Paralegal Certificate - Day Program (Synchronous Online)

Earn an ABA-Approved Paralegal Certificate in as Little as Four Months

Graduates of the ABA-approved Paralegal Program are well prepared to assist in the effective delivery of legal services in both the private and public sectors of our society. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law. Paralegals are trained members of a legal team who work under the supervision of attorneys. A team concept approach to legal matters ensures professional representation of clients and reduces the cost of legal services. Through classroom lectures, readings, and practical assignments, students become familiar with the role of the paralegal in the legal environment.

Program Outcomes

  • Earn an ABA approved paralegal certificate, meeting the requirements of Business & Professions Code §6450
  • Develop practical skills in preparation for a paralegal career
  • Acquire foundational knowledge in substantive areas of law necessary to perform work under the supervision of an attorney
  • Understand legal ethics and the role of the paralegal in the legal environment
  • Understand basic legal concepts and terminology and our court structure
  • Understand and practice the elements of legal research and analysis
  • Become familiar with and practice appropriate technology use in the legal environment

Certificate Requirements

The USD Paralegal Certificate - Day Program requires students to complete 24 units over one or two terms. The Intensive Day Program is ideal for the student who wishes to enter the legal profession quickly. Students in the Intensive Day Program will complete 24 units in one term (4 months). The Extended Day Program allows students to complete the requirements at a slower pace, splitting the coursework over two terms. Students in the Extended Day Program will complete 12 units of core curriculum during the first term and 12 units of electives during the second term. USD does not transfer in paralegal credits from other institutions. 

Admission Requirements

Previous Education -- Applicants for the day certificate program must possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited postsecondary institution to be considered for admission (no exceptions). Interested applicants who do not possess a baccalaureate degree may qualify for the evening program.

Interested U.S. applicants located outside of San Diego County should review the Prospective Students not in San Diego County information before beginning the application process.

International Education/English Proficiency -- The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (recommended minimum 92) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (recommended minimum 7.0) is mandatory for all applicants educated outside the United States. The test can be waived if English is your primary language or you have obtained a bachelor's degree from the U.S., Great Britain, Canada or Australia. Other exceptions can be made on a case by case basis. The Program is not authorized to facilitate visas of any kind.   

Core Courses

Minimum required: 4 courses

  • PLST 500: Introduction to Law
  • PLST 505: Legal Research and Writing
  • PLST 510: Computers in the Legal Field
  • PLST 551: Civil Litigation

Elective Courses

Minimum required: 4 courses

  • PLST 521: Introduction to Business Entities
  • PLST 524: Administrative Law
  • PLST 525: Contracts
  • PLST 526: Intellectual Property
  • PLST 527: Employment/Labor Law
  • PLST 553: Estates, Wills and Trusts
  • PLST 554: Criminal Law
  • PLST 555: Family Law
  • PLST 556: Real Estate
  • PLST 598: Internship

Upcoming Program Dates

Upcoming Program Dates
Term Intensive Day (1 term) Extended Day (2 terms)
Spring 2023 Jan 24 - May 4, 2023 Jan 24 - Aug 31, 2023
Summer 2023 May 23 - Aug 31, 2023 May 23 - Dec 14, 2023
Fall 2023 Sep 12 - Dec 14, 2023 Sep 12, 2023 - May 2, 2024
Spring 2024 Jan 23 - May 2, 2024 Jan 23 - Aug 29, 2024
Summer 2024 May 21 - Aug 29, 2024 May 21 - Dec 17, 2024
Dates subject to change   

Upcoming Term Dates

Spring 2023: Jan 24 - May 4, 2023 (synchronous online)
Summer 2023: May 23 - Aug 31, 2023 (synchronous online)
Fall 2023: Sep 12 - Dec 14, 2023 (synchronous online)
Spring 2024: Jan 23 - May 2, 2024 (synchronous online)

Dates subject to change

Schedule and Fees

Paralegal Program tuition is $285 per semester unit. The program consists of 24 total units (12 core and 12 elective). View a course-by-course cost breakdown.

Info Sessions and Events

Visit our Request Info page for upcoming event dates or to speak with an adviser.