If you have future aspirations to take on or defend the law, getting a degree in legal studies is a great first step for beginning your career as a possible lawyer or criminal justice employer. With the degree, you can pursue future studies in law school and learn further about the legal system in our country and how it impacts different parts of society.
Much of the bachelor's degree will center around legal studies, justice studies, political science, pre-law studies, and law and policy. No matter what the degree is in, all the programs on our list will prepare you for positions as a legal defendant or lawyer, court reporter, political employee, legislative assistant, paralegal, compliance officer, law enforcement officer, government relations officer, and human resources representative.
Most of these positions will require you to move forward with your education, and the future salary with almost all jobs in the legal studies profession is quite rewarding. Lawyers receive an average salary of more than $120,000 a year, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Coursework in the legal field requires an abundance of research and writing. Courses inside the pre-law and legal studies major will teach students how to properly research and write legal documents, how to make concise legal arguments, how to analyze legal issues in the state, federal, and administrative law forums, and how to plan and prepare for the negotiation process.
Political Science majors will go deeper into politics and legislation that involves the law, legal system, and international relations. All bachelor's programs will require the completion of general education courses and prerequisites first before going into the coursework for the major itself, which will require anywhere from 30 to 60 credits. By completing coursework online, students can work around their schedules and even try to pursue jobs or internships in law or government offices or agencies to gather experience and help with their coursework.
Best College Reviews provides degree rankings, such as the 20 Best Bachelor's in Legal Studies Online for 2020, from carefully researched data sets published from government and non-profit organizations across the United States. Five primary factors affect how we rank degrees:
25% – Student Satisfaction
30% – Earning Potential
15% – Retention Data
20% – Affordability
10% – Acceptance Rates
For an in-depth breakdown of how we calculate each ranking, check out our Methodology page.
Here are the 20 Best Bachelor's in Legal Studies Online for 2020!
#20 DOMINICAN UNIVERSITY
RIVER FOREST, IL
BACHELOR OF PROFESSIONAL STUDIES IN LEGAL STUDIES
Dominican University is a Catholic and comprehensive school that provides both undergraduate and graduate opportunities for students. College students interested in a future in law can study a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Legal Studies, which teaches students to write, research issues, analyze data, and solve real-world problems at a different level than they've likely been accustomed to in the past. The multi-disciplinary program ranks among the top-15 in the nation for academic excellence, faculty strength, and a variety of courses, according to its website. The program can be completed in 20 months and includes 42 semester credits that must be completed from major coursework. Another 21 credits are required in legal studies electives. Part of the documentation required to be submitted along with the application includes official high school transcripts and ACT/SAT test scores.
Net Price: $18,250
#19 KEISER UNIVERSITY
ONLINE BA IN LEGAL STUDIES
With 21 campuses spread across Florida, Keiser University has been able to impact 30,000 Florida jobs as a result of graduates studying at its school. Its online BA in Legal Studies degree trains students for a career in law and law-related fields as well as preparing them for an advanced degree in law studies once they graduate. As part of the program's objectives, students will develop legal research and legal drafting skills, understand civil and criminal procedures, recognize legal ethical dilemmas, and be able to analyze substantive law. The 120-credit bachelor's program requires 24 semester hours to be taken in lower-division legal studies major courses and 48 hours to be taken in upper-level legal studies major courses. Applicants are required to submit verification of a high school diploma or GED as part of the application process. KU ranks No. 56 on the list of Best Regional Universities South, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $26,730
#18 KENNESAW STATE UNIVERSITY
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN POLITICAL SCIENCE
Kennesaw State University takes on the colors of black and gold; black to link it with the University of Georgia and gold to link it with Georgia Tech University. Ranked No. 64 in the nation for the First-Year Experience, according to U.S. News & World Report, KSU provides students the opportunity to study a BS in Political Science that teaches them about the behaviors of the public and examines the institutions and processes of government. The online program can be a starting step for those wanting to pursue a future career in law studies and is a prerequisite for those who are interested in moving into business, journalism, international affairs, education, or communications. Students can choose an emphasis in American Government and Politics, Global Studies, Political Theory, Public Law and Administration, or Research Methods and must complete 30 semester credits in those areas. Overall, the program requires 120 credits to graduate. Applicants are required to submit official transcripts to the university and ACT/SAT test scores as part of the documentation for eligibility.
Net Price: $17,929
#17 NATIONAL UNIVERSITY
SAN DIEGO, CA
BACHELOR OF ARTS IN PRE-LAW STUDIES
With headquarters in San Diego, National University has 28 different campuses spread out over California and Nevada. It ranks No. 1 on the list of Largest Private Nonprofit Universities in San Diego, according to its website. With a Bachelor of Arts in Pre-Law Studies, students prepare for a future in law school by developing important analytical and verbal skills and expanding their critical thinking skills for describing, analyzing, and anticipating legal issues in a business environment. Students will learn how to make strong and concise legal arguments for different cases they study. With the ability to learn online, all classes are four weeks in length and require 120-semester credits for completion. Within the major itself, students must take nine major courses and eight upper-division electives. Also, five prerequisites must be taken prior to beginning coursework in the major. Applicants are required to show completion of a high school diploma or equivalency while going through the admissions process.
Net Price: $31,048
#16 BELLEVUE UNIVERSITY
ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN LEGAL STUDIES
Bellevue University is a diverse campus that includes students from all 50 states and 100 different countries. By studying an Online Bachelor's in Legal Studies, students will examine and learn more about the political and economic issues that play a major role in the legal system. The program provides an emphasis in criminal justice; political science; the legal and judicial systems; and law, policy, and ethics. As part of the coursework, the program teaches its students how to apply legal principles and procedures in real practice. Forty-semester credits are required in major core courses and nine credits are required from the Kirkpatrick Signature Series. Overall, 127-semester credits must be completed in order to earn a bachelor's degree in the field. Applicants must provide a Homeschool letter of completion and Attestation form, official transcripts, and proof of a high school diploma or GED.
Net Price: $11,359
#15 UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST
ONLINE BACHELOR OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE
The University of Massachusetts Amherst tops the list in several areas, including having the top college hockey program – according to U.S. College Hockey Online – the tallest research library in the world, and a No. 1 ranking among all campuses for dining, according to its website. With an Online Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a concentration in Pre-Law, students will learn to become informed, critical, and articulate in their studies. The 120-credit curriculum requires the completion of an internship with an agency approved by the Political Science department and 39 credit hours within the Pre-Law concentration. Sample courses that students will undertake include Political Parties and Interest Groups, Civil Liberties and Rights, Constitutional Law, and Public Policy in America. Applicants are required to submit official transcripts that show proof of a high school diploma or GED. UMA ranks No. 20 on the list of Best Online Bachelor's Programs, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $21,181
#14 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY
BS IN LAW AND POLICY: PRE-LAW
Founded by the infamous late preacher Jerry Falwell Sr., Liberty University is the largest Christian college in the world. Students can study online and learn the essential skills needed to excel in law with a Bachelor of Science in Law and Policy and a concentration in Pre-Law. The courses focus on critical subjects such as Criminal Law, Legal Ethics, Legal Research and Writing, American Constitutional History and Law, Jurisprudence, and Advanced Logic and Legal Reasoning. The 120 credit curriculum provides webinars to guide students through their online coursework and a transition into law school once a student earns a bachelor's degree. Applicants are required to provide a letter of recommendation and a resume alongside the application and official transcripts.
Net Price: $40,075
#13 OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY
ONLINE BA IN POLITICAL SCIENCE
You will feel safe at Oregon State University – OSU has the only campus in the country with state police and campus police present at all times. The reason for that is to protect the nuclear reactor the school has on its campus. With an Online Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, students will learn about the politics and laws that affect our everyday living. Students must complete five main areas in order to graduate: 52 completed credits in major coursework, 15 completed credits in liberal arts core coursework, the satisfaction of electives by the major, 48 general education credits with a Writing Intensive Course included, and 15 to 24 credits in the Bachelor of Arts and Sciences. Part of the subject areas that will be explored includes American Politics and Government, Gender and Law, Middle East Politics, Constitutional Law, Comparative Politics, Political Analysis, and Politics of Climate Change. Applicants are required to submit ACT/SAT test scores and official transcripts to the office of admissions. OSU ranks No. 1 on the list of Best Online Liberal Arts Colleges, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $19,205
#12 FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY
ONLINE BACHELOR OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE
Florida International University is the fifth-largest university in Florida and 13th-largest university in the nation. It has campuses throughout Miami as well as in China. The Online Bachelor of Arts in Political Science teaches students the skills to excel in American politics, international affairs, political theory, and public policy and law. The 120-credit curriculum requires 39 credit hours completed within the major with a grade of "C" or better. Students will be required to take courses in American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Politics, and Political Theory. As part of the electives requirements, students can complete an internship or an independent study to satisfy the coursework. Students are urged to contact the admissions office for all documentation needed alongside the application. FIU ranks No. 88 on the list of Best National Universities, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $12,219
#11 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-LA CROSSE
LA CROSSE, WI
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN POLITICAL SCIENCE
Ranked No. 3 on the list of Top Public Schools, according to U.S. News & World Report, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse gives students the opportunity to take their learning online to study a BS in Political Science. The purpose of the degree is for students to study further about the law, government, policies, institutions, economics, and the behavior of public participants in the political arena. Students will focus their 120-semester credits on general education requirements, college core requirements, and BS degree requirements. As part of the major core curriculum, students will take courses in American Government, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Political Theory. Completion of the degrees allows those who are interested in a career in legal studies or political science to move forward with their education into graduate school. First-year applicants are asked to submit ACT/SAT test scores along with official transcripts from high school or GED completion.
Net Price: $13,045
#10 INDIANA UNIVERSITY-PURDUE UNIVERSITY INDIANAPOLIS
BACHELOR OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is most known for being the state's premier urban research public school as well as for its ability to attract students from all over the world. IUPUI is a seven-time winner of the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award given out by Insight Into Diversity. The Bachelor of Arts in Political Science will focus primarily on the function of government, studying how governments came to power, how they are run, the effects of the policies that they make, and the legal issues surrounding some of their decisions. The degree will also focus on topics related to the environment, criminal justice, civil rights and liberties, defense, and foreign policy. Students must complete 33 credit hours in the major core itself and 18 credits from electives the students must choose from in the Political Science curriculum. Overall, 120 semester credits must be completed, and a grade of "C" or better is to be maintained during the major coursework. As part of the application requirements, the university requires the submission of official transcripts and ACT/SAT test scores.
Net Price: $9,744
#9 TULANE UNIVERSITY
NEW ORLEANS, LA
ONLINE BACHELOR'S DEGREE IN LEGAL STUDIES
The school known as "The Green Wave," Tulane University was the school of choice for Newt Gingrich, Jerry Springer, Huey Long, and the father of Gwyneth Paltrow. Located just a few miles from downtown New Orleans, TU provides students with the first step in studying a career in law by pursuing an Online Bachelor's in Legal Studies. The degree offers a Paralegal Certificate and teaches students critical skills in legal research, writing, analysis, law office technology, and argumentation. With this degree, graduates can pursue positions as a paralegal or legal assistant, law office manager, court clerk, investigator, contract administrator, insurance adjustor, and human resource administrator. Students are required to complete 120 semester credits, which include 36 credits within the Legal Studies major itself. The degree also requires a 100-hour, law-office internship and classroom component taken towards the end of the curriculum. TU ranks No. 40 on the list of Top National Universities, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $33,886
#8 UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS LOWELL
ONLINE BACHELOR OF LIBERAL ARTS WITH AN EMPHASIS ON POLITICAL SCIENCE
With an average GPA of over 3.6, students and faculty at the University of Massachusetts Lowell have helped make the school one of the top-100 universities in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report. The Online Bachelor of Liberal Arts provides an emphasis on Political Science, a program that is flexible and provides curriculum across multiple disciplines. The degree gives students the opportunity to pursue careers in a variety of fields including education, law, journalism, politics, paralegal services, human resources, communications, and international governance. The program mandates that students take 12 courses in the Political Science concentration and one other concentration, which can be in either Art History, Economics, English, Gender Studies, History, Legal Studies, Philosophy, or Psychology. In order to be eligible, applicants must hold a bachelor's degree or GED and submit official transcripts to the university. UML ranks No. 1 on the list of Online Bachelor's in Liberal Arts Programs, according to AffordableColleges.com.
Net Price: $18,375
#7 INDIANA UNIVERSITY–BLOOMINGTON
ONLINE BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN POLITICAL SCIENCE
Indiana University–Bloomington is becoming more innovative in its approach and recently ranked No. 27 in the nation for Most Innovative University, according to Reuters, and No. 20 for Best Online Bachelor's Programs, according to U.S. News & World Report. The school with the nickname of The Hoosiers, IUB gives future politicians, paralegals, and lawyers a chance to begin their careers by studying the Online Bachelor of Science in Political Science. The curriculum exposes students to courses in constitutional law, urban politics, political philosophy, criminal justice, public opinion, and contemporary revolutions. The 120-credit program requires students to complete 15 credits in Political Science core courses and 21-credits in Political Science advanced core courses. Applicants are required to submit to the office of admissions official transcripts and standardized test scores from the ACT or SAT.
Net Price: $12,488
#6 TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY
ONLINE BACHELOR OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE
Don't get lost at Texas Tech University – the landmass of the campus is enormous. It covers 1,839 acres of land, making it one of the largest universities by total area in the country. You can avoid getting lost by just studying an Online Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a concentration in American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, or Public Policy and Administration from the comfort of your own home. The program can be completed with full-time coursework in four years and requires the completion of 120 semester credits. At least 12 semester credits must come from the concentration area itself, and students must earn a "C" average or better in all of those courses. Forty hours must be upper-division courses from the Bachelor of Arts core coursework, and six hours must be reserved to meet the foreign language requirement. Applicants are required to show verification of a high school diploma or GED and provide the office of admissions with official transcripts and SAT/ACT test scores.
Net Price: $15,820
#5 UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND
COLLEGE PARK, MD
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN JUSTICE STUDIES ONLINE
The University of Maryland offers many unique characteristics about its campus that make it worthwhile to be a part of, including having a campus farm, holding a Book of Secrets underneath a bench at the university chapel in which you can write, and giving individuals the ability to see the Washington Monument from its football stadium. Among its many popular programs is the Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies Online, which provides students with the knowledge, skills, and ethical principles they need to prepare for a future in the legal field. Some of the objectives the program strives for is to equip students with the ability to conduct legal research, provide analysis, write and draft legal documents, and prepare to produce those legal documents to argue a case. The curriculum requires students to complete 33 semester credits within the major itself, including courses in Advanced Legal Writing, Introduction to Law, Criminal Law and Procedures, and Advanced Legal Practices. Applicants are required to submit official transcripts and test scores to the office of admissions. UM ranks No. 24 on the list of Top Public Universities, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $17,241
#4 NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN LIBERAL STUDIES
Once known as The Institute of Young Men, Northeastern University offers over 50 international study abroad programs providing students the opportunity to see the world. It's an experience anyone from any major can choose to join. The Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies provides students the opportunity to choose a concentration from a number of fields, including history, philosophy, literature, math, science, and psychology. Many who take on this bachelor's degree move forward with their education into graduate school, particularly those who wish to study law, politics, government, education, criminal justice, and communications. The program requires the completion of 24 elective credits and 33 semester credits within the major core itself, three of which are in a capstone course. Overall, 120 semester credits are required to earn a degree. Students can complete the program fully-online and work around their busy schedules. NU ranks No. 1 on the list for Co-Ops/Internships, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $30,784
#3 UNIVERSITY OF IOWA
IOWA CITY, IA
ONLINE BACHELOR OF ARTS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE
With an 86% first-year retention rate, it's no wonder why the University of Iowa ranks as No. 34 among Best Public Universities in the Nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. With an Online Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, students are exposed to a variety of subjects impacting our society in the political, economic, legal, and international spectrum. As part of the online requirements, students must complete five foundational courses and 12 major core courses as part of the 120-credit curriculum. Sample courses students will have the option to take include introductory courses to political behavior, comparative politics, international relations, American foreign policy, social media and politics, American public policy, and the politics of race. Applicants are required to arrange an appointment with an adviser to go over all application requirements as well as degree requirements prior to eligibility.
Net Price: $14,845
#2 UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA
ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN LEGAL STUDIES
It's hard to imagine a better place to begin your college career than at the University of Central Florida. Along with having a football team that has risen in stature and provides one of the most exciting and spirited ambiances of any stadium in the country, the school is also within a short driving distance from downtown Orlando, Universal Studios, and Walt Disney World. It makes completing an Online Bachelor's in Legal Studies a bit more enjoyable. The Legal Studies program is perfect for those with aspirations of becoming a paralegal, lawyer, legal assistant, legal analyst, program specialist, prosecutor, court reporter, or other position tied into the criminal justice system. The overall program requires 120 semester credits with major courses that focus on international law, advocacy, constitutional law, family matters, legal research and writing, and professionalism within the field. Applicants are required to submit official transcripts as well as proof of a high school diploma or GED. UCF ranks No. 14 on the list of Best Online Bachelor's Programs, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $15,431
#1 ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY
ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN JUSTICE STUDIES
Ranked No. 1 for Most Innovative Schools and No. 2 for Best Online Bachelor's Programs, according to U.S. News & World Report, Arizona State University offers students the opportunity to study an Online Bachelor's degree in Justice Studies. As part of the objectives for the program, students will study law, policy, and social justice and learn further about the cultural, historical, and social forces that have impacted our world. Forty courses are required to be completed in the program, with courses taking seven-and-a-half weeks to complete. Students are required to take 15 semester credits in their specific major field and 12-semester credits in upper-division courses in another related field. Freshman applicants must be in the top 25% of their graduating class, have at least a 3.0 GPA in their studies, and have an ACT score of 22-24 or SAT Reasoning score of 1120 in order to be eligible for enrollment.