College of General Studies

Legal Studies (BA)

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Pitt ranked #1 for Best Bachelor’s in Legal Studies Degree Programs

The College of General Studies' Bachelor in Legal Studies was ranked number one in an article titled “The 25 Best Bachelor in Legal Studies Degree Programs” by selected Pitt’s program based on several weighted factors, including academic excellence, course offerings, faculty strengths, and reputation, including reputation for online degree programs.

To learn more, schedule a preadmission counseling appointment by calling 412-624-6600. Request more information today! 

About the Legal Studies Bachelor's Degree

The legal studies major is an interdisciplinary course of study that combines the theories and methods of several social science disciplines with law. The major is intended to develop an understanding of the nature, content, and operation of American law and legal institutions.

Career Opportunities

Courses in legal studies provide a background for graduate work in administration of justice, business, legal studies, and law as well as work in law-related fields like insurance, social security, and social services. The courses also prepare students for careers in the following settings:

  • banking
  • children’s rights
  • civil liberties organizations
  • collective bargaining/labor relations
  • corporate sales divisions
  • credit-related agencies
  • judicial administration
  • legal research
  • human resources
  • planning commissions
  • privacy protection 
  • public government aid/legislation
  • public welfare
  • real estate agencies
  • tax consultation firms
  • workers’ compensation bureaus

Students must earn a minimum of 120 credits for the Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in legal studies. Of this total, 30 credits make up the major, which is satisfied by taking courses to complete the core requirements, legal studies electives, and outside electives. Below is an outline of these major course requirements. The remaining credits required for the degree are outlined on the Requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree information sheet. Some legal studies courses fulfill the College of General Studies social sciences curriculum requirements. See the current time schedule of classes for specific information.

Core Requirements: 6 credits
(two courses) 

Course NumberTitleCredits
LEGLST 0080Introduction to Legal Studies3
Choose one of the following:  
LEGLST 1210Law and Politics3
PS 1213Law and Politics3

Legal Studies Electives: 18 credits

Choose six courses:

Course Number                                 TitleCredits
LEGLST 0020Public Law and Moral Reasoning3
LEGLST 1140Introduction to Criminal Law3
LEGLST 1141Introduction to Criminal Procedure3
LEGLST 1150Lawyers and the Legal Profession3
LEGLST 1152Legal Issues in Public Service3
LEGLST 1155Law and Social Change3
LEGLST 1230Psychology and the Law3
LEGLST 1260Law, Literature, and Cinema3
LEGLST 1315Sex, Law, and Marriage3
LEGLST 1318Separation, Divorce, and Custody3
LEGLST 1320Law and Environment3
LEGLST 1325Consumer Law3
LEGLST 1326Globalization and Law3
LEGLST 1327International Law3
LEGLST 1340Introduction to Civil Rights3
LEGLST 1355Emerging Issues in Legal and Social Policy3
LEGLST 1410Introduction to Legal Research3
LEGLST 1430Trial Advocacy 1 (Honors)3
LEGLST 1435Trial Advocacy 2 (Honors)3
ADMJ 1900Pre-Service Internship1 - 6
LEGLST 1901Independent Study1 - 6

Outside Electives: 6 credits

Choose two courses:

The final degree requirement is completion of six credits (two courses) from a list of approved electives outside of legal studies. The following represents approved courses from various departments:

Administration of Justice

Course NumberTitleCredits
ADMJ 0100Society and the Law3
ADMJ 0500Introduction to Administration of Justice3
ADMJ 1220Deviance and the Law3
ADMJ 1450Critical Issues in Criminal Justice3


Course NumberTitleCredits
COMMRC 1114Freedom of Speech and the Press3

English Composition

Course NumberTitleCredits
ENGCMP 0410Writing in the Legal Professions3


Course NumberTitleCredits
HIST 1190Medieval Government and Society3
HIST 1191English Origins of American Law3
HIST 1690American Legal History3


Course NumberTitleCredits
PHIL 1390Philosophy of Law                 3

Political Science

Course NumberTitleCredits
PS 1211The Legislative Process3
PS 1614Theory of Justice (Honors)3


Course NumberTitleCredits
PSY 0182Law and Social Psychology3

Public Service

Course NumberTitleCredits
PUBSRV 1305Health, Law, and Ethics3


Course NumberTitleCredits
SOC 0471Deviance and Social Control3

Students interested in a minor, rather than a major, in legal studies should check with their academic advisor.

Requirements are subject to change. Check with an academic advisor before registering.