Paralegal Studies Bachelor's Degree Completion Program
This powerful, marketable credential is a point of entry into the paralegal profession or law school. Study with the nation’s leading legal experts in the nation’s capital at GW’s Alexandria Education Center.
The Bachelor's in Paralegal Studies is an ABA-approved 60-credit bachelor’s degree completion program that offers an affordable, convenient way to enter the exciting paralegal profession or go on to law school.
- Earn a bachelor’s degree at an affordable cost in under two years
- Join a global network of alumni and scholars
- Enjoy individualized academic and career support
Program at a Glance
Affordable & Convenient
Tuition is lower than standard GW tuition and financial aid options are available. Classes are held in the evenings at the GW Education Center in Alexandria, Virginia.
GW’s ABA-approved, academic credit-bearing program suite, named among the best in the nation, will boost your earning potential.
With alumni across the country and the world you’ll join a global network of professionals and academics.
Where You'll Study
The program is offered in-person at the GW Education Center in Alexandria, Virginia.
What You'll Study
Students take 15 four-credit courses on the art and science of the law, including litigation, legal research and writing, and legal technology.
60 credits in core courses, to be taken at GW, are required for the major:
PSLX 3210: Introduction to the U.S. Legal System (4 credits)
Introduction to the U.S. legal system. Foundations of law; issue spotting and legal writing; Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; rules of court; ethics and professionalism; and unauthorized practice of law.
PSLX 3211: Legal Research and Analysis (4 credits)
Students learn to conduct legal and data research, evaluate and synthesize their results, and communicate those results in proper legal style.
PSLX 3212: The Art and Science of Litigation (4 credits)
Pretrial litigation from client interviewing through the start of the trial. Focus is on strategy, technology, the law, and managing the mechanics of a case. The trial itself is covered in PSLX 3224.
PSLX 3213: Argument and Logic (4 credits)
Articulating strong arguments by recognizing weaknesses and fallacies in problematic arguments and dissecting effective arguments.
PSLX 3214: Legal Writing (4 credits)
Advanced legal writing techniques and drafting for legal practice. Includes instruction on mechanics, style, and technical content. Students refine and advance their mastery of legal analysis and citation.
PSLX 3215: Law and Literature (4 credits)
Research, analysis, and contextualization related to statutes, case law, and procedures found in stories, plays, and films.
PSLX 3216: The U.S. Constitution (4 credits)
The structure of the U.S. government, federalism, individual and civil liberties, and the Constitutional underpinnings of the justice system.
PSLX 3217: Real Estate and Property (4 credits)
Survey of the bundle of rights and duties that exist with respect to property, including practical application of property law to real estate.
PSLX 3218: Survey of Torts and Criminal Law (4 credits)
The substantive law of torts and crimes, including elements, defenses, and preparing for civil and criminal trials.
PSLX 3219: Estates and Trusts (4 credits)
The law of wills and estates. Types of trusts; fiduciary duties; and practical applications, including drafting instruments.
PSLX 3220: Business Law (4 credits)
Foundational and ethical concepts of business law including constitutional considerations, contracts, business entities, and employment law.
PSLX 3221: Immigration Law (4 credits)
U.S. immigration law, including foundational concepts, current issues, policy considerations, and practical applications.
PSLX 3222: Senior Thesis (4 credits)
Capstone seminar that focuses on excellence in legal writing and current issues in the legal field through review and discussion.
PSLX 3224: Mock Trial (4 credits)
Application of theoretical learning from practical experience and substantive courses to a trial simulation.
PSLX 3298: Practicum (4 credits)
Students apply skills acquired in the marketplace; assess professional interests and skills; and learn how to market themselves through career tools and networking.
The Bachelor of Arts with a major in Paralegal Studies requires a total of 120 credits, including 22 credits in general education courses and 38 credits in elective courses, which may be completed at any regionally accredited institution; and at least 60 credits in courses for the major, which must be taken at GW.
General Education courses: 22 credits taken at another institution (Review requirements in the GW Bulletin) comprising the following:
Mathematics (quantitative reasoning or higher) (3 credits)
Natural or physical science with one lab course (4 credits)
Arts or humanities (3 credits)
Social or behavioral sciences (3 credits)
Written communication or composition (6 credits)
Speech communications (intro to communications or public speaking) (3 credits) or foreign language (3 credits)
Electives: 38 credits taken at another institution
Paralegal Studies Major: 60 credits taken at GW
General education and elective courses may be completed at any regionally accredited institution. A minimum grade of C is required for transfer credit to be approved.
- Understand key legal concepts
- Assess fact patterns to spot legal issues
- Communicate effectively orally and in writing
- Operate ethically and professionally in accordance with the law and industry guidelines
- Solve complex problems
- Demonstrate critical thinking
- Manage complex projects
- Assess, adapt and utilize technology and online resources
- Conduct research to answer legal questions
- Integrate sources and Bluebook citations
12% job growth
Paralegal field: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts 12% growth through 2028.
Paralegal graduate career opportunities are increasing in demand, according to BLS. Competitive salaries, averaging $83,330 in the D.C. metro area.
With 500+ alumni from the master’s degree & graduate certificate programs, B.A. students will benefit from the vast professional network & experienced faculty.
Applicants to the B.P.S. in Paralegal Studies must have an:
- Associate’s degree in arts or science from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning or international equivalent; or
- 60 transferable credit hours;
- Applicants need proof of high school completion (final high school transcript, GED, or copy of high school diploma), if the applicant has not earned an associate’s degree;
- Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
You’ll also have to complete our online application and submit the necessary required materials, including one letter of recommendation (academic or professional). If you need assistance, please contact us by emailing [email protected].
Tuition & Aid
GW tuition and fees are comparable to the national average for private universities. These costs are set by the GW Board of Trustees and generally increase year to year, variable by program and location.
Please use this information as an estimate based on current tuition rates and fee structures. Total tuition and fees will vary according to the courses taken and the timeframe in which you complete your coursework.
2022-2023 Rates in Effect for Summer 2022, Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 Terms
Tuition: 60 credits @ $925 per credit hour
15 courses / 4-credits each
Registration Fees: 5 registration sessions @ $35 each
|TOTAL: Tuition and fees (estimate)||
Other Costs to Consider: Application Fee: $80; Textbooks: $1,800 (approximate); Matriculation Fee: $200 (one time).
- Dean's Scholarships are competitively awarded (up to a maximum of $5,000 per year) to a limited number of top academic achievers. Program applications must be received no later than February 1st to be considered for the scholarship. (Contact the program representative for details and requirements.)
- VA State Grants:
- Virginia Two-Year Transfer Grant is sponsored by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). Students who have earned an Associate’s degree at an accredited Virginia two-year institution and meet other eligibility requirements could receive an annual award of up to $2,000.
Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (VTAG) is sponsored by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). Designed to assist Virginia residents who attend accredited private, nonprofit colleges and universities in Virginia with awards up to $3,000.
More information about these programs, eligibility and application steps are available through GW’s Office of Student Financial Assistance (OFSA).
- Educational Loans: Thinking about applying for Stafford or alternative education loans? For more information please visit the loan section of GW's Office of Student Financial Assistance (OFSA).
GW's Military & Veteran Services provides wide-ranging resources and support to the military community, including GW scholarships and assistance with benefits:
Since Military and Veterans Services was created in 2008, GW has been an annual recipient of the Military Friendly Award and is also annually recognized as a Military Times “Best for Vets” higher education institution.
A maximum of one legal specialty course required for the degree may be approved for transfer to the B.A. in Paralegal Studies from credit earned while enrolled as a non-degree student at GW or from another degree-granting school of this University or another accredited college or university.
For transfer credit to be approved, all of these conditions must be met:
- The coursework must be from an accredited institution and must have been taken within the two years prior to matriculation;
- It must be approved as part of the student’s program of studies;
- It must not have been applied to the completion of requirements for another degree;
- It must be 300- or 400-level undergraduate coursework; and the student must have received a minimum grade of B in the course for which transfer credit is requested.
Requests for transfer credit must be submitted in writing and approved by the program director and the Dean during the student’s first year in the program. An official transcript of the coursework must be on file before the request can be considered.
Applicants that have complete applications are eligible to request an application fee waiver by 11:59 p.m. on the Priority Deadline.* To request an application fee waiver, contact your program representative before submitting your application. Fee waiver details. Applications received after the Final Deadline will continue to be processed, space permitting.
- Fall Priority Deadline: May 1*
- Fall Final Deadline: August 1
Applications accepted after the deadline on a space-available basis
- Not offered
- Not offered
Note for International Students: Applicants must submit their complete applications by the deadlines listed on the International Student Admissions page. These deadlines are at least two months before the deadline for admitted students to submit visa request paperwork.
Recruitment & Admissions
Schedule an Appointment
Lisa L. Leibow, JD
Associate Program Director
We periodically offer online and in-person information sessions about GW's Paralegal Studies programs. Contact the program representative to learn more about upcoming events.