Got questions? We have prepared answer to the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Paralegal Studies Program at Phoenix College. Please review them and if you still have questions, contact us by email.
Yes. The Paralegal Studies Program has been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) since 1989. It is the only ABA-approved paralegal program in northern Arizona.
The ABA approves programs that satisfy its Guidelines for the Approval of Paralegal Education Programs. Click here for more information on the ABA approval process.
We offer an Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS) and a Certificate of Completion (CCL).
If you have not yet earned your first college degree you must pursue the Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies (AAS).
If you already have earned your first degree, you must pursue the Certificate of Completion in Paralegal Studies (CCL).
The program is not offered fully online.
If you are pursuing the Associate of Applied Science, many of the general education courses (math, English, history, science, etc) are available online.
Of the 14 paralegal-specific courses (any class that begins with "LAS") 10 are offered only in-person and must be taken in a traditional classroom format. The other four courses have an online and in-person option most semesters.
Paralegal-specific courses taken any place other than at Phoenix College will not transfer except as follows:
Equivalent paralegal courses, as determined by the Paralegal Studies Program Director, taken at other institutions, will be considered for transfer credit if taken at a regionally accredited institution, within a Paralegal Program that was approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) at the time the courses were completed, and that were completed with a grade of B or higher within six (6) years of the date of admission or readmission to the Paralegal Studies Program; a maximum of six (6) semester hours of qualifying coursework can be transferred and applied to LAS101 and/or a paralegal (LAS) Restricted Elective course at Phoenix College.
To see if a paralegal program is approved by the ABA, click here to search the ABA's directory of approved programs.
All paralegal-specific courses in the program must be taken and passed; there is not an option to “test out” of any paralegal-specific course.
Everyone that has not yet completed their degree must start in the Paralegal Studies Program as a degree-seeking student and cannot pursue the Certificate of Completion (CCL). You will not have to repeat classes like English, math, Science, etc. as long as you earn the degree. But you will have to establish eligibility as a degree student.
This means you will have to establish your eligibility for the program the same way as a student that has no college credit. See the FAQ "This will be my first college experience" for information on how to get started.
After you establish your eligibility to pursue the degree you can begin taking paralegal courses and when you finish your degree at the other college you can switch to the Certificate of Completion in Paralegal Studies. Unless you complete that other degree, you will not be awarded the Certificate of Completion even if you finish all of the courses for the Certificate. You must have a prior degree before the Certificate of Completion will be awarded; there are no exceptions.
See the FAQ "This will be my first college experience" for information on getting started.
The cost is a combination of three things:
1) Tuition, which is charged based on the number of credits for each course in the program;
2) Books & supplies, and;
3) Course fees.
The Certificate of Completion is 40 credits and the Associate of Applied Science is 62-67 credits, depending on the math course you take and depending on whether you have to take the course in Critical Reading. Whether you have to take the course in Critical Reading depends on your placement score for reading. The required math class can be taken as a 3, 4, or 5 credit version to suit the amount of additional instruction you need for the class and to help accommodate those who do better by having their math class spread out over more time.
If you need pre-requisite courses, such as computer proficiency courses, or developmental math, reading, or English courses, those will be additional credits you will have to take.
Tuition for academic year 2017-2018 is $86/credit for Arizona residents. To the most current information on tuition rates and to determine whether you qualify for in-state Arizona resident tuition, click here.
Most classes are 3 credits. Books are an additional cost and you should plan for approximately $125-$150 per class. Some classes have more expensive books, some classes have less expensive books, some classes share/use the same books, and sometimes a class has no required books. Also, some courses have additional lab fees that are between $5-$50 for the course.
Example Class: LAS109 - Civil Procedure I.
- Tuition: The class is three credits so tuition for Arizona residents for 2014-2015 would be $84 x 3: $256
- Books: This class has two books. If you buy new books, the cost would be $315.50. However, the two books for this class are used in two different classes, so you buy the books once and they are good for two courses. Also, there are usually used copies of the book, which are less expensive; also, there are often electronic versions of the book, as well as rental options, both of which are less expensive
- Course Fees: As of 2014-2015, this course has a $10 course fee.
Financial Aid in the form of student loans and grants are available to those who qualify. If you need financial aid to pay for college, you must start that application process very early -- usually at least a couple of months before classes start. There important forms to complete and it takes time to process them.
The first step in applying for financial aid is to complete your FAFSA form. This is done completely online -- there is no paper version of the form. For more information on financial aid and to complete your FAFSA, click here:
After you submit your FAFSA, you MUST monitor your student Message Center every day. That is where you will be notified of your application status and whether more information is needed. If you don't check your messages and respond to them promptly, your financial aid may not be processed. To check your Message Center, go to your Student Center at http://my.maricopa.edu
If you are not eligible for financial aid, or cannot get it approved before your tuition and fees are due for the upcoming semester, you may be eligible for the payment plan that lets you spread the bill for your tuition and fees over several weeks and make payments. For information on the payment plan, click here.
The length of time it takes to complete the program depends on how many courses are required for the program and the number of courses you take each semester.
The Certificate of Completion has 14 courses. If you are required to take the prerequisite computer course for proficiency in Microsoft Office, that is an additional course. If you attend full-time, taking 4-5 courses each semester (fall, spring, and summer), most students can complete the Certificate of Completion in about one year.
The Associate of Applied Science has 21-22 courses (this includes your paralegal courses), depending on whether you are required to take the course in Critical Reading; this is determined based on your placement tests. If you are required to take the prerequisite computer courses for proficiency in Microsoft Office, that is an additional course. If you are required to take developmental courses in reading, English, and/or math, those will also be additional courses.
If you attend full-time taking 4-5 classes each semester (fall, spring, and summer), most students can finish the Associates Degree in about two years.
The program is offered both day and evening.
Most general education courses (math, English, history, science, etc.), meet two or three times per week for 50-90 minutes per class.
All paralegal specific classes (any class that begins with "LAS") meet one day (or evening) per week.
Congratulations on getting started on your first degree! There are a few steps you need to follow to get started.
1. Complete your placement tests for reading, English, and math. These tests are free and do not obligate you to take any courses. But you must take them so that we can determine where you will start with your degree. Placement testing is done at the Phoenix College Testing Center, located in the Hannelly OneStop Center at the main campus: 1202 W. Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ. This is on the corner of 15th Avenue & Thomas Road.
2. AFTER you complete your placement tests, complete your Program Eligibility Form and submit it.
3. AFTER you complete your placement test, email the advisor to request an appointment to go over your placement tests and determine your first semester's schedule. Email the advisor at: LASADVISOR@PHOENIXCOLLEGE.EDU. When you email the advisor, always include your student number (the number that begins with a "3".
The Paralegal Advisor is located on the second floor of E-Building, Office 208.
If you have a college degree, do the following:
- Complete the Program Eligibility Form.
- Along with your eligibility form, submit proof of your degree, such as an unofficial transcript or copy of your diploma.
- Send your OFFICIAL transcripts to Phoenix College Office of Admissions and Records.
There are two types of courses for purposes of the paralegal program:
General education courses: Classes like math, English, history, biology, chemistry, etc. are referred to as "general education courses" and if you took them someplace else they may transfer to Phoenix College. At a minimum, they must have been taken at a regionally-accredited institution and passed with a "C" or higher. To determine whether a specific course will transfer you will need to have your official transcript evaluated by the Phoenix College Office of Admissions & Records.
Paralegal-specific courses: Classes that begin with "LAS" are the paralegal-specific courses in the Phoenix College Paralegal Studies Program. See the FAQ "Will paralegal courses from another school transfer" for information on transferring paralegal courses from another school.
Complete the following steps to get started:
- Complete your placement tests for reading, English, and math. These tests are free and do not obligate you to take any courses. But you must take them so that we can determine where you will start with your degree. Placement testing is done at the Phoenix College Testing Center, located in the Hannelly One Stop Center at the main campus: 1202 W. Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ. This is on the corner of 15th Avenue & Thomas Road. Click here to get more information on placement testing. Click here for a map to the main campus.
- Have OFFICIAL copies of your transcripts from the other colleges you have attended sent directly the Phoenix College Office of Admissions & Records. Instructions are on the Eligibility Form. Two weeks after you request your transcripts to be sent, call the Phoenix College Contact Center (602-285-7777 or text "pc call me" to 480-405-1619 for a callback) to make sure they have arrived and ask to have them evaluated
- AFTER you complete your placement tests, complete your Program Eligibility Form and submit it.
- AFTER you complete your placement test, email the advisor to request an appointment to go over your placement tests and determine your first semester's schedule. Email the advisor at:LASADVISOR@PHOENIXCOLLEGE.EDU. When you email the advisor, always include your student number (the number that begins with a "3")
The Paralegal Advisor is located on the second floor of E-Building, Office 208.
If your degree is from outside of the United States, you must first have your transcript evaluated to determine its U.S. equivalent. If you have already had that done, you will need to send the official evaluation to our Admissions and Records Office. Once that evaluation is received, we will be able to determine where you would start in the Paralegal Program.
Assistance and information service that perform transcript evaluation is available from our International Student office Click here to go to the International Students Office Scroll down to “Transcript Evaluation”
After you confirm the college has received your foreign transcript evaluation, email the Paralegal Advisor at LASADVISOR@PHOENIXCOLLEGE.EDU for assistance with finishing your admission to the Paralegal Studies Program.