Skip to main content
student on campus

Paralegal Studies Undergraduate Certificate

The paralegal studies certificate prepares students for work as paralegals and for careers in the field of law. This American Bar Association-approved program focuses on both theory and practice and is open to all students.

Students in this program can play an important role in the delivery of legal services but they are not permitted to practice law. To practice law, learners must obtain a law school degree and satisfy other state requirements for admission to the bar.

Visit the program website for more information.

Program Overview

Students seeking a certificate in paralegal studies must complete 30 credit hours. Students who have not yet earned a bachelor's degree must complete a bachelor's degree to earn the certificate; the certificate will be awarded when the degree is awarded. Students who have already completed a bachelor's degree must submit an application for admission to the legal studies program. An overall GPA of at least 2.7 is required for admission. No more than six credits can be transferred from another institution and at least nine credits of legal specialty courses must be taken through traditional classroom instruction.

Why Paralegal Studies at Grand Valley?

  • The certificate is approved by the American Bar Association and features a curriculum that provides a strong foundation in writing and critical thinking with an emphasis on professional skills necessary for success in the legal field.
  • The certificate consists of 30 credits and can be completed in 3 terms.
  • The program prides itself on the diverse professional experience of its faculty members, most of whom are licensed attorneys, who collectively have many years of experience working in areas of civil and criminal law.
  • The program has an advisory board consisting of attorneys and paralegals representing a broad cross-section of employers. The board plays an important role by giving guidance on matters such as curriculum, internship and employment opportunities, and trends in the legal field.


To submit an application for admission to the paralegal undergraduate certificate program, click here

Location & Format

Undergraduate students in this program meet downtown on the Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus.

  • Face To Face


  • Substantive law, including contracts, criminal law, torts, property, business law, and family law
  • Oral and written communication
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Investigation and legal research
  • Legal ethics and professionalism

Career Options

The certificate is a stepping stone for law-related work in many areas, including:

  • Insurance companies
  • Government agencies
  • Law firms
  • Courts
  • Corporations
  • Nonprofit organizations

For More Information

School of Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Legal Studies
289C Richard M. DeVos Center
(616) 331-7130

Admissions and Recruitment Office