Legal Studies vs. Criminal Justice: Narrowing Down Your Program of Choice

Criminal justice bandsStudents considering entering the law field have an important choice to make. When deciding on a program of study, it is crucial to understand the details of each program to determine which is best. In the case of legal studies and criminal justice, these two programs are very similar, and the uninformed student might not know which is the best direction to take.

That is why Florida National University (FNU) details the differences between the programs. Put those concerns and questions to rest with the following information:

Legal Studies and Criminal Justice: Sister Fields

As one might expect, criminal justice and legal studies are two somewhat similar programs that direct students to familiar paths. The difference between these programs depends on what specific details students would like to focus on, along with the career path they would like to follow—but, more on that in a bit. First, take a look at the different programs from which students at FNU can choose.

FNU’s Programs: A Closer Look

FNU offers four programs that fit the bill for legal students who hope to learn more about the field. Individuals can choose from a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies, a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, an Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies, and an Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice. Here is a closer look at the details and requirements of these programs:

  1. Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies

The purpose of the Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies (LSBA) program is to expand the students’ critical and analytical thinking skills, advance students’ ability to communicate complex data, both verbally and written, and to prepare students for higher-lever positions within the legal profession. Additionally, this program helps to prepare students to gain admission to law school.

Courses for this include Legal Research & Writing I & II, Civil Litigation, Property Law, Immigration Law, Bankruptcy Law, and more. This program requires the completion of a minimum of 120 credits.

  1. Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

The purpose of the Bachelor of Science Criminal Justice (CJBS) program is to expand the students’ critical and analytical thinking skills, advance students’ ability to communicate complex data, both verbally and written, and prepare students for higher-level positions within the criminal justice sector, or gain admission to graduate-level programs.

Courses include Criminology, Juvenile Delinquency I, Correctional Operations, Police Administration, Minorities and Crime, White Collar Crime, Forensic Psychology, and more. This program requires the completion of a minimum of 120 credits.

  1. Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies

This program has been designed for those students seeking a career in law. Students will take courses that survey the American legal system, as well as courses in communication, humanities, behavioral science, mathematics, natural science, and computers. Florida National University will award an Associate of Arts in Paralegal upon graduation to those students who complete the necessary requirements. Upon graduating, students may pursue upper-level studies, or commence a career within the legal profession.

Courses include Contracts and Business Entities, Business Law, Professional Ethics and Liability, and more. This program requires the completion of a minimum of 60 credits.

  1. Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice (AA), Associate of Arts Degree. This program has been designed for those students seeking an education in the field of Law and Law Enforcement among other careers of great demand. It offers students a broad background in the Criminal Justice System, and includes courses in communication, humanities, behavioral science, mathematics, natural science, and computers as well as Fundamentals of Criminal Investigation, Psychology Applied to Law, and more. Graduating students may continue their education at the bachelor’s level or begin careers in the field including law enforcement, court system, and private industry.

This program requires the completion of a minimum of 60 credits.

Several Programs, Several Fields

As one can see, the main difference between the programs is that criminal justice focuses on criminal behavior, the treatment of this behavior, and the reason behind it, along with the best ways to address it. Whereas, legal studies focuses on the legal side of things, including courtroom procedures and laws. They are both an excellent precursor to continuing one’s education in law school, but legal studies might offer more significant information to an individual looking to pursue this at a later time.

Here are some of the paths one can take, depending on one’s program choice and continued education:

  • Legal Studies: Attorney, court administration, court clerk, DEA agent, FBI agent, investigator, legal assistant, legal consultant, litigation analyst, paralegal, politician, professor, and more.
  • Criminal Justice: Attorney, border patrol agent, bailiff, CIA agent, criminologist, U.S. Customs agent, deportation officer, deputy marshal, police detective, corrections facility manager, police officer, professor, and more.

While the two fields are similar, they yield varied possibilities for each student’s future.

FNU: More Options for You

As you can see, FNU is more than prepared to help you start your education in legal studies or criminal justice. When it comes to which path you should take, the choice is yours.

If you are ready to lay the foundation for your next career, consider starting with an education in one of FNU’s accredited programs. Prospective students who are ready to get started should apply now!

Share This
Florida National University logo in white