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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 do 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: 2.5 high school GPA (on a 4.0 scale) and two of the three criteria below: (1) English ACT score of 16 or higher, or SAT Writing score of 370 or higher; (2) Math ACT score of 19 or higher, or SAT Math score of 460 or higher; (3) Reading ACT score of 19 or higher, or SAT Reading score of 430 or higher.

Transfer Students: Combined college or university GPA of 2.35 (on a 4.0 scale) from all institutions attended. GPA is based on completion of 12 credit hours or more. Transfer equivalency for FSU ENGLISH 150 or placement during the first semester at FSU which would require an ACT English score of 16 or higher; Compass score 70 – 100. Transfer equivalency for FSU MATH 115or placement during the first semester at FSU which would require an ACT Math score of 19 or higher; Compass Algebra score 46 - 74 and HS Algebra with 2.0. 

Exceptions for New and Transfer Students: Applicants not meeting the above criteria but having a 2.35 High School GPA and at least a 16 ACT in Math or Reading (2.00 Overall GPA for Transfer Students) can be considered for conditional admission in a College of Business Pre-Program. Any mitigating circumstances will be considered on an individual basis by the College of Business Dean’s Office.

Pre-Program students must complete a minimum of 12 FSU credits (excluding developmental courses) with a 2.35 GPA; courses must include ENGL 150 and MATH 115 before being considered for admission into their program of choice. Students must meet admission criteria for their chosen degree program by the time they have earned 30 credits.

More Information:
Additional guidance can be found on the College of Business Webpage under the Admissions tab.

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
Principles of Accounting 1
Contracts and Sales
Intro Micro Systems-Software
Directed Electives

University General Edcation

Communication Competence
Fundamentals-Public Speaking
English 1
English 2
Scientific Understanding
Lab Science Elective
Quantitative Skills
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: