Paralegal Degree Programs at George Washington University
George Washington University appears in our ranking of the Top 10 Online Paralegal Degree Programs
Though many colleges in America offer paralegal programs, most are two-year or four-year lower level programs for undergrads. George Washington University offers both a paralegal certificate and a degree program for advanced students. Both require that students already have their bachelor’s degrees in hand when they start. Incoming students must use the same application and meet the same admissions requirements too.
The university offers a graduate certificate program in paralegal studies that features just six classes. This is the only program in the Washington DC area that allows students to earn credits towards a full graduate degree in paralegal studies. The university allows students to take classes on any of its Graduate Education Centers, which are in Foggy Bottom and Alexandria. There is also an online option available. The six courses in the program include American Jurisprudence, Ligation, Business Entities, Advanced Legal Writing, Contracts, and Legal Research and Writing.
To earn a full degree, students must take these same courses and a few others. The university recommends that prospective students use the program website to schedule a meeting, which allows them to talk about degree requirements and the paralegal studies field with a faculty member. Those students can also attend an information session. Both programs are flexible and offer opportunities for current students to network with its alumni.
The degree program includes 12 courses that are worth up to 32 credit hours. Many of these courses provide students with more information about a specific legal field. They’ll take Administrative Law, Real Estate Law, Intellectual Property Law, and International Law. George Washington University also requires that paralegal studies degree students take a Government Contracts course and an Independent Project course. This course asks them to write a paper of at least 20 words based on their own original research and that they present their projects. Students will also do a legal practicum.
About George Washington University
Named after the first President of the United States, George Washington University is a private university in Washington DC. Founded in 1821, it chose his name because Washington himself wanted the nation’s capital to have its own university. The School of Arts and Sciences opened first but was then followed by a medical school and both other schools and departments. It most recently added a School of Nursing in 2010. George Washington University is the university’s official and formal name, but most call it either GWU or GW. Some call the university George Washington too. In addition to an online campus, the university operates a campus in Alexandria, Virginia and in the Washington DC neighborhood called Foggy Bottom.
GW ranks as one of the world’s and one of the nation’s best colleges, according to U.S. News and World Report, Washington Monthly, ARWU, QS, and others. The Princeton Review added the university to its top 10 lists of the most politically active colleges, the best college towns and the best schools in the northeast. It also has a strong reputation for its study abroad program. Those in the paralegal studies graduate program can study abroad and work with alumni living in that country. Enrollment at George Washington includes more than 15,000 graduate and post-graduate students today.
George Washington University Accreditation Details
George Washington has regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Regional accreditation is what gives the university the authority to accept both transfer students and their transfer credits and to provide both incoming and returning students with financial aid packages. This also allows GW to provide students with degrees and certificates. The law programs offered by this university has accreditation from the American Bar Association (ABA) too.
George Washington University Application Requirements
GW has a priority deadline application of April 15 for those who want to start the graduate certificate or degree program in paralegal studies. If the program still has space, students can apply by June 15. The deadline for those seeking financial aid is May 1, which is when students must submit their applications and the FAFSA. Those applying to the online program can start in the spring or the summer. These semesters have deadlines of January 3 and April 15 at the latest. Prospective students must still complete the FAFSA to apply for aid.
The main requirements for its paralegal studies programs include a bachelor’s degree and a grade point average of 3.0. GW will accept students with a degree in paralegal studies or any legal field. The admissions process asks students to submit an online application and to supply their official transcripts from all the colleges they attended. They should also submit a resume and a statement of purpose that is between 250 and 500 words. This statement allows students to mention things they didn’t include on their applications and to talk about their legal experiences. GW also requires two letters of recommendation and an $80 application fee. It will waive these fee for current GW students and alumni, those in the military and students who meet other requirements.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Students pay $925 per credit hour to study on a GW campus. With fees added in, they pay $29,600 to complete the paralegal studies degree program. Online students pay $1,090 per credit hour, which brings their costs up to $35,020 to earn their degrees online. Certificate students will pay the same rate to take classes online or on a GW campus, but they will pay less to finish the total program because they take fewer credits. The university found that students pay an average of $600 for all the textbooks that they need in the degree program too.
Financial aid is available for GW students enrolled at least half-time in any of its graduate programs. Students must take at least nine credit hours of courses to qualify for financial aid. Those who fall below this number will need to look at external aid such as alternative loans. Though Virginia offers grants for residents enrolled in a graduate program, both residents and nonresidents will likely use student loans. The federal government allows students to borrow a maximum of $20,500 every year. George Washington University will provide paralegal studies students with award letters that show all the financial aid they will receive before the start of the next semester.