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)

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.

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

Both the M.A. and paralegal studies programs have been approved by the American Bar Association and offer graduate instruction. These programs do not qualify persons to practice law.