What Is a Legal Studies Degree?
Policy making and governance can be drivers of positive change that benefit communities, families and individuals. Grand Canyon University’s Bachelor of Arts in Government with an Emphasis in Legal Studies offers a unique pathway for students because it combines theoretical knowledge with hands-on application. Based in policy and politics, this legal studies degree emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach that is rooted in a classical liberal arts education. This online and on-campus legal studies degree examines the intersections of disciplines such as communication, justice studies, philosophy, business and theology.
Offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, this bachelor’s in legal studies can serve as a foundational framework for students interested in pursuing entry into law school or public service. The program is an intensive exploration in research and writing that challenges students to develop their critical reasoning capabilities, communication skills and sense of servant leadership. Examine the founding principles of the American government, as well as its constitutional framework and governing institutions. Historical perspectives and contemporary legal issues are examined in this dynamic online and on-campus legal studies degree.
Why Earn Your BA in Government and Legal Studies Degree at GCU?
GCU is a private Christian school that integrates the Christian worldview into each curriculum. In the Bachelor of Arts in Government with an Emphasis in Legal Studies degree program, there is an emphasis on the value of servant leadership. Students explore the theories and application of Christian ethics into the decision-making process.
Students are encouraged to practice critical analysis while exploring the negotiation and resolution of legal issues. You will examine the growth of American democracy from its colonial roots to the development of the Constitution to contemporary topics. Explore the foundations of the law and legal philosophy, and examine how these time-tested concepts are applicable to modern legal and governance decisions.
A total of 120 credits are required for completion of this bachelor’s in legal studies. This degree is available through on-campus or online classes. Most online courses are seven weeks in length, while campus classes are about 15 weeks long.
What You’ll Learn With a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Legal Studies Degree
This government bachelor’s degree with a legal studies emphasis prepares you to take on challenges in the criminal or civil law fields. Fully qualified faculty members teach courses such as Introduction to Political Theory, Philosophy of Law and Introduction to Comparative Government and International Politics. During your studies, you will acquire foundational knowledge and skills such as the following:
- Classic and contemporary expressions of political thought and processes
- Qualitative and quantitative political research methods
- Public policy in the federal government, and its impact on governing institutions, interest groups and public opinion
- Legal reasoning, analysis and practical legal research
- Diplomatic relations, international processes and governance in Western and non-Western countries
Career Opportunities in Government and Legal Studies
The interdisciplinary nature of this bachelor's-level online or on-campus legal studies degree prepares students for success in a wide range of career fields. Some of the jobs related to this degree may include the following:
- Legislative aid
- Policy analyst
- Policy and quality analyst
- Compliance analyst
- Regulatory affairs manager
- Manager of government affairs policy
With its concentrated focus on the principles of a legal, ethical and constitutional society, this online or on-campus legal studies degree can prepare students to apply for entry into law school. Additionally, bachelor's in legal studies graduates will have a fundamental understanding of legal database research, writing skills and law school concepts that go beyond what is typically available from a two-year paralegal program.
Frequently Asked Questions for Legal Studies Degrees
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.
- UNV-103, University Success: 4
- UNV-303, University Success: 4
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.
- ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
- UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
- ENG-106, English Composition II: 4
- COM-263, Elements of Intercultural Communication: 4
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.
- CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
- CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4
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.
- MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
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, cross-cultural 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.
- PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
- INT-244, World Religions: 4
- SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4
* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.