Financial Services Regulatory Compliance Concentration

This fully online master’s degree is designed for non-lawyers seeking a career in regulatory compliance. Program curriculum focuses on understanding and applying the complex laws and regulations governing the post-2008 American financial services industry including the Bank Secrecy Act, Dodd-Frank Act, UDAAP laws, and the CFPB. Compliance program development and enforcement within the broader risk-management framework is an integral component of the curriculum. The future of the regulatory environment, international implications, and advances in payment systems and technologies are also addressed. The capstone course allows students to work directly with a mentor on a personalized research project.

View the M.S.L. - FRC Course of Study Go to Master of Laws (LL.M.)

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, students will:

  1. Utilize legal databases to access the primary sources of financial services law in the United States: statutes, regulations and court decisions.
  2. Analyze key issues in financial services policy and compliance from ethical, legal and economic perspectives.
  3. Interpret and evaluate cost effectiveness and risk management studies for use in financial services management decision making.
  4. Communicate complex ideas, orally and in writing, using legal, financial and industry-specific terminology.
  5. Implement the basic components of an effective corporate compliance program in financial services.
  6. Learn best practices for balancing the safeguards for corporate security and consumer protection in a broad range of regulations concerning money laundering, financial fraud, privacy, and more.
  7. Continuously adapt to the evolving regulatory framework in the U.S., as transformed by Dodd-Frank and the CFPB.
  8. Be prepared for advancement in compliance management roles in organizations in the financial services industry, including prerequisites for industry leading certifications.
  9. Provide leadership in the enhancement of consumer protection and quality improvement.

Course Descriptions

Banking Law and Regulation in the U.S.

A survey of U.S. banking law and regulation.  Provides students with an overview of the regulatory framework in which banks operate and the laws governing all aspects of bank operations. Legal and regulatory changes and challenges faced by banks since 2008 will be discussed.

Consumer Protection Laws and Regulations

An in-depth look at the laws and regulations created to protect consumers, particularly the Unfair, Deceptive or Abusive Acts and Practices (UDAAP) and related Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rules.

Mortgage and Securities Regulation and Compliance

The first half of the course presents an overview of the mortgage lending process, compliance regulations and mortgage fraud and prevention. Laws and regulations, including CFPB rules, impacting the mortgage lending and servicing industries will be addressed. The second half of the course explores the regulatory framework surrounding securities trading and investment management.

Crime and Compliance: BSA/AML

A study of the laws and regulations created to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other fraud.  Implications for international banking will be explored. Students will develop a compliance program development and plan for enforcement.

E-Commerce & Payment Systems

An in-depth study of the law and operations of payment systems in the U.S.  UCC Articles 3 and 4 as well as other laws and regulations governing payments will be explored. Operational issues, international considerations, and risk management will also be addressed.

Compliance Program Management for Banks and Financial Services

An exploration of compliance programs in banks and financial services.  Case studies will be used extensively.  Students will participate in the creation, implementation, and management of a compliance program.

Regulation Enforcement and Operational Risk Management

A study of operational risk assessment and management and its relationship to regulation enforcement. Students will examine current and recent operational failures in the banking industry.  Specific strategies and techniques to identify and assess risk will be explored.

Financial Crimes and Compliance Capstone

The culminating course of the Master of Studies in Law in Financial Services Regulatory Compliance curriculum.  Students will sharpen communication skills as they work with a mentor to produce a unique, well-researched project to present to classmates and colleagues virtually or on campus.

Career Information

The program will prepare students for careers in the growing field of financial services regulatory compliance. The knowledge and skills gained through this program will enable graduates to develop and advance careers with financial institutions such as banks and credit unions, securities brokers, information technology and related vendors, national and community banks, regulatory agencies, and law firms. Students and graduates may have job titles such as compliance officer or risk management director or may work in some other capacity in the industry. Various professional credentialing opportunities are available to program graduates, depending on the student’s particular interests and years of experience.  

Students in this program may choose to enhance their career options by pursuing a credential or certification from a professional organization.  Below are some options that may benefit students in the Financial Services Regulatory Compliance concentration.

Below are some links to financial compliance job opportunities that may be available in your area:

Advisory Board

Coming soon

Program Goals

The goals of the Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) programs are to:

  • Prepare students for professional careers through a systematic program of real world courses and training
  • Encourage graduates to pursue relevant professional credentials from industry-leading organizations
  • Empower students to communicate and interact effectively with attorneys, compliance professionals, and other members of the legal community
  • Develop the core competencies in a specialized field of study which are necessary for professional success

Admission Requirements

All applicants must complete and submit an online application.  All materials must be submitted through the online system which includes detailed instructions.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to log into his or her application to confirm that all required materials (recommendations, transcripts) have been received.  Official transcripts from all universities from which the applicant received college credit must be submitted directly from the institution to Cumberland School of Law, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham Alabama, 35229, ATTN: Grad Law.  Please allow ample time for transcript orders to be processed.

Minimum Requirements for Admission

Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.)

  • A bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 undergraduate GPA from a regionally accredited institution
  • GRE or MAT scores strongly advised, but not required, for students who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement indicating career plans and likelihood of success in graduate study
  • Professional resume*

*Competitive applications for all programs will include a resume demonstrating industry experience. Students applying for the Legal Project Management concentration must have a minimum of one year of experience in a law firm or corporate legal environment

Master of Laws (LL.M.)

  • Must have earned a J.D. or be currently enrolled as a J.D. student at Cumberland School of Law
  • One letter of recommendation from a former faculty member or professional colleague
  • Personal statement indicating career plans and likelihood of success in graduate study
  • Professional resume
Important Dates
  • Application Open – October 1, 2017
  • Application Deadline – July 31, 2018
  • Orientation – August 11, 2018 (on-campus or online)
  • Fall Start Date – August 27, 2018

International Applicant Information

Financial Aid, Tuition and Fees

For information about financial aid, please visit the Office of Financial Aid online or contact their office at 205-726-2905 or 1-800-888-7245.

Tuition and fees for the 2018-2019 academic year are posted on the Student Financial Services website. Students in the M.S.L. and LL.M. programs pay Samford University’s graduate per-credit-hour tuition rate. For academic year 2018-19, the graduate per-credit-hour rate is $837.  Please see the link above for complete information, including fees.  You may also view our Virtual Information Session for tuition and fee information. At this time, no scholarship opportunities are available for students in the M.S.L. or LL.M. programs.

Our Team

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Kim Davey, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Public Health
Office: CHS Building 1 1626
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Michael E. DeBow
Steven Everett Wells Professor of Municipal Law
Cumberland School of Law
Office: Robinson Hall 
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Lynne Lee
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Mary Menard
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Pamela J. Nelson
Director of Student Services and ADA Compliance
Cumberland School of Law
Office: Robinson Hall 
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Paige Price
Assistant Director of Graduate Programs
Office: Robinson Hall 
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Kelli Robinson
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Laura H. Tomlin
Director of Graduate and Professional Programs
Cumberland School of Law
Office: Robinson Hall