Master of Compliance and Risk Management

Gund Hall front entrance

Master and Certificates in Compliance and Risk Management

Case Western Reserve University School of Law’s master and certificate programs in compliance and risk management are designed to meet the steadily increasing demand by  businesses and government agencies for experts in the state, federal, and international laws and regulations that are relevant to the day-to-day operations of businesses.

Careers in Compliance and Risk Management

What is regulatory compliance and why is it such a big deal?

Simply put, regulatory compliance is when a business follows state, federal, and international laws and regulations relevant to its operations. No matter the industry or company size, all businesses must adhere to certain laws and regulations as part of their operations. The specific requirements can vary, depending largely on the industry and type of business.

Over the last several decades, the sheer volume of laws, regulations, standards, and guidelines that govern businesses has increased dramatically. When a business fails to comply, it can open itself up to lawsuits and serious financial and criminal liability.

This means that the roles of compliance and risk management officers are gaining importance in most businesses. These professionals often report directly to the Chief Executive Officer or Board of Trustees and have a seat at the table during critical policy discussions.

Mirroring the need for compliance experts in the private sector is the need for expertise in the public sector, creating a large and growing number of jobs in dozens of government agencies charged with enforcing laws, regulations, standards and guidelines.

High Demand for Compliance Professionals

Compliance-related jobs are one of the hottest growth areas in the U.S., with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting an estimated 30,700 jobs opening for compliance officers and 91,300 jobs opening for compliance managers over the next 10 years.

According to The Health Care Chief Compliance Officers and Staff 2019 Salary Survey, average total compensation for compliance officers in the area of healthcare is $134,624.

Specialty in Healthcare

The universe of regulatory compliance and enterprise risks for healthcare organizations, providers, and health care product manufacturers reaches well beyond traditional corporate compliance to include activities such as clinical care, quality of care, billing and health information management. The enterprise-wide compliance risk universe is as broad in scope as the range of healthcare operations.

In recent years, the risks of noncompliance in this area have grown dramatically to the extent that corporate compliance has become one of the most significant risk areas that healthcare enterprises face.

For example, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) mandates that, as a condition of enrollment in Medicare, Medicaid, and the federal- and state-funded Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), healthcare providers establish and maintain effective compliance programs.

These compliance obligations apply to multiple segments of the healthcare industry, such as hospitals, nursing homes, third-party billers, durable medical equipment suppliers, and drug and device manufacturers, and are designed to encourage the development and use of internal controls to monitor adherence to statutes, regulations and program requirements.

Unique, Cutting-Edge Program

The Law School’s programs in compliance and risk management join only a few other  concentrated graduate courses of study in the country focusing on governance, risk management and compliance (GRC). The master program is the only such program in Ohio.

The master and certificate programs in compliance and risk management will provide lawyers and non-lawyers with the knowledge and analytical skills needed to work in an organization’s compliance and/or risk management department competently, effectively, and ethically.

Learn more about GRC and the unique aspects of the programs.

Law-Medicine Center

Our new program offering either a master or certificate in compliance and risk management with a specialization in healthcare fits well within the law school’s Law-Medicine Center and will benefit from the vast expertise of its faculty.

Learn more about the Law-Medicine Center.

How many credits is the Master of Compliance and Risk Management?

The Master of Compliance and Risk Management will require 30 hours of course credits, including a 4-credit master project or thesis. The master thesis must be a significant written product based on substantial research that describes or demonstrates the use of law or policy to solve a practical problem in governance, compliance and risk management. All theses must be approved by the candidate's Law School faculty advisor.

Learn more about the required courses and view sample course schedules.

How long does it take to complete the master degree?

The program has both full-time and part-time options available.

The program will begin in the fall and can be completed in less than one year, comprising three semesters (fall, spring and summer).

The part-time master degree program can be completed in two years.

Learn more about the required courses and view sample course schedules.

Certificates in Compliance and Risk Management

The general certificate in Compliance and Risk Management will require 15 hours of course credits.

The certificate in Compliance and Risk Management with a Specialization in Healthcare will require 18 hours of course credits.

Learn more about the certificates.

Dual Master/ JD Degree

For those interested in pursuing a dual degree, JD/MA Compliance, up to 12 credits may be counted towards both the JD and MA in Compliance.

Students must:

  • Take the foundational courses and complete a thesis project 
  • Take Legislation and Regulation and Torts instead of Risk Management 
  • Take the required courses for their chosen specialization, regardless of whether they are counted towards a JD

Students will also need to take six additional “elective” credits within the student’s chosen specialization.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Significant scholarships are available as the program is starting up. Financial aid is also available. Students are encouraged to contact us for more information about those opportunities. 

Admissions Requirements

Students applying to the master program should have a bachelor’s degree and a demonstrated interest in studying regulatory compliance and risk management.

In exceptional circumstances, individuals without a bachelor’s degree but with extensive professional experience in the regulatory compliance and risk management fields may be admitted to the program.

The programs have both full-time and part-time options available. The programs do not require either the GRE or the LSAT and significant scholarships are available while this program is starting up.

Ready to apply? View the application instructions.

For More Information

Learn more about the application requirements.

To learn more, review the program's FAQs, required courses and descriptions and sample course schedules.

For more information, contact Eric Chaffee, Director of the Compliance, Risk Management and Financial Integrity Institute, at