Legal Studies

Legal Studies Online Bachelor of Arts Degree (B.A.) in Jurisprudence

About the Legal Studies Concentration

Pursue in-depth study of the law and legal issues.

Get a strong start for a career in law or in professions related to legal studies with the 100% online bachelor of jurisprudence at PennWest California. In this comprehensive undergraduate program of study, expert faculty and an in-depth curriculum present a wide range of legal topics, including legal reasoning, legal research and writing, litigation, estates and trusts, real estate, business, ethics, and multiple practice areas of law.   

The online bachelor's degree in jurisprudence equips successful graduates with broad knowledge and valuable skills, including readiness to:

  • Interpret and analyze legal materials such as case law and statutory materials.
  • Conduct legal research on diverse topics in the law.
  • Evaluate and critique the laws of crimes and the concept of criminal responsibility.
  • Identify and predict how law and legislation influence the community.

Build specialized skills for in-demand careers.

The legal studies concentration in PennWest California's bachelor's degree in jurisprudence prepares you for many career options:

  • Paralegal, court support personnel or law enforcement professional.
  • Future study in law school.
  • Work in real estate and business.

The program of study in jurisprudence helps to shape your organizational skills and analytical abilities to support future career success in any profession you choose.


Solid foundation: As a PennWest California undergraduate you'll study the law and important legal topics while sharpening your talents in writing, research and deductive reasoning. Through challenging courses, you'll be introduced to pertinent content areas including criminal law, family law, administrative law, ethics and constitutional law, and law in business and real estate.

Vital options: The B.A. in Jurisprudence: Legal Studies concentration is designed for students who have earned an associate degree (or who have completed a minimum of 40 credit hours); first-year students also are accepted. PennWest California works with many other institutions and is ready to help you make a smooth transfer to our university. Studying online lets you balance work and other responsibilities while learning at your own pace.

Accelerated Degree Option: 
Students in the legal studies program can save time and money with the accelerated B.A. to M.S. degree option. This option permits undergraduates in good standing to take up to 12 credits of graduate-level courses as electives during their senior year. These graduate-level core courses lay the foundation for the student to examine practical legal and policy issues through the lens of law and public policy, criminal justice or homeland security. In addition to fulfilling requirements for the bachelor’s degree, these courses also are applied to the master’s degree program, reducing both cost and time to completion.

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In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked PennWest California No. 6 among the best online bachelor's degree programs in the nation. 
SR Education Group ( ranked PennWest California's online bachelor's degree programs No. 8 on its 2017 list of Most Affordable Online Colleges. 
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Degree Benefits

This 100% online degree offers courses that are distinctive and challenging, including Classical Jurisprudence, Medieval Jurisprudence and Anglo-American Jurisprudence. Learn from expert faculty with top academic credentials and extensive practical experience, primarily as licensed attorneys. Your professors are well qualified to prepare you for today's demanding legal workplace and for positions in real estate, business, law enforcement and other professions. Legal studies students also develop excellent research abilities and valuable professional skills in legal advocacy, interpretation and critical thinking, providing an excellent foundation for those who desire to attend law school.

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Graduate Outcomes

Many B.A. in Jurisprudence graduates go on to jobs as paralegals or legal assistants; they also work as court system support personnel, real estate practitioners, law enforcement professionals, government agency employees and business owners. Jurisprudence graduates also are ready for the world of nonprofit organizations and advocacy groups. Graduates are hired by major employers including:

  • Law firms.
  • Title companies.
  • Insurance companies.
  • Real estate development firms.
  • Corporate legal departments.
  • Law enforcement.
  • Federal and state government agencies.
B.A. Jurisprudence: Legal Studies Concentration
Lawyers in a law library.

Paralegal Preparation

As the legal work environment becomes more specialized and demanding, paralegals are more frequently called upon to perform higher-level tasks. The B.A. in Jurisprudence curriculum teaches the analytical skills required in legal thought and reasoning, preparing students to be ready to fully support supervising attorneys. Students also have numerous assignments that enable them to master legal research through Westlaw.

A group of legal professionals meeting in an office.

Graduate Studies

After completing the B.A. in Jurisprudence with the legal studies concentration, students can choose to go on to PennWest California's online M.S. in Legal Studies, which offers three concentrations and certificates in:

PennWest California’s accelerated degree program reduces the time and cost required to complete both the bachelor’s and master’s degree. It allows eligible undergraduates to earn up to 12 credits in selected graduate-level courses during their senior year. These courses also apply to the M.S. program, providing a “head start” on the master’s degree.

Jurisprudence: Legal Studies Concentration - Online Bachelor's Degree Courses

The legal studies concentration in the B.A. in Jurisprudence degree program focuses on in-depth study of the law and legal topics, including research and writing, to give students a comprehensive appreciation of the vital role of law in society.


Course Credits
General Education Courses 40 or 41
Building a Sense of Community
UNI 100  First-Year Seminar
ENG 101  English Composition I
Public Speaking
Any CDC Public Speaking Course
Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy
Any Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy Course
Health and Wellness
Any Health and Wellness Course
Technological Literacy
Any Technological Literacy Course
Any Humanities Course
Fine Arts
Any Fine Arts Course
Natural Sciences
Any Natural Sciences Course
3 or 4
Social Sciences
Any Social Sciences Course
General Education Options
  • Any Ethics and Multicultural Awareness Emphasis Course
  • Additional General Education Courses (three courses)
Required Major Courses 9
JUR 300  Classical Jurisprudence 3
JUR 310  Medieval Jurisprudence 3
JUR 320  Anglo-American Jurisprudence 3
Required Related Courses 33
LAW 300  The Paralegal Profession 3
LAW 310  Legal Research and Writing 3
LAW 320  Litigation and Trial Evidence 3
LAW 330  Criminal Law for Paralegals 3
LAW 340  Family Law 3
LAW 350  Real Estate Law 3
LAW 360  Law, Business and the Workplace 3
LAW 370  Administrative Law 3
LAW 380  Estates and Trusts 3
LAW 400  Constitutional Law for Paralegals 3
LAW 410  Law and Ethics 3
Free Electives* 37 to 38
Total 120

Additional requirements, not counted toward the General Education requirements, include:

  • Special Experience Course (1 course required): JUR 310
  • Writing-Intensive Component Courses (2 courses required): JUR 300 AND JUR 310
  • Laboratory Course (1 course required): Any Laboratory Course

* The following LAW electives are recommended, though any upper-division course qualifies as an elective:

  • LAW 390  Bankruptcy (3 credits)
  • LAW 420  Law and Conflict Resolution (3 credits)
  • LAW 430  Elder Law (3 credits)
  • LAW 440  Immigration Law (3 credits)
  • LAW 450  Labor and Employment Law (3 credits)
  • LAW 460  School Law (3 credits)

Program Notes: 42 credits of advanced coursework (any 300- or 400-level course or any 200-level course with at least one pre-requisite) are required. Transfer students entering this program will have at least 40 semester-credit-hours of college credits; first-year students are also accepted. Students entering with an associate degree will need fewer electives.


Admission Requirements