Program Details

Bachelor of Arts in Government with an Emphasis in Legal Studies

Offered By: College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Total Program Credits & Course Length:
Total Program Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks
Online: 7 weeks [ More Info ]
Transfer Credits:
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
Program Tuition Rate:
Campus: $8,250 per semester. [ More Info ]
Online: $470 per credit. [ More Info ]
VA Approved Program Icon


Gain an Understanding of Legal and Government Studies

The legal domain shares a common set of interdisciplinary themes that apply to law school, paralegal roles and the practice of law. Integrating public service and policy from historical and contemporary perspectives can help you establish knowledge that can be drawn upon to help you succeed in future legal pursuits.

Grand Canyon University's Bachelor of Arts in Government with an Emphasis in Legal Studies degree combines a liberal arts interdisciplinary curriculum that includes communication and business with structure and complexity of law and government. This program is offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences to provide you with the opportunity to explore these dynamic disciplines to establish a foundation that naturally serves as a prelaw degree or as an entryway into public or legal service. We also infuse Christian ethics into our curriculum to help you establish a foundation for ethical decision-making.

At the heart of the Bachelor of Arts in Government with an Emphasis in Legal Studies degree program is a classical liberal arts education that inspires critical reasoning, effective communication and a strong foundation in research and writing. The program offers an introduction into American politics and government, providing a deep understanding of the constitutional foundations and the governing institutions in the federal government and how it applies to law. In addition, you examine contemporary and practical legal issues that apply to the practice of law.

Degree Outcomes

Examine Contemporary Legal Studies

With a focus on law school concepts and the legal database research and writing skills that exceed the scope of a two-year paralegal program, our legal studies degree offers the analytical techniques needed to negotiate and resolve legal concerns. It introduces the topics of legal philosophy and the foundations of the law. With an overview of morality in relation to law and ethics, the program examines contemporary topics, such as capital punishment and the legalization of drugs.

With the classics and the more contemporary expressions of political thought, the core of the government degree surveys the development of the American Constitution from its colonial origins to the present day. In the broader framework of political philosophy, the program examines constitutional law and the impact Supreme Court decisions have had on society.

What You Will Learn

Build Legal and Political Knowledge

As a student in this bachelors in legal studies program, you explore:

  • Constitutional studies explore federalism, the doctrine of separation of powers and more
  • Public policy creation in the federal government
  • An overview of civil and criminal law
  • A review of the elements needed to maintain a successful law practice
  • Government institutions, political themes, nature of governance, democracy and patterns of political behavior

Career Outcomes

Earn a Legal and Administrative Education

The BA in Government with an Emphasis in Legal Studies degree program provides the analytical tools needed within the fields of both criminal and civil law. Graduates may be prepared for employment within a legal environment as a paralegal or in an administrative role. The liberal arts skills that you can gain during the course of this degree program can prepare you for jobs that require analytical thought and effective communication, such as sales and service positions. This degree can also help you prepare to enter law school.

Law School Entrance*

The bachelors in legal studies can help potential law school students by providing an education focused on legal and governmental issues that touches on essential information. At the core of an effective pre-law program are three areas of focus:

  • Sound reasoning and legal analysis
  • Practical legal research and writing
  • Soft skills of communication to gather and relay information

An exposure to coursework that focuses on contemporary legal subjects may provide you with a significant edge, alongside examining interdisciplinary matters that can be valuable to an advanced legal education.

*Program completion does not guarantee acceptance into law school.

Course List

The programs offered at Grand Canyon University may vary by content and course length. You are currently viewing the program version available in Arizona. For information about specific course content, credit length and VA approval in your state, please contact a counselor at 1-855-GCU-LOPE or click here to request more information.
General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
44 credits
Open Elective Credits:
36-42 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
120 credits

General Education Requirements

General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University’s General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.


Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.

Course Options

  • UNV-103, University Success: 4 credits
  • UNV-303, University Success: 4 credits


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.

Course Options

  • ENG-105, English Composition I: 4 credits
  • UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4 credits
  • ENG-106, English Composition II: 4 credits
  • COM-263, Elements of Intercultural Communication: 4 credits


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.

Course Options

  • CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4 credits
  • CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4 credits


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments. Students are required to take 3 credits of college mathematics or higher.

Course Options

  • MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4 credits


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, crosscultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.

Course Options

  • PSY-102, General Psychology: 4 credits
  • INT-244, World Religions: 4 credits
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4 credits

Program Core Courses

Course Description

This course is an introduction to American government and politics. It covers the constitutional foundations and governing institutions of the federal government. Throughout the course, students address common political themes, such as the nature and scope of governance, democracy, citizenship, and patterns of political behavior.

Course Description

This course compares and contrasts various systems of government in Western and non-Western countries, and explores political and diplomatic processes and how they affect international relations, nations, and localities.

Course Description

This writing intensive course surveys the development of the American Constitution from colonial origins to the present. Constitutional law in the broader framework of political philosophy is discussed. Major themes in this course are federalism, the doctrine of separation of powers, and the impact of Supreme Court decisions on society. Prerequisite: GOV-140.

Course Description

This course is an introduction to topics in legal philosophy, including but not limited to the foundations of law, the relation of law and morality, law and ethics, whether persons have a duty to obey the law, the nature of property, the reasonableness of punishment, and the role of constitutions in law. Readings will be drawn from both historical and contemporary sources.

Course Description

This course introduces the qualitative and quantitative methods used to research and study politics including hypothesis testing, inference, and causal reasoning. Prerequisite: GOV-140.

Course Description

This course covers public policymaking in American federal government. It focuses on the impact of policy on public opinion, the media, interest groups, and governing institutions within the executive, the legislative, and the judicial branches. Prerequisite: GOV-140.

Course Description

This course examines the political processes that determine who gets what, when, and how in society, and explores the issues and concepts that are used to develop and critique political theories. The classics as well as the more contemporary expressions of political thought are introduced.

Course Description

This course provides an overview of the broad field of civil law, giving students a contemporary, practical understanding of the different fields of civil law. The course also provides analytical techniques for resolving legal problems.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to criminal liability with an emphasis on the elements of a crime and governmental sanctions of individual conduct as formulated by the legislature and the court system.

Course Description

This course focuses on three major areas of success required to become a successful legal practitioner: legal reasoning and analysis, practical legal research and writing, and "soft" skills of the legal profession such as the ability to gather information from persons and to communicate with persons in the legal arena. Prerequisite: GOV-357.

Course Description

This writing intensive course provides a broad overview of careers at the federal, state, and local levels of governing bodies and agencies. The course explores the role of a bureaucrat, legislative aid, lobbyist, or campaign worker. Issues that are unique to legislatures that make the law, and to public agencies that implement and enforce the law are also explored. This course examines selected theoretical and empirical topics in government. This course represents the culmination of undergraduate study within government. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses in Program of Study and content area.

Program Locations



Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview. New modern classrooms, suite-style residence halls, popular dining options, resort-style swimming pools and a focus on creating a dynamic student life make GCU a top choice for high school graduates and transfer students. Exciting events, well-known guest speakers and Division I athletics round out the traditional student experience. Our welcoming campus community is the perfect place to find your purpose.


Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere. GCU offers the most experienced leadership in delivering online degree programs. Full-time faculty members and fully trained adjunct instructors, equipped with strong academic backgrounds and practical experience in their fields, support you every step of the way. Designed with the career-oriented professional in mind, our online classes provide an intimate environment that stimulates engaging and challenging discussions. Choose from programs across our distinct colleges, in high-demand employment areas. Classes begin frequently.


Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom. Night classes are designed for a specific number of students, providing a warm and nurturing environment that supports an engaging experience. In an evening cohort, you will progress through your degree program with the same career-minded classmates, providing an opportunity to network and forge relationships that go beyond the classroom. Classes begin frequently at various locations, including our main campus.

* Please note that this list may contain programs that are not presently offered as program availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability of the program.

* The Department of Education defines how an institution must calculate a program's On-Time Completion rate for federal disclosure purposes. The On-Time Completion rate is based on a program's published required number of months to complete all degree requirements as provided in the institution's catalog. Completion statistics are updated every January and are based on the cohort of students who started the program in the same year and then graduated within the published program length.

Online and Evening program disclosures (48 months) Online and Evening program disclosures (48 months) On-campus program disclosures (48 months)

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.