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Legal Studies Major and Minor

Legal Studies allows students from many disciplines to focus their studies using their individual disciplinary interests as a launching point for exploring how the study of law cuts across disciplinary lines. It offers courses in a wide range of subjects, including American legal history, political process, constitutional law, philosophy and ethics, sociology and criminology, business, journalism and broadcasting, economics and property law, and environmental law and regulations.

The program prepares students for law school, but it also serves as a foundation for a wide variety of careers, including public administration and government, academia, the diplomatic corps, homeland security, non-governmental organizations, and law enforcement.


legal studies class debate


Legal Studies 4-Year Degree Path

The Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies consists of 18 hours of core courses in Political Science, History, and Professional Legal Studies (including a capstone experience), and 18 hours of electives from many disciplines across Western Kentucky University. A second major, minor, or certificate is required.

The Legal Studies minor consists of 24 hours and provides students an interdisciplinary perspective while fostering greater understanding of the law as it relates to history, the sciences, and ethics in the United States and around the world.


WKU student Kiya Fogle

What has stood out to me about the Legal Studies major is the many aspects of the law that students get to learn through various subjects. Even if you’re not studying to be a lawyer, the Legal Studies major gives students background that may be required for other jobs such as public administration, non-governmental organizations, and many other common jobs. The most enjoyable part of this major is all of the diverse curriculum.

Kiya Fogle


The Legal Studies program does not prepare students to work as paralegals and is not approved by the ABA to do so. Students who want to work as paralegals should consider Professional Legal Studies, which offers ABA-approved paralegal training.

legal studies student laughing

For more information, contact Dr. Patricia Minter:


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 Last Modified 2/21/24