Paralegal Studies Degree Requirements

THE CURRICULUM

The Paralegal Studies Program is approved by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Paralegals. Students majoring in paralegal studies, an interdisciplinary major, complete 36 hours of course work. The program provides training in all aspects of the paralegal field, such as legal research and drafting, litigation assistantship, interviewing and investigation, and file organization and maintenance. All students majoring in paralegal studies must maintain an overall GPA of 2.5 after 30 hours of course work at Southern Miss, and any students transferring to the Paralegal Studies Program must attain a GPA of 2.25 prior to transferring.

Requirements for a Major in Paralegal Studies: The paralegal studies curriculum is interdisciplinary and includes the following requirements:

  1. General education curriculum as outlined in the College of Arts and Letters preface of the Undergraduate Bulletin.
  2. PLS 381, 382, 383, 384, 385, 386, 387, 388
  3. ENG 332 or 333
  4. AJ 330
  5. One of the following electives: ACC 200; BA 200; REI 340; AJ 430, 463; CSC 100; PS 380, 480, 481, 484, 489; PLS 389, 492.
  6. PLS 490 senior capstone course (WI)
  7. Eighteen to 21 hours in a minor field

    Click here for the full Paralegal Studies degree plan. 

Graduation with a degree in paralegal studies requires 124 hours, including at least 21 hours in courses numbered 300 and above in the major. Students are strongly advised to complete PLS 381 (Introduction to Paralegalism) and PLS 383 (Legal Research) during their first semester in the program. Students participating in PLS 389 (Internship in Paralegal Studies), an elective course, usually intern the summer between their junior and senior year.

Please Note: The University of Southern Mississippi does not offer a minor in Paralegal Studies at this time.

Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.