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Paralegal Studies Graduate Certificate


Graduate Certificate in Paralegal Studies
     Master's degree in Paralegal Studies

As Washington DC’s only academic-credit bearing paralegal studies program, the GW graduate certificate in Paralegal Studies is more than a powerful credential: it’s a signal to the best employers that you withstood the academic rigor of one of the nation’s best paralegal programs. 

You’ll study with the nation’s leading experts and get the critical knowledge and skills you need to enter legal, corporate, healthcare, or government practice with confidence and acumen.  

If you choose, you can apply the 18-credit graduate certificate toward the 32-credit master’s degree in Paralegal Studies. And as a credit-bearing program, this GW certificate qualifies for military benefits and federal financial aid.




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""Program at a Glance



The program is geared towards working professionals and other nontraditional students. Evening classes and online options help you manage your life’s multiple priorities.



This academic credit bearing credential has been named among the best in the nation and will boost your professional profile in tangible ways.



With alumni across the country and in Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Italy, China, Japan, England and Taiwan, you’ll join a global network of professionals.    

Program News

""Where You’ll Study

Where you'll study


You can study at the Graduate Education Center in Alexandria, VA & Foggy Bottom Campus in Washington, DC or online

You can study on campus at the Graduate Education Center in Alexandria, Virginia and our Foggy Bottom Campus in Washington, D.C. or fully online.

""What You’ll Study

The Graduate Certificate in Paralegal Studies is 18 credits. The six required courses provide the perspective and understanding you need to enter the legal field. The program is typically completed in two or three semesters. 

PSLX 6210: American Jurisprudence
3 credits. This course introduces students to the foundations, theories, history and applications of the American legal system.

Participants examine local, state, and federal courts and sources of law and survey ethics and professionalism.

PSLX 6211: Legal Research and Writing
3 credits. The legal research portion of this course introduces students to the methods, tools and rules of print and online legal research and writing, including online databases and the Bluebook. 

In the legal writing portion of the course, students draft, edit, and present legal documents based upon their research, including memorandums, motions, and briefs.


PSLX 6212: Litigation
3 credits. This course provides the professional skills that are essential to supporting litigation. Ethical considerations in litigation and using legal technology are woven throughout the course.

Students explore the art and science of litigation, which includes the elements of standard civil actions; how to use technology in litigation; and examine the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, criminal procedure, juvenile procedure, and administrative procedure.


PSLX 6223: Contracts
3 credits. This foundational course examines contract elements and attendant legal ramifications; students engage in the deep analytical thinking and develop legal reasoning skills in evaluating issues arising from contract law and practice drafting and reviewing contracts.


PSLX 6224: Advanced Legal Writing
3 credits. This course includes advanced legal writing techniques and drafting for practice, including legal writing in plain English; strategies for effective writing. Students draft legal memoranda, legal correspondence, and legal pleadings. Students will refine and advance legal analysis, writing and legal citation skills.

PSLX 6225: Business Entities
3 credits. This course addresses business organizations and related business law topics including securities regulation, consumer protection, regulation and compliance.


""Admissions Information

Applicants to the graduate certificate in Paralegal Studies must have a:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning or international equivalent
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale

You’ll also have to complete our online application and submit the necessary required materials. If you need assistance, please contact us by emailing [email protected]



Rates Effective Summer 2019-Spring 2020 Terms  

18 credits @ $1,145 /credit hour
(Tuition rate applies to both the online and in-person classes)

Registration Fees

  • Online: 3 registration sessions @ $35 each
  • In-Person: 2 registration sessions @ $35 each
  • Online: $105
  • In-Person: $70

Total Tuition and Fees (estimated)


  • Online: $20,715
  • In-Person: $20,680
Rates Effective Summer 2018-Spring 2019 Terms
Graduate Certificate (In-Person Classroom)  
Tuition (Summer 2018-Spring 2019 Terms):
18 credits @ $925/credit hour
Registration Fees: 
2 registration sessions @ $35 each
TOTAL Tuition + fees (estimate) $16,720
Graduate Certificate (Online Classroom)  
18 credits @ $1,090/credit hour $19,620
Registration Fees: 
3 registration sessions @ $35 each
Total Tuition + Fees (estimate)



Other costs to consider:    

Application fee:   $80
Textbooks: $700



Fully completed applications submitted on or before the priority deadline will receive an application fee waiver. An application file is considered “complete” when academic transcripts, recommendations, test scores (if applicable), employment verification (if applicable), and the completed online application (including resume and statement of purpose) are received. Applications received after the priority deadline will continue to be processed, space permitting.


illustration of a leafFall Admission

Classroom-based program and online program

  • Priority deadline (application fee waived for complete applications submitted for the classroom-based program only) – April 15
  • Complete applications accepted on a space-available basis through June 15
  • Fall financial aid deadline – May 1


illustration of a flowerSpring Admission

Online program only

  • Priority deadline – August 1
  • Complete applications accepted on a space-available basis through October 1
  • Spring financial aid deadline – October 1


illustration of a sunSummer Admission

Online program only

  • Priority deadline – February 15
  • Complete applications accepted on a space-available basis through April 15
  • Summer financial aid deadline – March 1





Avery Hymel

Senior Recruitment and Enrollment Specialist
[email protected]



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Information Sessions

We periodically offer online and in-person information sessions about the Paralegal Studies Graduate Certificate. Contact the program representative to learn more about upcoming events.