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Paralegal Studies, Certificate

  • Application Deadline
  • 18 months
University rank #972 (BCR) San Francisco, CA, United States
Paralegal Studies from San Francisco State University is a 30 unit certificate program, providing instruction in practical legal skills and substantive law. All coursework is taught at the upper-division level by attorneys and working paralegals.
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The primary goal of the Paralegal Studies program from San Francisco State University is to educate students for positions as paralegals as a means of improving the quality, accessibility, and affordability of legal services. The program started in 1975 and has graduated well over a thousand paralegals. Further information on the program’s key objectives and the mission statement submitted to the American Bar Association (ABA) can be found on the paralegal program’s website.

Career Outlook

Paralegals are employed in private and public interest law firms, corporations, banks, securities firms, government agencies, and regulatory bodies. The Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks the paralegal occupation as one of the fastest growing in the country. Recent state legislation requires that persons working as paralegals meet specified educational and continuing education requirements.

Work Opportunities

Paralegal Studies Certificate students are eligible for internships through Curricular Practical Training (CPT) after one academic year of full-time study. Students that complete the program may be eligible to work in the U.S. for up to one year through Optional Practical Training (OPT).


San Francisco State University is pleased to announce that the American Bar Association has granted approval to the Paralegal Studies program offered by SF State Extended Learning.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 18 months
    • Duration description

      18 - 24 months

  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Courses included:

  • Introduction to Law/Civil Procedure
  • Legal Research and Writing
  • Communications Skills and Legal Ethics
  • Pleadings and Motions
  • Investigation, Discovery, and Trial Preparation


College graduates who are interested in a career in the legal field, international students who worked in the legal field as lawyers or paralegals in their home countries, career changers, students who are thinking about law school, and early retirees from other professions who have a general interest in the law.

English Language Requirements

This programme may require students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

General Requirements

Applicants who hold a baccalaureate degree, either from the US or another country, are automatically eligible for admission to the program. Applicants who do not have a baccalaureate degree are required to have a minimum of 60 semester or 90 quarter units of prior academic college credit with at least 30 semester (45 quarter) units of academic general education courses in four basic skills courses:

  • oral communication,
  • written composition,
  • critical thinking, and
  • mathematics or quantitative reasoning.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    8990 USD/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 8990 USD for the full programme and a duration of 18 months.
  • National

    8990 USD/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 8990 USD for the full programme and a duration of 18 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.
  • Application fee: $50 
  • Additional costs for texts and materials vary by course from approximately $50 to $150

Living costs for San Francisco

  • 2206 - 4120 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


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