Political Science

Certificate in Paralegal Studies

(All courses are 3 credit hours, unless otherwise designated)
The certificate is a part-time 21 credit hour evening classroom-based program allowing those currently working to obtain certification to advance their career. Paralegals improve the efficiency, speed, economy, and availability of legal services, thus meeting the need for more cost effective legal services. Typical work activities include preparing materials for closings, hearings, trials, and corporate meetings. They also draft contracts, investigate the facts of cases, organize and track legal files, and are involved in the preparation of tax returns and maintenance of financial office records. Paralegals are typically employed by law firms or governmental agencies; however paralegals may also be employed by corporations, insurance companies, hospitals, title companies and community legal service agencies.

The Paralegal Studies Certificate Program is an interdisciplinary program. The program is usually completed in two and one-half years, but there is a one year accelerated program, for those individuals meeting the eligibility requirements. Students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences may use this certificate to fulfill the CLAS minor requirement.

Certificate Requirements

(Courses are 3 credit hours, unless otherwise designated.)
The Paralegal Studies Certificate requires 21 credit hours of course work in political science, English, and business for completion.

Prerequisites (6 cr.)
ENG-W 131 Elementary Composition 1
CSCI-A 106 Introduction to Computing

Required Political Science Courses (15 cr.)
POLS-Y 211 Introduction to Law
POLS-Y 221 Legal Research and Writing for Paralegal Studies
POLS-Y 222 Litigation for Paralegal Studies
POLS-Y 224 Property Law for Paralegal Studies
POLS-Y 229 Estate Law for Paralegal Studies

Required English Courses (3 cr.)
ENG-W 233 Intermediate Expository Writing

Required Business Courses (3 cr.)
BUS-X 102 Freshman Seminar in Business VT: Business Organizations for

Additional Requirements

In addition to completing the above courses, students must also complete two six-hour mandatory seminars (which meet for six hours on a given Saturday during the semester) and four of five three-hour seminars (which meet during regularly scheduled class times).

Six-Hour Seminars
Client Interviewing Seminar
Law Office Technology and Systems Seminar

Three-Hour Seminars
Paralegal Methods in Business Organizations Seminar
Paralegal Methods in Estate Planning
Paralegal Methods in Litigation Seminar
Paralegal Methods in Probate Seminar

Paralegal Methods in Real Property Seminar


For more information on our undergraduate program, see the current IUSB Bulletin or consult the chair of the department, Dr. Steven Gerencser, or any member of the department faculty.

Student Consumer Information about this Program 

Majors and Programs Homepage


PLEASE NOTE: The Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs (BSPA), previously offered by the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, is no longer being offered on the IU South Bend campus. No new students will be admitted into the program or allowed to change their major to public affairs from this point forward. This change will not affect currently enrolled BSPA students, however, who will able to graduate with a BSPA degree. If you have any questions about these changes, please contact Neovi Karakatsanis, chair of the Political Science Department.