Legal Studies (BA)

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 

The organization selected Pitt’s program based on several weighted factors, such as academic excellence, course offerings, faculty strengths, and reputation (including reputation for online degree programs).

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.

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 help prepare students for careers in the following settings:

  • Banking
  • Child Advocacy
  • 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.See our General Education program page for the remaining requirements.

Below is an outline of these major course requirements. Some legal studies courses fulfill the College of General Studies social sciences curriculum requirements. 

Course Format

Many CGS programs offer a blend of face-to-face and flexible online class formats, all designed to meet our students' needs and schedule constraints.

Online courses are marked with an (●). Courses offered in both face-to-face and online formats are marked with an (#). Courses with no indicator are offered face-to-face only.

Visit CGS Courses to learn more about our flexible offerings and how to search for classes in the course catalog.

Prerequisites and Courses

Core Requirements: (6 credits)

Catalog Number Title Credits
LEGLST 0080 Introduction to Legal Studies (#) 3
LEGLST 1210 / PS 1213 Law and Politics 3

Legal Studies Electives: (18 credits)

Catalog Number                        Title Credits
ADMJ 1225 The Juvenile Justice Process (#) 3
LEGLST 0020 Public Law and Moral Reasoning 3
LEGLST 1140 Introduction to Criminal Law (●) 3
LEGLST 1141 Introduction to Criminal Procedure (#) 3
LEGLST 1150 Lawyers and the Legal Profession 3
LEGLST 1152 Legal Issues in Public Service 3
LEGLST 1155 Law and Social Change 3
LEGLST 1230 Psychology and the Law (#) 3
LEGLST 1260 Law, Literature, and Cinema 3
LEGLST 1315 Sex, Law, and Marriage 3
LEGLST 1318 Separation, Divorce, and Custody 3
LEGLST 1320 Law and Environment 3
LEGLST 1325 Consumer Law 3
LEGLST 1326 Globalization and Law 3
LEGLST 1327 International Law 3
LEGLST 1340 Introduction to Civil Rights 3
LEGLST 1355 Emerging Issues in Legal and Social Policy 3
LEGLST 1410 Introduction to Legal Research (●) 3
LEGLST 1430 Trial Advocacy 1 (Honors) 3
LEGLST 1435 Trial Advocacy 2 (Honors) 3
ADMJ 1900 Pre-Service Internship (●) 1 - 6
LEGLST 1901 Independent Study 1 - 6

Outside Electives: (6 credits)

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:

Course Number Title Credits
Administration of Justice
ADMJ 0100 Society and the Law 3
ADMJ 0500 Introduction to Administration of Justice (#) 3
ADMJ 1220 Deviance and the Law (#) 3
ADMJ 1238 Cybersecurity, the Law, and Money Laundering (#) 3
ADMJ 1450 Critical Issues in Criminal Justice (#) 3
ADMJ 1495 Comparative Justice in Ireland (study abroad) 3
COMMRC 1114 Freedom of Speech and the Press 3
English Composition
ENGCMP 0410 Writing in the Legal Professions 3
HIST 1062 Human Rights in World History 3
HIST 1190 Medieval Government and Society 3
HIST 1191 English Origins of American Law 3
Political Science
PS 1201 Constitution and Civil Liberties 3
PS 1202 American Constitutional Law 3
PS 1211 The Legislative Process 3
PS 1261 American Public Policy 3
PS 1614 Theory of Justice (Honors) 3
PS 1675 Politics of Human Rights 3
PSY 0182 Law and Social Psychology 3
Public Service
PUBSRV 1305 Health, Law, and Ethics (●) 3
PUBSRV 1455 Law, Ethics, and Public Policy in Mass Media 3
SOC 0471 Deviance and Social Control 3
Urban Studies
URBNST 0400 Crime, Punishment, Justice, Reintegration 3
URBNST 1612 Social Justice in the City 3
Any Pitt Prison Education Project (PPEP) course Codes and Topics Vary 3

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