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Legal Studies

Degree Type: Associate in Applied Science
College(s): College of Business

Why Choose the Legal Studies Program?

The Ferris Legal Studies program provides students with a curriculum that emphasizes a broad-based knowledge of the law, with an emphasis on legal research and writing skills. Students interested in working as paralegals, legal assistants, court personnel, or in occupations that require a strong legal background should consider this program. Ferris graduates have been very successful in using this degree as a background for a variety of occupations and as preparation for law school.

As a student, you will be required to complete courses in legal research, criminal and civil procedure, real estate law, probate and estate planning. In addition, you will study business courses in accounting, business law and computers. General education courses are also required and include English, mathematics and public speaking.

Ferris has an excellent legal collection, and research classes are taught in the library. Lexis-Nexis and WESTLAW, computerized legal research databases, are available.

Career Opportunities

Paralegals assist attorneys in the delivery of legal services. Although they are not lawyers, and may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law, paralegals have the knowledge and expertise to perform work of a legal nature under the supervision of an attorney.

Few career fields offer such diversity and rewards after only two years of formal education beyond high school. Furthermore, the program is designed to allow the student to complete a baccalaureate degree with an additional two years of study.

The Legal Studies program at Ferris State University has been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) since 1978. The curriculum meets or exceeds all the ABA requirements.

Admission Requirements

New Students SAT Scores

  • 2.5 High School GPA (on a 4.0 scale)

Two of the Three Criteria:

  1. SAT ERW score of 450 or higher
  2. SAT Math score of 500 or higher.  Placement in MATH 109/110 will be considered (SAT Math score of 480 or higher).
  3. SAT Composite of 900 or higher

New Students ACT Scores

  • 2.5 High School GPA (on a 4.0 scale)

Two of the Three Criteria:

  1. ACT English score of 16 or higher
  2. ACT Math score of 19 or higher
  3. ACT Reading score of 19 or higher

Transfer Students

  • Combined college or university GPA of 2.35 (on a 4.0 scale) from all institutions attended.  GPA based on completion of 12 credit hours or more.  Developmental courses will not be considered in computing the GPA requirement.
  • Transfer equivalency for FSU ENGL 150 or placement during the first semester at FSU which would require an ACT English score of 16 or higher; or SAT ERW score of 450 or higher; or Accuplacer English score of 6 or higher.
  • Transfer equivalency for FSU MATH 114/115 or placement during the first semester at FSU which would require an ACT Math score of 19 or higher; SAT Math score of 500 or higher; or Accuplacer Math scores:  Elementary Algebra score 75 or higher and College Level Math 0-49.  

General Education Requirements

All University General Education requirements can be found here:

Please consult this link for a complete listing of General Education Electives:

Consult the official checksheet or program advisor for program specific General Education requirements.


Graduation Requirements

The Legal Studies program at Ferris leads to an associate in applied science degree. Graduation requires a minimum 2.0 GPA in core classes, in the major and overall.

Legal Studies Mission and Objectives

More Information

Management Department
Ferris State University
119 South Street, BUS 212
Big Rapids, MI 49307-2284
Phone: (231) 591-2427

The College of Business is accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP.) Next Accreditation Review is February 2018.

Legal Studies is also approved by the American Bar Association.

Required Courses
Credit Hours


Law in the United States 1
Law in the United States 2
Criminal Law and Procedures
Real Estate Law
Probate and Estate Planning
Civil Litigation
Adv Legal Research-Writing
Practice Studies
Related Courses
Princ. of Financial Accounting
Contracts and Sales
Intro Micro Systems-Software
Directed Electives
Choose One:

University General Edcation

Communication Competence
Fundamentals-Public Speaking
English 1
English 2
Scientific Understanding
Lab Science Elective
Quantitative Skills
Choose One:
Quantitative Reason for Pro 2
Intermediate Algebra
If MATH ACT is 24 or higher, substitute a general education elective
Cultural Enrichment Elective
Social Awareness Elective
Minimum credit hours required for A.A.S. degree: