Why This Matters


    A study by O*NET showed that around one-third of paralegal and legal assistant positions required a bachelor’s degree, at minimum. Another 50% only required an associate degree.


    The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects jobs in the legal industry to grow at a slightly above-average rate, leading to an additional 67,000 new jobs through 2029.

  • EARN $52,920 PER YEAR

    Paralegals and legal assistants earn an average of almost $53,000 annually, and those working in federal government jobs can get close to $70,000.

Our Research

When looking at online bachelor’s in legal studies programs, you’ll notice that most of the degrees are Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degrees. A Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies is more tied to the science behind laws while a Bachelor of Arts is focused more on the humanities. While you will likely take similar legal courses in both programs, the other core classes and electives will lean one way or the other.

All of the programs on our list are accredited either nationally or regionally, which means that they have met rigorous quality standards. Legal programs are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), among others.

  • 66 hours to write this article
  • 140 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 254 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Online Bachelor’s in Legal Studies Programs

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What You Should Know About This Degree

One similar program to a bachelor’s in legal studies is a bachelor’s degree in criminology. While a bachelor’s in legal studies focuses more on the actual law and how it can be interpreted in different situations, a bachelor’s degree in criminology also includes classes on things like psychology and forensics.

Accreditations from bodies such as the HLC and the SACSCOC show that the school’s legal studies program meets their standards of academic rigor and will prepare you for a law career.

A bachelor’s in legal studies sets you up for various careers, and with the legal field expected to enjoy faster than average job growth through 2029, there will likely be many positions that need to be filled by those with the proper credentials.

The certifications and tests for the legal field vary by occupation. For example, you can become a Certified Paralegal through The Paralegal Association, and if you want to go on to a graduate law degree, you will need to pass the LSAT.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching online bachelor’s in legal studies programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? To be eligible for an online bachelor’s in legal studies program, you need a high school diploma or GED and must submit your transcripts. Some schools may also ask you to submit scores from the SAT or ACT.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? Most of the degree programs on our list take about 120 credits to complete. If you’re going to school full-time, this is approximately four years or eight semesters.

Once you narrow down your top choices, make sure to look at all of the admissions requirements and deadlines. If you need to submit letters of recommendation or provide official transcripts, it’s a good idea to start several weeks before the admission deadline. If you need help financing your bachelor’s degree, the financial aid office at your chosen school can give you information about scholarship and work-study opportunities as well as grants and student loans.