The 25 Best Bachelor’s in Legal Studies Online for 2018

By BCR Staff
July 2018

BCR_5_LegalStudies_Bach_badge

Knowledge of the law and legal systems is important for people in many walks of life and earning an online bachelor’s in legal studies can give you that knowledge. Many professionals need to understand what the legal system is, how it works, how it interrelates with social change, and how it assists people in asserting their rights. Legal studies provides the professional and scholarly skills necessary for a general understanding of the law as well as for law-related careers, law school, or further graduate-level study.

Paralegal coursework is more practical-based and focused upon teaching the industry applications—writing, research, technical, analytical and administrative skills, as well as law basics—designed to put you to work assisting lawyers, firms, and clients. As a paralegal, you’ll have the option to focus on a specific area of law if you wish, such as elder law, wills, trusts, and estates, or family and divorce law.

In this ranking, our editors examine our picks of the top 25 Online Master’s for Legal Studies programs. For more generalized information regarding distance learning visit our ranking of the top online colleges.

Rating and Ranking Methodology
Tuition Points:

  • Under $45,000—1 points
  • Under $40,000—2 points
  • Under $35,000—3 points
  • Under $30,000—4 points
  • Under $25,000—5 points
  • Under $20,000—6 points
  • Under $15,000—7 points
  • Under $10,000—8 points
  • Under $5,000—9 points

US News and World Report Recognition as a Top Online School for Master’s in Engineering Programs

  • Top 5— 5 points
  • Top 10— 4 points
  • Top 25 —3 points
  • Top 50 —2 points
  • Top 75 —1 point

Customization Options

  • Format Customizations (e.g. Hybrid/Online, Full-time/Part-Time, Accelerated, Degree Completion, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option
  • Content Customizations (e.g. Minors, Concentrations, Specializations, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option (5-point cap)

Wow Factor

  • 1 point awarded for each unique feature or program that “wowed” us

Our editor started with a list of 35 colleges and then used our customized ranking methodology to shortlist the TOP 25. We were able to narrow these initial findings by applying a few factors such as affordability (average net price is capped at $35,000), program customization, ROI, and career prospects. Finally, we used information from U.S. News & World Report as well as from each school’s website to apply the rating and ranking methodology above. In the event of a tie in points, the school with the lower tuition receives the higher ranking.

Check them out below!

 

 

#25 – Mississippi University for Women

Online Bachelor’s in Legal Studies

POINTS – 6

Website

The bachelor of arts or bachelor of science in Legal Studies degrees at MUW are mostly online with the exception of 10 hours of traditional face-to-face instruction. Each program requires a total of 124 credits, takes four years, and delivers coursework asynchronously. Both curricula are identical and opt for a liberal arts approach to the discipline. Courses are generally survey classes, including studies in real estate law, criminal law, family law, and bankruptcy law.

The program prepares graduates as legal professionals with skill sets that will transfer to many different career tracks. Even in online courses, MUW stays true to its liberal arts roots by keeping class sizes small. The program is one of only two legal studies degrees in Mississippi to earn the American Bar Association’s seal of approval.

Tuition Fee: In-state: $2,840.50 per term | Out-of-state: $7,923.50 per term

 

#24 – Wilmington University

Bachelor’s in Legal Studies Online

POINTS – 6

Website

Wilmington University now offers many programs to distance learners, including the bachelor of science in legal studies, offered in accelerated, online, and hybrid formats. No matter what format they choose, online students must complete at least 10 credits of the legal studies core curriculum face-to-face. Students can opt for on-campus or blended learning to complete this requirement.

This legal studies curriculum includes a mandatory interdisciplinary concentration that offers studies in American history and public policy. The legal studies core includes coursework in civil procedure, legal research, and advanced litigation skills, preparing graduates for careers as paralegals or legal assistants. Students must also complete a capstone — called Virtual Experience in Legal Studies” — in which they enter a simulated law office and practice functioning in the workspace.

The program’s 120 credit curriculum usually takes students four years to complete. Students who excel in their coursework can earn a recommendation for admission to Lambda Epsilon Chi, the paralegal student honor society.

Tuition Fee: $363 per credit hour

 

#23 – South University

Online Bachelor’s in Legal Studies

POINTS – 6

Website

South University offers both a bachelor’s in Legal Studies and Paralegal Studies. South University’s online delivery offers students the same benefits as its on-campus students, including the online library, tutoring, and career services. In addition, the school has an exclusive social media platform through which students and professors can interact and share questions, discussions, news, and more. All online students are assigned a graduation team composed of three advisors to make sure students are given the necessary support to complete their degree promptly and with all the desired coursework. An additional academic advisor works alongside students to build a specialized curriculum to fit each individual’s needs and interests, with postgraduate professional goals in mind.

Tuition Fee: $499 per credit hour

 

#22 – Florida Gulf Coast University

Online BS in Legal Studies

POINTS – 7

Website

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Legal Studies from Florida Gulf Coast University prepares its graduates for success in both law school and for careers in legal assisting, paralegal, and other law-related professions with a rigorous curriculum designed to provide them with necessary critical thinking, writing and research skills, as well as an in-depth understanding of the entire legal system, including the court system, clients, and lawyers. The core curriculum provides a solid foundation in the areas of contract law, torts, professional ethics, criminal procedure, and legal research and writing. Students also have the opportunity to focus on specific areas of interest by taking elective coursework in the areas of litigation, wills, trusts and estates, real estate, family law, criminal law, and international law.

The 48 credit hours of upper-level courses include required core courses (21 credits), restricted electives (12 credits), general upper-level electives (12 credits), and university required courses (3 credits).

Tuition Fee: $1,300.66 per credit hour

 

#21 – Stevenson University

Bachelor’s in Legal Studies Online

POINTS – 7

Website

Stevenson University Online’s Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies (formerly Paralegal Studies) is designed for working adults who want to contribute as a vital member of a legal team through investigative research, trial preparation, and litigation support. Students also have the option of earning a second bachelor’s in Legal Studies.

Graduates of this program will acquire knowledge of several fields of law, enabling them to perform detailed work researching legal issues, interviewing clients and expert witnesses, preparing legal documents, and evaluating and investigating cases.

Stevenson University Online’s Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies requires a minimum of 120 credit hours. Designed for working professionals, this program is taught primarily online in 8-week sessions with five courses offered in an 8-week, hybrid format.

Tuition Fee: $450 per credit hour

 

#20 – Tulane University

Online Bachelor’s in Legal Studies

POINTS – 7

Website

Tulane’s bachelor degree Legal Studies online curriculum includes the standard 120 credits and usually takes four years to complete. The program’s core curriculum includes studies in litigation, legal writing, and computers in the law firm. In their final semester, all students complete a 100-hour paralegal practicum. As a general education requirement, students must also complete a course in public speaking.

The program’s curriculum has earned approval from the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Paralegals. In addition, since a legal studies degree is somewhat broad, graduates can also find work as office managers, court clerks, and human resource managers. Many graduates continue on to law school, as the curriculum includes general background in legal practices and concepts and the court system.

Tuition Fee: $406 per credit hour

 

#19 – Hodges University

Online Bachelor’s in Legal Studies

POINTS – 8

Website

The online program of Legal Studies at Hodges University focuses on the intersection of the words of law and technology, and students spend time studying eDiscovery and eLitigation, how to properly manage emails and electronically stored information, and the privacy issues surrounding these topics. Security is at the forefront of Hodges’ curriculum, and students can expect to graduate with knowledge of the role that security plays in the legal system.

Hodges’ degree is open to students of many different backgrounds, including first-time freshman who want to pursue a law degree, individuals already working in the field who want a four-year education, or career changers. Students who want to graduate quickly can take advantage of the school’s accelerated program.  The BS in legal studies requires 120 credits, 48 of which are devoted to studies in torts, contracts, criminal law and procedure, current legal issues, and other similar topics. Students have the opportunity to take 40 credits of electives, which further specialize their knowledge.

Tuition Fee: $560 per credit hour

 

#18 – Abraham Lincoln University

BS in Legal Studies Online

POINTS – 8

Website

The online Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the legal system.  The program covers major topics in legal studies in core courses, after which students can then focus on specific areas of interests through electives. For students who wish to become paralegals at law firms, corporate legal departments, government agencies, and non-profit organizations, or to proceed further to legal graduate study, this program will provide a foundation for career and academic advancement.

Upon successful completion of the Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies degree program, students will have acquired the knowledge and skills to:

  • Communicate effectively and apply concepts from a wide variety of legal disciplines, as well as other disciplines such as business, sociology, and communications, to their assigned tasks in a law-related environment.
  • Perform legal research and writing tasks using online and in-person library resources for a wide variety of legal problems.
  • Edit and refine previously prepared legal documents to accommodate changes in circumstances and changes in law.
  • Prepare and write legal memoranda, motions, and other court documents for review by an attorney.

Tuition Fee: $250 per credit hour

 

#17 – University of Providence

Online Bachelor’s in Legal Studies

POINTS – 8

Website

This American Bar Association (ABA) approved degree program in Legal and Paralegal Studies from the University of Providence prepares students to perform critical roles in the American legal system. Each core course in the major provides a balance between legal theory and practical application. Elective options allow students to pursue specialty area expertise. The program requires an internship, where the student obtains real-world experience in a law firm, judge’s office, or corporation.

While this program can be completed online, individual programs may require on-campus courses. For instance, students admitted to the paralegal program are required to complete 10 credits of legal specialty courses in a traditional classroom setting.

In addition to law firms, many graduates choose to join corporations, legal aid organizations, banks, insurance companies, or government. Graduate school opportunities, including law school, are available for Legal and Paralegal studies graduates with bachelor degrees.

Tuition Fee: $790 per credit hour

 

#16 – Pierce College

Online Bachelor’s in Legal Studies

POINTS – 9

Website

Peirce College has a Legal Studies bachelor’s degree program designed specifically for students who have earned at least 45 college-level credits and want to finish their degree. Our Legal Studies in Business Degree puts the work you’ve already done to, well, work. At Pierce, you’ll build on your past college experience and earn a degree that instills you with the business and legal knowledge needed for a successful career.

Courses occur asynchronously with no in-person requirements, covering topics like foundational studies in both business and law. Courses include macro and microeconomics, business litigation, contract law, and human resources management. The program also includes a capstone that directly applies legal studies to business. This program prepares students for employment in business and legal settings or in positions at the intersection of the two (i.e. compliance, regulation, or human resources). Many graduates of the program also continue on to law or business school.

Tuition Fee: $600 per credit hour

 

#15 – Dominican University

Bachelor’s in Legal Studies Online

POINTS – 9

Website

Requiring the standard total of 120 credits, Dominican’s online legal studies degree is an accelerated program, as students complete two full-time years of study in 20 months. As such, Dominican’s BLS program awards a completion degree, and all applicants to the program must have already completed an associate degree.

Dominican’s BLS curriculum strives for interdisciplinarity, offering economic, philosophical, theological, and historical perspectives on the law. Students are able to hone in on a pre-professional area by choosing between concentrations in criminal justice, disability advocacy, labor relations, law and social justice, paralegal studies, public administration, or sustainability studies. No matter their concentration, all students must complete major coursework in areas, such as contracts, religion and the law, and legal ethics. All students have the option of completing a for-credit internship in a law office at the conclusion of their studies.

This degree requires 120 credits, and the program length is approximately 20 months.

Tuition Fee: $450 per credit hour

 

#14 – Champlain College

Online Bachelor’s in Legal Studies

POINTS – 9

Website

Champlain College Online designs their online programs for working adults, and nowhere is that more evident than in their curricula. The integrated studies online bachelor’s degree is composed of both professional and general education online courses that provide foundational knowledge and immediate takeaways that can be applied on the job. Upon completion, graduates with a Bachelor of Science degree in Integrated Studies (with a Legal Studies specialization) should be able to:

  • Successfully manage and interpret interactions with fellow organization members.
  • Diagnose learning needs and formulate goals and strategies to seek knowledge from multiple sources.
  • Prioritize and set goals based on objectives and availability of limited resources.
  • Apply fundamental financial concepts to interpret an organization’s economic performance.
  • Examine basic contracts for appropriate content.
  • Apply the concepts of supply and demand, markets, and pricing to an organization.
  • Evaluate and integrate a variety of material to create unique perspectives.

This degree is 100% online, with instructor-led courses. It requires 120 credits, and there are two, online 7-week terms per semester, 3 semesters per year. Time to completion varies based on the number of credits transferred in, test-out credits, and number of courses enrolled each semester.

Tuition Fee: $640 per credit hour

 

#13 – Brandman University

Online Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies

POINTS – 10

Website

The Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies at Brandman University is designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in environments which require an understanding of legal concepts. You will develop the critical thinking and skills needed for successful careers in the fields of law, business, public administration, and government.

As a student, you will:

  • Become proficient in legal writing.
  • Understand modern American constitutional governance.
  • Apply ethical practices, critical thinking and analytical skills to situations in a legal environment.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in current legal research methods.

Bachelor degrees require students to complete a minimum of 120-semester units which include a combination of General Education requirements and program specific requirements. In the absence of sufficient transfer credit, students may need to take additional general electives to satisfy the 120 total units for the degree which a Brandman Academic Advisor will help you evaluate.

Tuition Fee: $500 per credit hour

 

#12 – SUNY Canton

Online Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies

POINTS – 10

Website

SUNY Canton Top Online Bachelor's in Finance

SUNY Canton’s BS in Legal Studies requires of a total of 124-126 undergraduate credits for successful completion of this degree. Among some of the classes in the major are Business Law, Legal Research, Negligence and Intentional Torts, Civil Litigation, Constitutional Law, and a final capstone, which can be fulfilled either with a research project or internship. In particular, Canton’s program is designed for recent high school graduates, transfer students, criminal justice transfer students, and working professionals. As part of the massive SUNY umbrella, with over 400,000 enrolled students, SUNY Canton students enjoy the resources of a large higher learning institution, which includes a very impressive alumni network for into which professionals can tap. The Legal Studies program at Canton continues to be the only 4-year program in the 64-campus SUNY system.

Tuition Fee: $1590 per credit hour

 

#11 – Florida National University

BA in Legal Studies Online

POINTS – 10

Website

Florida International University

The purpose of the Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies (LSBA) Program is to expand students’ critical and analytical thinking skills, advance students’ ability to communicate complex data, both verbally and written, and prepare students for higher-level positions within the legal profession, or gain admission to law school. This degree requires 39 credits for general education and 42 credits for core requirements. Sample courses include Legal Research & Writing I, Legal Research & Writing II, The Law of Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Immigration Law, Bankruptcy Law, Forensic Psychology and Ethics in the Criminal Justice System.

Tuition Fee: $550 per credit hour

 

#10 – Herzing University

Online Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies

POINTS – 11

Website

Herzing University provides legal studies students with many career options. Their graduates work in law firms and corporate legal departments as well as government agencies as legal assistants, paralegals, research assistants, and supervisors. The online bachelor of science in Legal Studies will require 126 credits and can be completed in 36 months.

This program is designed to provide an in-depth understanding of the legal system as it relates to the law, the courts, clients, and lawyers. The core curriculum provides a solid foundation of legal, ethical, technical, and communication skills. Students will be prepared for entry-level or management training positions in office administration or other business enterprises requiring a legal studies background.

Sample Courses include Legal Research, Ethics and Paralegal Professionalism, Constitutional Law, Environmental Law and Administrative Agencies, and Quantitative Decision Making.

Tuition Fee: $650 per credit hour

 

#9 – Keiser University

Online BA in Legal Studies

POINTS – 11

Website

Keiser University’s traditional Bachelor of Arts degree in Legal Studies trains students for careers in law and law-related fields (business, government and criminal justice) and also prepares students to pursue a law degree.  Students learn the necessary information and skills for successful integration into a law office atmosphere. They will also learn the ways in which the law impacts most professional fields. Students will take the majority of their courses from the Legal Studies curriculum and five courses from the Business and Accounting departments, covering topics such as accounting principles and employee relations.

To receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Legal Studies, students must earn 120.0 credit hours as described below.  The length of this program is approximately 40 months (this will vary if a student transfers in credits).

The following objectives are designed to meet Keiser University’s mission and goals:

  • Students will develop legal research skills
  • Students will develop legal drafting skills
  • Students will be able to analyze substantive law
  • Students will understand civil and criminal procedure

Tuition Fee: $699 per credit hour

 

#8 – Arizona State University

Online Bachelor’s in Justice Studies

POINTS – 11

Website

ASU’s Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies online program will enable students to study social justice and learn about the historical, cultural and social forces that shape our society. Students will gain skills needed to create meaning, real-world change through law, policy and social justice.

As a student in the Justice Studies, BS program, you will focus on five core areas of study: citizenship, migration and human rights; globalization, sustainability, and economic justice; law, policy and social change; media, technology and culture; and social identities and communities. Courses will explore a wide variety of topics including racial justice, genocide, serial killers and the way that media, culture, environment, gender and ethnicity impact justice, and you will be equipped with the analytical, research, communication and problem-solving skills required to excel in today’s job market.

This degree requires 120 credits and 40 classes. ASU’s world-class faculty is composed of 64 tenure-track and research professors.

Tuition Fee: $595 per credit hour

 

#7 – University of Maryland

Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies Online

POINTS – 11

Website

With a 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. 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.

Through your coursework (requiring 120 total credits), 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

Tuition Fee: $499 per credit hour

 

#6 – Berkeley College

Online Bachelor’s in Legal Studies

POINTS – 12

Website

At Berkeley College, the Bachelor’s and Associate’s degree programs in Legal Studies are designed to prepare students who are interested in careers in legal support services with government, nonprofit organizations, regulatory/compliance offices, or other law-related careers, as well as those students considering law school and other advanced studies in law. Courses focus on developing skills in critical reasoning and analysis, communication, research, writing, and more. A total of 120 credit hours required for graduation.

Graduates will be prepared to perform law-related work under the supervision of a lawyer, such as:

  • Identifying and analyzing legal issues
  • Investigating and evaluating facts
  • Preparing pleadings, contracts, forms, legal memoranda, and other documents
  • Interviewing clients and witnesses
  • Case management
  • Conducting legal research

Tuition Fee: $840 per credit hour

 

#5 – Purdue College

Online Bachelor’s in Legal Studies

POINTS – 12

Website

Purdue Global is one of the largest providers of online legal studies programs in the United States. Their legal studies programs are designed to prepare undergraduate and graduate students to become professionals, leaders, and change agents in legal or policy-oriented fields. Purdue Global’s versatile online degree programs in legal studies, legal support and services, and environmental policy are designed to prepare you to pursue a rewarding career.

The Bachelor of Science in Legal Support and Services degree program provides a solid foundation in legal theory and practice, offering you a broad-based knowledge of the law as well as practical areas of study required by many professions both inside and outside the legal field. The program could also prepare you for or enhance your skills within the paralegal field.

The curriculum is regularly evaluated and updated so your courses are based on current knowledge, research, and case studies in the field. You’ll learn from professors who are legal practitioners with real-world experience in legal services, law, and policy. This degree requires 180 credit hours

Tuition Fee: $571 per credit hour

 

#4 – National University

Online Bachelor’s in Legal Studies

POINTS – 12

Website

The Bachelor of Arts in Pre-Law Studies program provides students with the well-rounded education needed for admission to law schools. In the pre-law degree program, an emphasis is placed on the verbal, critical thinking, and analytical skills that are considered vital for success as a law student and as a member of the legal profession. This major also allows students interested in a career in business or government to gain an understanding of the complex legal issues they will face in their professions.

NU uses a quarter-credit system. Distance learners must earn 180 credits – 76.5 of which must be taken in the upper-division level of the curriculum. New students must take a few prerequisites. These include college English I and II and at at least three of the following: intro to psychology, American politics, intro to philosophy, or intro to law and legal writing. The major itself is comprised of 40.5 credits, and electives count for 31.5 additional credits. The remainder is devoted to general education studies.

Tuition Fee: $362 per credit hour

 

#3 – University of Central Florida

Online Bachelor’s in Legal Studies

POINTS – 13

Website

UCF offers two nominal options for students seeking an online legal studies degree: a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of science, both with the same curriculum. The program’s core curriculum consists of 21 credits and includes studies in civil practice and procedure, legal writing, and property and real estate law. These programs conclude with a capstone experience. Faculty also assists students in seeking out internship and study abroad opportunities during the summer.

UCF’s legal studies program does not include in-person requirements and delivers coursework asynchronously. To ensure online learners’ achievement, UCF pairs each student with a success coach, a mentor who works with the student from enrollment through graduation. Success coaches also help students decide what they want to do after finishing their legal studies degree online. Possible career options for graduates of UCF’s legal studies programs include working in a court, a law firm, the government, or a community service organization.

Tuition Fee: In-state: $179 per credit hour | Out-of-state: $384 per credit hour

 

#2 – Liberty University

Online Bachelor’s in Legal Studies

POINTS – 13

Website

Liberty University’s entirely online program is the 120-credit bachelor of science in government with a pre-law concentration. This unique program emphasizes ethical interpretation of the law and the development of students’ biblical worldview. Through the pre-law concentration, students are prepared for further study in the field. Alongside their studies, students benefit from access to resources such as Liberty Landing (an online student community), webinars and tutorials, ministry tools, and an online writing center.

The curriculum of Liberty’s online legal studies degree covers the judicial process, criminal law, constitutional law, persuasive argumentation, and jurisprudence, among other subjects. Requirements for degree completion are 39 to 42 hours of general education, including Christian life and thought, and a major, which comprises 15 hours of core classes and 33 hours of concentration. The program generally takes four years to complete.

Tuition Fee: $390 per credit hour

 

#1 – Bellevue University

Online Bachelor’s in Legal Studies

POINTS – 14

Website


Bellevue University’s online bachelor’s of science in legal studies is a 127-credit program designed for students preparing for a range of careers in the public and private sectors or seeking entrance into graduate school.

A standout among accredited online legal studies degrees, this is an accelerated program that interweaves theoretical concepts in law with their real-world applications. The program also integrates political science, economics, public administration, finance, accounting, and management. Areas of study in the 40-credit major include the theory and practice of law, the criminal and civil legal systems, constitutional law, and legal research and writing.

Along with major requirements, students must complete nine credits in the school’s unique Kirkpatrick Signature Series, which focuses on successful institutions and traditions grounded in Western culture. This distinct three-course series entails American vision and values, tradition and change, and freedom and responsibility. The remaining 78 credits in the online bachelor’s degree in legal studies involve general education and electives.

Tuition Fee: $410 per credit hour

This concludes our ranking of the Top 25 Best Online Bachelor’s in Legal Studies. Thanks for checking it out!

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