Are you interested in earning an online legal studies degree? Read on for our picks of the most affordable degree programs available for individuals with an interest in justice and the law.
As a degree program, "Legal Studies" comprises a wide array of topics in law, political science, and sociology. It is ideal for students who are interested in working in the legal field but who aren't confident enough in their career choices to choose a very job-specific degree. Students may also choose to major in Legal Studies if they already have a job in the legal arena but want to learn more about the fundamentals of the field. Many students also choose this major if they plan on attending graduate or law school; having an undergraduate degree in an area related to law or political science can give you an advantage as you pursue an advanced degree and take more difficult courses.
Although some degree programs require you to take courses in a traditional classroom, many legal studies programs are flexible enough to allow students to complete most or even all of their coursework online. The benefits of 100% online college programs include the ability to attend a university located anywhere in the country, to take classes at your own pace, and to complete schoolwork as it suits your schedule. If this information has piqued your interest, take a look below at the list of accredited online colleges offering bachelor's degrees in legal studies.
Please note that our ranking of cheap online colleges provides a more general perspective on colleges with significant emphasis in online degrees.
These schools are all very affordable (at the most you'll pay around $13,000 a year!) and are accredited, reputable programs with a quality backed up by such well known names as U.S. News, Princeton Review, and College Prowler. We collected tuition data from College Navigator, a component of the National Center for Education Statistics, and listed the cheapest schools from most to least expensive. Keep in mind, however, that the amount you will pay at public schools may depend on your state of residence.
Note: This article may contain sponsored links. These are designed to help you connect with programs easily.
Cheap Online Legal Studies Degree Programs Ranking
10. California University of Pennsylvania
BA in Jurisprudence: Legal Studies Concentration
Jurisprudence, with a concentration available in Legal Studies, at the California University of Pennsylvania is an affordable online college program for students who have completed some lower division credits. Designed for those who need flexibility, earning a bachelor's degree at this university is a seamless, all online experience. This top online college gives students a firm grounding in jurisprudence, and the general law curriculum includes legal research, reasoning, and writing. From administrative law to family law, and from real estate to criminal law, and more, this schools is a stand out among other online law colleges. The university provides financial aid services and payment plans, and the Office of Veterans Affairs offers additional services for active duty military and veterans. Princeton Review recently selected the university as a Best Northeastern College.
Tuition: $9,239/yr (In-state) $13,091/yr (Out-of-state)
9. Herzing University
Online Legal Studies
Herzing University's affordable online college program prepares students for an "interesting, behind-the-scenes legal career" as a paralegal. Corporations, governments, and law firms are clamoring for qualified paralegals to do work traditionally done by attorneys only. Among top online colleges, the program trains students to investigate the facts of cases, review case-related law and prior decisions, develop reports, and articulate legal arguments. Graduates of the online legal studies degree program have a substantial leg up in launching their career compared to less education applicants. This accredited online college also qualifies students for the Association of Legal Assistants certification examination, and special opportunities and considerations are available for veterans. U.S. News & World Report included the online college on its list of "Best Online Bachelor's Programs."
8. University of Texas Brownsville
Online Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies: Legal Studies Discipline
Among the best online colleges, the University of Texas at Brownsville offers a legal studies bachelor's degree that is meant to build on credits earned through an associate's degree. Students in this program can prepare for a professional career as a paralegal completely online. The online college professes a strong commitment to helping military students with their unique needs and skills, and also offers an extensive financial aid program complete with an assessment of needs and applications for grants and scholarships. According to College Prowler, more than 80% of students label themselvse as "highly satisfied" with their experience at Brownsville, and nearly as many agree that professors are very knowledgeable in their fields.
Tuition: $5,372/yr (In-state) $14,834/yr (Out-of-state)
7. University of Maryland University College
Online Major in Legal Studies
The University of Maryland University College is a cheap online college long on quality. Its major in Legal Studies covers a broad spectrum of subjects and includes an opportunity to concentrate in business law. Either way, graduates can expect a firm grounding in the "knowledge, skills, and ethical principles" needed to work as a paralegal. Professors emphasize both legal theory and its practical applications, and are always sure to point out the importance of ethical context. Intended outcomes of this accredited online college include the ability to independently do legal research, understand the concepts of the legal system, apply critical thinking to case law, and to understand legal procedures. The school has strong veteran assistance and financial aid programs and has received "A" grades in technology and diversity from College Prowler.
Tuition: $6,552/yr (In-state) $12,336/yr (Out-of-state)
6. SUNY Canton
Online Legal Studies – B. Tech
State University of New York at Canton qualifies as a best online college for its commitment to practical education in legal studies. This affordable online college touts the "profound impact" the law has on everyday life and the employment opportunities available for paralegals. From law firms to corporations, and from hospitals to governments, qualified paralegals are in demand. Students in the accredited online legal studies degree program may also specialize in specific areas of the law that lead directly to employment, and are always encouraged to develop a comprehensive understanding of the practical application of the law. The online college offers a host of veteran and financial aid services, and as a result Military Advanced Education Magazine named SUNY Canton a Top Military-Friendly College. In addition, U.S. News & World Report recently listed the university as a Top Regional College.
Tuition: $7,181/yr (In-state) $11,351/yr (Out-of-state)
5. Brandman University
Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies Online
Brandman University's Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies is a comprehensive online program. This best of online colleges takes a strong theoretical view of the law in a democratic society. The curriculum is based on the idea that critical thinking and the study of structured legal arguments can build a foundation for careers in government, administration, and the law. Topics areas include corrections, conflict resolution, forensic psychology, and social movements. Unique among affordable online colleges, Brandman first opened at El Toro Marine Corps Air Station. The university is regionally accredited within the Chapman University System, and remains dedicated to the needs of working students, "military and civilians alike." U.S. News & World Report consistently lists the school as a Best Online Bachelor's Program for Veterans.
4. Baker College
Legal Studies Bachelor of Science Online
"Prepare to begin a rewarding career" as a paralegal with Baker's cheap online college, and expect an education worth more than the cost. The skills that Baker offers prepare graduates to draft legal documents and forms, interact with clients, assist in court, and draft trial preparations. Experienced lawyers and paralegals develop and teach the practically oriented affordable online legal studies degree curriculum, guaranteeing that students learn from people who are intimately familiar with the field. Making online learning affordable, the college has "one-on-one" financial advisors dedicated to finding the funding students need. U.S. News & World Report ranks Baker at 164th out of 1,000 for Best Online Bachelor's Programs.
3. Abraham Lincoln University
Online Legal Studies Bachelors Degree
As a top online college, Abraham Lincoln University offers a "comprehensive" legal studies bachelor's degree. Students take a combination of core and elective classes to build a curriculum that covers all their areas of interest. Graduates often find work as paralegals, although many also pursue graduate legal studies. ALU gladly supports both these goals, and aims to help students build a foundation for both career success and academic advancement. Online legal studies degree students learn all the basics of effective communication, legal writing and research, and adapting to changes in the legal system. The university also takes a unique approach to financial assistance, looking for cost-efficient solutions that will help keep students debt-free. Courses are taken sequentially via the Internet with live or archived lessons, and the online college holds an impressive 72% student-passing rate on the First-Year Law Student's Exam.
2. American Public University
Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies Online
An American Public University Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies is perfect for students who want to advance their current career in legal studies. With the intent to prepare working professionals for law school or to advance a paralegal career, this affordable online college is ideal for busy lifestyles. From case law to research, and from legal writing to the fundamentals of the law, online legal studies degree students virtually interact with others throughout their course of study and hold thought provoking discussions regarding the specifics of the legal system. The online college is associated with the American Public University System, an established member of the Law School Admissions Council, and hires only knowledgeable professors who have experience in the industry. U.S. News & World Report ranked the University 34th under Best Online Bachelor's Programs.
1. Bellevue University
Online Legal Studies Degree – Bachelor of Science
As a cheap online college, Bellevue University costs come in well below even other affordable undergraduate law programs. Their Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies is both "practical and theoretical" in scope, and is available in an accelerated format. Students develop a sense of applying theory to practice, and focus on enhancing the skills that they will use most in graduate school. This best of online colleges has an extensive veterans assistance program and an equally comprehensive financial aid office for all students, and also offers a work-study program that provides qualified students with up to 20 hours per week of paid work. Under the category of Best Online Bachelor's Degrees, the university ranked 18th with U.S. News & World Report, making Bellevue University a top choice at which to earn a cheap online legal studies degree.
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U.S. News & World Report
National Association of Legal Assistants
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Military Advanced Education Magazine
About the Author:
Iris Stone began her writing career when she started working as a freelance writer and researcher in 2011. Her freelance business soon took off and she now owns and operates a writing and editing firm that works with clients all across the country. Despite the time it takes to run a business she still does much of the writing herself, and her work has included a variety of content related to education policy, colleges and universities, academic programs, and graduates' careers. Her interests actually span far beyond writing, and she is currently studying to be a physicist! Check out her Google+ Profile.