Legal Studies Major

Gavel FallingA bachelor of science degree in legal studies will provide you with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary for several careers.

Students who major in Legal Studies at WWU take a core group of courses in Legal Studies. In addition, they choose one of the concentration areas below.


Criminal Justice

Many criminal justice programs focus on policing, corrections or security matters. At William Woods, our criminal justice program focuses on the legal aspects of these and other concerns. The advantage of this approach is that it provides the student with a basic foundation for the pursuit of different job positions or advanced degree programs in law, psychology, sociology and other liberal arts fields requiring knowledge of legal fundamentals. Many local, state and federal agencies favor applicants with a strong legal background. The FBI, for example, requires a law, accounting or other similar degree, or substantial criminal justice experience in successful applicants.

The curriculum also includes:

  • American Legal System
  • Criminal Law and Procedures
  • Internship III
  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Legal Interviewing and Investigation
  • Politics and Government
  • Senior Seminar

Based on the job market and the increased use of scientific and electronic techniques, criminal justice majors are strongly urged to take additional science and computer-information courses as electives.

Juvenile Justice

Juvenile justice refers to the governmental system that deals with young people (usually under the age of 18). Sometimes these young people have committed violent acts, sometimes they have been runaways or curfew violators and sometimes they have been neglected or abused. Professionals who work with juveniles may interact with them through the court system, the correctional system, schools, social agencies or community-based programs. WWU students have a unique opportunity to interact with high-risk teenagers placed in the on-campus Rosa Parks Center.

William Woods prepares students for the future through participation in the Mentor-Mentee program, internships, study abroad opportunities, and preparation for graduate school and professional careers.


As the number and complexity of lawsuits continue to grow, so will the need for paralegals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has consistently listed the paralegal/legal assistant profession among the top professions predicted to continue growing in the 21st century.

A major in paralegal studies will allow you to develop thinking skills and apply these skills in the legal field while assisting the lawyer and client. If you major in paralegal studies, you may function as a paralegal or legal assistant. Paralegals are part of the legal staff who are employed or retained by a lawyer or law office. They perform specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible.

Bachelor of Science

The Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies comprises 58 credits. This degree does not require a minor.