted Indian law and policy as we know it today.
    4. Focus their electives on areas of advanced study related to either tribal economic development (including gaming), natural resources or social services.
    5. Demonstrate skills in research and writing by preparing a final written capstone that demonstrates their substantive knowledge in the areas most interest to them, using the capstone as an opportunity to focus their work carefully on a discrete legal or policy issue.
  • Program Cost
    Tuition (2019-2020)
    Cost per credit hour$976
    Other expenses (estimated)
  • Scholarship and Funding


    Admitted MJIL students are encouraged to apply for scholarships from the following organizations:

    Third Party Funding Opportunities


    Many employers are willing to fund part or all of your education. Contact the benefits office at your current employer for more information.

    Government & Private Scholarships

    Below is a list of entities that offer scholarships:

    Student Loans

    United States citizens may apply for federal student loans by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at using the TU school code of 003185. Any questions regarding the application process or eligibility for the federal loans must be directed to:

    Kristi Emerson
    Assistant Director, Student Financial Services

    Additional Funding Information

    The Institute for International Education (IIE) publishes Funding for US Study: A Guide for International Students and Professionals on scholarships and fellowships available to non-US students at

  • Who chooses the MJIL

    The Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law (MJIL) degree program from The University of Tulsa College of Law attracts high-performing students typically from five walks of life:

    1. Tribal leaders and tribal administrators. The men and women in leadership and management roles at tribes, large and small, have a practical perspective on how meaningful it can be to gain a deep level of expertise on Federal Indian law. As students and later as graduates of the MJIL program, they begin making workplace contributions that are measurable and profound.
    1. Emerging professionals seeking an exciting, in-demand career. Many MJIL students have just recently completed their undergraduate studies and are looking to develop their knowledge, skills and connections. For students who majored or minored in disciplines like American Indian Studies, the MJIL program allows them to add practical legal knowledge to their historical and sociological perspectives, thereby opening many avenues for successful careers.
    1. Practicing lawyers whose careers necessitate their investment in an Indian law degree. Lawyers choose the MJIL program because their interests have expanded since they first went into practice. The MJIL is an academic master’s degree program that helps these legal practitioners to become expert practitioners of Indian Law
    1. Mid-career professionals who want to shift gears and get into management or leadership positions. A significant number of MJIL students are professionals who are currently working for tribal, state and federal agencies, and who serve in management and supervisory roles. They want to develop the skills and know-how necessary to promote themselves into upper management and leadership positions. By gaining deep knowledge about Indian law through the MJIL program, they are able to achieve those career goals.

    The information and insights offered in the MJIL program are unique and valuable. The program has an unparalleled focus on the protection of Indian sovereignty. Instructors and professors from colleges and universities across the country are choosing to expand their knowledge through the MJIL program. TU Law is the smallest law school in the country, and yet its degree programs continue to produce graduates who serve on academic faculties around the world.

    About half of the men and women who choose the MJIL program at TU Law are members of US Indian tribes. Many MJIL students are eligible for scholarship support. Financial Aid is available to qualified students.

  • Testimonials

    “The MJIL program has helped me in my work by teaching me how to understand different statutes. It has helped us in our meetings to be able to look at a property law and determine if it applies under certain scenarios.”

    Donald Newberry (MJIL ’15)
    Tulsa County Court Clerk

    “The MJIL courses are incredible and my professors are highly accomplished scholars. I enrolled because not all attorneys fully appreciate the importance of the scholarly perspective and vice versa. My goal is to be a litigator who is well versed in all areas of federal Indian law and tribal law.”

    Jana Berger Simmons (MJIL Candidate ’18)
    Of Counsel, Wilson Elser
    Detroit, Michigan

    “The MJIL program is a unique, cutting edge academic program that provides solid up-to-date knowledge of Indian law, Indian economic development, environmental issues, and related academic information with real-world applicability. The faculty is first-rate, comprised of many nationally known Native scholars who have a plethora of experience and insight into Indian Legal issues. I recommend this program to anyone who works in any capacity affected by tribal interests.”

    Eugene Herrod (MJIL ’15), Muscogee (Creek) Nation
    Adjunct Professor, College of the Muscogee Nation
    Torrance, California

    “I am a graduate of the Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law program at TU Law. I have to say it has been valuable. If you are considering the MJ program, I would certainly advise you to apply.”

    Bennie Francisco, Jr. (MJIL ’13), Navajo Nation
    Tribal Court Assessment Director
    Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Justice Services