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Master of Arts in Legal Studies

Legal studies

Mission Statement

The legal studies program supports the mission of the university and the College of Liberal Arts to foster the intellectual, professional, and ethical development of students while developing the competencies necessary for an effective career as a legal professional. The program combines practical applications of law with underlying theory as a means of preparing graduates for lifelong intellectual and professional development that contributes to the legal community and the advancement of justice.

Program Goals and Objectives

1. Upon completion of the program, graduates should be able to enter the workforce as a paralegal.

2. Graduate students should possess the skills necessary to perform adequately as an entry-level paralegal, including:

  • legal research,
  • legal writing,
  • critical thinking,
  • interviewing and investigation,
  • technological skills,
  • organizational skills,
  • communication skills,
  • interpersonal skills.

3. Graduates should perform ethically and professionally in the legal working environment.

Available Programs

The Department of Political Science at Texas State University offers the following legal studies programs:

master of arts with a major in legal studies (M.A.)
paralegal studies certificate program (PSCP)
mediation certificate program

The master of arts with a major in legal studies is a non-thesis, 36 semester credit hour program, consisting of a core of 27 required hours, including a cumulative research project and an internship, and nine hours of electives. Students may choose a specialization in one of three areas:  legal administration, alternative dispute resolution, or environmental law. However, specializations will not appear on the student’s diploma or transcript.

The paralegal studies certificate program is a post-graduate certificate program that requires 24 semester credit hours, including an internship.  This program offers entry-level preparation for the paralegal field.

The mediation certificate program is designed to provide entry-level skills for mediators.  This program is especially suited for people who would like to mediate employment, landlord-tenant, neighborhood, and other interpersonal disputes.

Both the M.A. and paralegal Studies programs have been approved by the American Bar Association, and all three programs offer graduate instruction.  None of these programs qualifies persons to practice law.