College of Law

Career Compass: A Map for Your Legal Career in Intellectual Property Law

Students who consider intellectual property law as a potential career often suffer from a common misconception that intellectual property law is solely patent law and that an undergraduate or graduate degree in the sciences is required. An undergraduate degree in the sciences or the equivalent is only required if you wish to pursue a career in patent prosecution, helping inventors to obtain patents before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)—all other careers in intellectual property are open to anyone with a law degree regardless of their undergraduate major.

Intellectual property lies at the core of a modern economy. Businesses and individuals engage in intellectual property transactions all the time. Many, if not all of us, have entered into an intellectual property licensing agreement when we clicked “I agree” in order to download software.

A career in intellectual property usually will involve helping a client to locate and to protect intellectual property assets, such as trademarks, patents, copyrights, and trade secrets. This may involve assisting a client to obtain federal or state registration, suing others who infringe a client’s intellectual property rights, licensing the intellectual property, and conducting an audit to assure that a client is not violating the rights of others.


Core Curriculum:
Copyright Law
Patent Law

Specialty Courses:
Biotech and Intellectual Property (Flex Course)

Other Student Opportunities

  • Engineering + Law (J.D./M.S. or M.C.S.) joint degree
  • Intellectual Property Moot Court Team
  • Intellectual Property Law Society (student organization)


Last Updated: 6/27/22