Gain the knowledge, skills, and ethical principles you need to thrive in the legal field with an online bachelor's degree in legal studies.
With an Bachelor of Science in legal studies from University of Maryland University College, you'll acquire the tools you need to confidently and competently thrive in legal environments. In this program, you'll learn to produce and review legal forms and documents, apply statutes to legal cases, and assess fact patterns.
With this degree, you'll be equipped to conduct legal analysis, write and draft legal documents, and perform research in the legal environment.
These program requirements are for students who enroll in the 2017–2018 academic year. For prior year academic requirements, visit the catalog archive in the Current Students section.
This program is also available as a minor.
About the Legal Studies Bachelor's Degree
In your core legal studies degree courses, you'll examine the organization, function, and processes of the lawmaking institutions in the American legal system, as well as the role of the paralegal in the legal system and the governing rules of legal ethics.
What You'll Learn
Through your coursework, you will learn how to
- Conduct research using appropriate resources to identify relevant, current legal authority
- Draft documents that reflect critical thinking and legal reasoning to inform, evaluate, and advocate on legal issues
- Apply an understanding of legal concepts and procedures to efficiently and ethically support the resolution of legal disputes
- Synthesize relevant information and complete a wide variety of forms and documents used to meet client objectives
In past projects, students have had the opportunity to
- Draft legal forms, such as petition for divorce, power of attorney, and identification and evaluation of estate property, for submission to court, using legal terms and nomenclature as well as knowledge of a particular case
- Review the elements of a statute and assess its application to a set of facts
- Review a current case or statutory law and produce a legal theory, approach, or case study to support a hypothetical client's case
Legal Studies Bachelor's Degree Requirements
Our curriculum is designed with input from employers, industry experts, and scholars. You'll learn theories combined with real-world applications and practical skills you can apply on the job right away.
Courses in the Major
- LGST 101
- LGST 200
- LGST 201
- LGST 204
- LGST 301
- LGST 312
- LGST 315
- LGST 320
- LGST 325
- LGST 340
- LGST 495
The bachelor's degree in legal studies requires 46 credits of minor and/or elective coursework.
General Education Requirements
- LIBS 150
(to be taken in first 6 credits)
Writing and Communication Courses
- WRTG 101
- WRTG 293 or other writing course
- COMM 202 or other communication, writing, or speech course
- WRTG 394 or other advanced upper-level writing course
Arts and Humanities Courses
- HIST 125 or other arts and humanities course
- HUMN 100 or other arts and humanities course
Behavioral and Social Sciences Courses
- ECON 103 or other behavioral and social sciences course
- BEHS 103 or other behavioral and social sciences course
Biological and Physical Sciences Courses
- BIOL 103 or other science lecture and laboratory course(s)
- NSCI 100 or other science lecture course
- MATH 106 or other 3-credit approved math or statistics course
- IFSM 201 or CMST 301
- CMIS 111 or another computing course appropriate to the academic major
Since some recommended courses fulfill more than one requirement, substituting courses for those listed may require you to take additional courses to meet degree requirements. Consult an advisor whenever taking advantage of other options. Please also see more information on alternate courses (where allowable) to fulfill general education requirements.
Overall Bachelor's Degree Requirements
In addition to the general education requirements and the major, minor, and elective requirements, the overall requirements listed below apply to all bachelor's degrees.
- You must complete a minimum of 120 credits
- You must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 overall and a minimum grade of C for any class applied to the academic major or minor
- Within the 120 credits required, the following coursework must be taken through UMUC:
- 30 credits (normally the final 30)
- Half of the required number of credits within both the major and the minor
- 15 credits at the upper level (earned in classes numbered 300 to 499), preferably within the major or minor
- At least 45 credits must be upper level and include
- At least half of the credits required for the major
- 3 credits in advanced writing
- The remaining upper-level credits can be earned in any part of the curriculum
- At least half the required number of credits for any academic major or minor must be earned through graded coursework. Credit earned by examination, portfolio assessment, or noncollegiate training does not count as graded coursework
Double majors: You can earn a dual major upon completion of all requirements for both majors, including the required minimum number of credits for each major and all related requirements for both majors. The same class cannot be used to fulfill requirements for more than one major. Certain restrictions (including use of credit and acceptable combinations of majors) apply for double majors. You cannot major in two programs with excessive overlap of required coursework. Contact an admissions advisor before selecting a double major.
Second bachelor's degree: To earn a second bachelor's degree, you must complete at least 30 credits through UMUC after completing the first degree. The combined credit in both degrees must add up to at least 150 credits. You must complete all requirements for the major. All prerequisites apply. If any of these requirements were satisfied in the previous degree, the remainder necessary to complete the minimum 30 credits of new classes should be satisfied with classes related to your major. You may not earn a second bachelor's degree in general studies and may not obtain a second associate's degree within the second bachelor's degree. Contact an admissions advisor before pursuing a second bachelor's degree.
Electives: Electives can be taken in any academic discipline. No more than 21 credits can consist of vocational or technical credit. Pass/fail credit, up to a maximum of 18 credits, can be applied toward electives only.
This program is designed to help prepare you for law school or for a career researching and producing legal information and documents. This degree may meet the requirements to work in a professional support position in legal advocacy, legal research, legal writing, and legal case review/support.
Experience Recommended for Success in the Program
We recommend you have professional experience in a law firm or court.
Student Clubs and Organizations
Lambda Epsilon Chi
Type: Honor society
Available To: Undergraduate
Lambda Epsilon Chi is the national honor society founded by the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE), which recognizes the scholarship and leadership of students in higher education. There are over 170 chapters throughout the United States and thousands of inductees who have been honored for their outstanding academic achievements.
About the Faculty
Our world-class faculty members combine academic credentials with a wealth of experience in the field.
Faculty members in this program hold or have recently held positions including
- In-house counsel