Criminal Justice and Legal Studies

Are you passionate about the legal system and making a positive impact on society? Learn how you can earn a legal studies or criminal justice degree with our WASC Senior College and University Commission accredited programs.

Choosing Your Law Degree Path

When choosing a major within the field of law, it's important to consider your interests and career goals. If you're passionate about advocating for justice and defending the rights of others, a degree in criminal justice may be the right fit for you. On the other hand, if you have a strong business acumen and enjoy problem-solving, a degree in business law could lead to a successful career in corporate law or entrepreneurship. Regardless of the law major or concentration you choose, a career in legal studies offers lucrative job opportunities.


University of Massachusetts Global is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

female forensic investigator examining evidence on wall with gloves and flashlight

What Jobs Can You Get with a Criminal Justice Degree?

With a criminal justice degree, you can pursue a variety of rewarding careers in the field of law enforcement and criminal justice. Some common job options include becoming a police officer, probation officer, or correctional officer. Additionally, you may choose to work as a forensic scientist, crime scene investigator, or legal assistant. The skills and knowledge gained from a criminal justice degree can open doors to a wide range of opportunities within the law field.

Explore Criminal Justice Career Paths

The distinguished faculty and their dedication to their students as well as the administration have made it possible for us students to overcome the challenges we faced and helped us bring our educational goals to fruition.
Maribel L.
BA, Legal Studies
criminal justice leaders talking in conference room

What to Expect as An Undergraduate Legal Studies Major

As a legal studies major, you can expect a comprehensive and well-rounded curriculum that seamlessly blends theoretical knowledge with practical skills. For instance, students will delve into constitutional law, exploring the intricacies of the legal framework that governs our society. Courses in legal research and writing help develop the skills needed to effectively navigate large amounts of legal information and communicate findings in a clear and concise manner.

Legal studies degree programs also place a strong emphasis on ethics in the legal profession, recognizing the importance of upholding moral principles and integrity in the pursuit of justice. By examining real-life case studies and engaging in thought-provoking discussions, you will cultivate a strong ethical foundation that will guide your actions as a legal professional.


Find Your Degree/Program


BA in Criminal Justice

Arts and Sciences

Understand the justice system from a variety of viewpoints, from policing to advocating for victims to forensics. Our criminal justice degree is created and taught by criminal justice and legal experts.


BA in Legal Studies

Arts and Sciences

Focus your bachelor’s degree in law and examine a variety of contemporary legal issues, including conflict resolution and white-collar crime. Here, you’ll learn to further understand the impact of major Supreme Court decisions on the American judicial system and society.


BA in Legal Studies, Business Law

Arts and Sciences

This degree program is well-suited for students seeking a wide variety of business law-related careers, including those in employment law, intellectual property, and business transactions.


BA in Legal Studies, Paralegal Profession

Arts and Sciences

From research to drafting formal documents, critical thinking to organizing courtroom presentations, paralegals have a diverse role. This BA in Legal Studies with Paralegal Profession concentration will prepare you to sit for the Paralegal Core Competencies Exam and the Certified Paralegal Exam, and then to work as a paralegal, including in the state of California.


Undergraduate Certificate in Paralegal

Arts and Sciences

This certificate prepares the student with a basic understanding of the legal system and meets the California paralegal requirements. This certificate can also be used toward completion of the Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies.


Pursue Justice from Courtrooms to Change-Making

If you have a passion for justice and unraveling the truth, begin your journey in legal studies or criminal justice.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you're interested in pursuing a career in the legal field, a degree in legal studies or criminal justice can provide you with a solid foundation. Get answers to frequently asked questions to determine if the two law majors are right for you.

  • To become a paralegal, you will need to complete a formal education program in paralegal studies. This can be a certificate program, an associate's degree, or a bachelor's degree in legal studies with a paralegal concentration. Some employers may also require paralegals hold a certification through a professional organization, such as the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) or the National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA). Gaining practical experience through internships or entry-level positions can also be beneficial for aspiring paralegals.
  • A business law attorney specializes in providing legal advice and representation to businesses and corporations. They handle a wide range of legal matters related to business operations, contracts, intellectual property, employment law, and more. Business law attorneys help their clients navigate complex legal issues, ensure compliance with regulations, and protect their interests in negotiations, disputes, and litigation. They play a crucial role in helping businesses make informed decisions and operate within the boundaries of the law.
  • A legal studies degree focuses on the study of law and legal systems, including topics such as contracts, torts, and constitutional law. On the other hand, a criminal justice degree focuses more specifically on the study of the criminal justice system, including topics such as law enforcement, corrections, and criminal behavior. While both degrees provide a foundation in the legal field, they have different areas of emphasis and can lead to different career paths.
  • Yes, a legal studies degree can be worth it for individuals interested in pursuing a career in law or related fields. A legal studies degree offers a foundational understanding of the law, legal systems, and principles, equipping individuals with valuable knowledge applicable across various professions.

    For those aiming for legal careers not requiring bar admission, such as legal assistants, compliance officers, or paralegals, a legal studies degree can be immensely beneficial, providing specialized knowledge and skills without the full commitment of law school. However, for those aspiring to practice law as attorneys or judges, a legal studies degree alone may not be sufficient, as it typically doesn't fulfill the necessary requirements for bar admission.

  • The length of a criminal justice degree can vary depending on the program and the level of education pursued. Typically, an associate's degree in criminal justice can be completed in two years, while a bachelor's degree can take around four years. Additionally, individuals may choose to pursue advanced degrees in criminal justice, such as a master's or doctoral degree, which can take an additional two to six years to complete.

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