Paralegal students writing on notepad

Paralegal Studies Getting Started

There are two program tracks for COD's Paralegal Studies program. The right program track for you depends upon whether you are seeking your first college degree or if you already have a college degree.

The Associate in Applied Studies degree is for students who do not have a college degree and are seeking a two-year college degree in paralegal studies.

The certificate program track is for those who already have an associate degree or a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college/university and are seeking to add the certificate credential to their degree.

Associate in Applied Studies Degree

The A.A.S. degree requires 64 to 67 credit hours of coursework, including general education classes and other classes designed to provide technical and professional competence. Students who do not have a college degree must enroll in this program.

In order to enroll in the Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree program, students must have taken English Composition (ENGLI 1101) and Introduction to Paralegal Studies (PLGL 1100) and received a grade of “C” or better in both courses, and Drafting Legal Documents (PLGL1150). You must have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.66 in these three subjects in order to qualify for program admission.

Paralegal Associate in Applied Science Application

Certificate Program

The certificate program requires 36 credit hours of coursework, limited to courses focusing on paralegal skills and education. The certificate program is only available to students who have already earned a college degree.

You must already have earned an A.A. degree or an A.S. degree, or higher, or equivalent from a regionally accredited institution to enroll in the Certificate Program. Students who have earned an A.A.S. degree or other degrees not listed may also be admitted but may be required to take additional classes which are equivalent to classes required by COD’s A.A.S. Degree in Paralegal Studies other than, or in addition to, PLGL classes before enrolling in the Certificate Program.

In order to enroll in the program, Certificate students must have taken Introduction to Paralegal Studies (PLGL 1100) and received a grade of “C” or better, and Drafting Legal Documents (PLGL1150), or equivalent, and have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 in these two subjects.

International Students

Students who earned a college degree outside the U.S. need to obtain an IBT TOEFL score of 79 or higher, and include official test results with application. If this score was not obtained, student must meet with a faculty advisor in the Academic ESL department for required coursework.

Paralegal Certificate Application

Both program tracks require a student to be accepted into the program after taking prerequisite coursework and completing a program application.

Note: Students may continue to enroll in paralegal classes each semester prior to being admitted into the program, except that students seeking admission into PLGL 2600 must have been accepted into the program in order to enroll in these classes.

In either case, the student's first step would be to enroll in Introduction to Paralegal Studies, PLGL 1100, which is a prerequisite for program admission.  Paralegal 1150 is also a program prerequisite, which can either be taken in the same semester as PLGL 1100, or in a separate semester.  In addition, A.A.S. degree students must also take ENGLI 1101 as a program prerequisite.

After the prerequisites listed above have been taken, the student is ready to apply for official admission into the program by completing the applicable program application.

If you have any questions contact Annie Knight, Program Chair, program chair, at