The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Legal Studies prepares graduates for both law school and for careers in legal assisting, paralegal, and other law-related professions. The program is designed to provide in-depth understanding of the legal system as it relates to the law, the courts, clients, and lawyers. The curriculum encompasses both generalist and specialist courses as recommended by the American Bar Association. The core curriculum provides a solid foundation of legal, ethical, technical, and communication skills. Subsequent to completion of the core, students have an 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.
Program Admission Requirements
- Submit a FGCU Undergraduate Admission Application and satisfy all applicable university admission requirements.
- Satisfy common prerequisites with a grade of C or better.
- Satisfy general education program requirements.
- FGCU General Education Program (GEP) (36 hrs)
Refer to the General Education Program for more information.
- Communication (6 hrs)
- Mathematics (6 hrs)
- Humanities (9 hrs)
- Social Sciences (6-9 hrs)
- Natural Sciences (6-9 hrs)
Note: At least one Natural Sciences course must include a laboratory or field component. Courses meeting this requirement contain a “C” or “L” in their course numbers. Each combined lecture and laboratory course (marked with a C) is equivalent to taking the lecture and laboratory separately.
- Common Prerequisites
For All Majors: Students are strongly encouraged to select required lower division electives that will enhance their general education coursework and that will support their intended baccalaureate degree program. Students should consult with an academic advisor in their major degree area.
- Required Courses in the Major (21 hrs*)
- CJL 4064 Constitutional Criminal Procedure (3)
- PLA 1003 Introduction to Law (3)*
- PLA 3277 Torts (3)
- PLA 3428 Contracts (3)
- PLA 3703 Professional Ethics (3)
- PLA 4116 Legal Research & Writing (3)
- PLA 4850 American Jurisprudence Seminar (3)
*This Course is waived for students with an AS in legal studies or paralegal assisting from a Florida public community college. This waiver reduces the total required hours in this category to 18.
- Restricted Electives (12 hrs)
- Select 9 hours from the following:
- Any 3000-4000 level courses with PLA prefix
- Any 3000-4000 level courses with LESE, APEL, CRJE, ICEL or OPSE attributes
- Any 3000-4000 level courses from the following list:
- BUL 3130 Legal and Ethical Environments of Business (3)
- BUL 3320 Law and Business I (3)
- HSC 3537 Medical Terminology (3)
- IHS 3112 Legal and Ethical Principles of Health Care (3)
- MMC 4211 Media Law and Ethics (3)
- Or other 3000-4000 electives approved in advance by the advisor in criminal justice, political science, law, business, or other fields
- Select 3 hours of communication courses (COM, ENC, ASL, and SPC prefix or PHI 3130 Logic and Disputation) at the 3000 level or higher. See an advisor for approval.
- University Requirements (3 hrs)
- IDS 3920 University Colloquium (3)
- Additional Electives (variable)
TOTAL SEMESTER HOURS REQUIRED: 120 HRS
Additional Graduation Requirements
- Students must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 120 credit hours.
- A cumulative GPA of 2.0 is required for all coursework attempted at FGCU.
- At least 48 of the 120 hours must be in the upper division (3000 and higher).
- At least 30 of the last 60 hours must be earned at FGCU.
- Satisfy Communication and Computation Skills, and foreign language entrance requirements
- Satisfy Service Learning requirement. See www.fgcu.edu/connect/
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