Frequently Asked Questions

The total cost of the program is $3,995. Visit our Tuition and Payment Options pages for additional details.

Students have several payment options. They have the option to pay for the program in its entirety at the time of registration, consider a payment plan, or look into additional funding options.

Payment must be submitted in order to secure a spot in class.

There are no required texts for the online Paralegal Studies Program. All material will be available within the online learning platform.

Yes. To gain a better understanding of the online learning experience at BU, visit the online learning course tour. Please note, the Paralegal Certificate course does not include academic advisors, e-portfolios, nor graduation.

The course can be accessed at the time of day that suits each student best, and there are no scheduled lectures. However, each two-week module contains assignments and assessments that must be submitted by stated deadlines in the course. Thus, it is important that students keep up with the program. To help keep students on track, faculty offer virtual office hours with each module where you can simply log in using the live classroom link. No appointment is needed.

Students should be prepared to spend 10-14 hours per week on each module.

Upon successful completion of the BU online Paralegal Certificate Program, students will have earned a Paralegal Certificate from Boston University. This paralegal certificate identifies them as having met the established academic requirements of BU. Boston University is internationally known for its high academic standards. Certification is a designation awarded by an outside entity separate from a certificate that may require further testing and experience, but such certification is neither an industry nor governmental standard for paralegals. Boston University encourages interested students to check with potential employers and their own state’s licensing offices for their own requirements. Boston University is not aware of any states which currently require third-party certification of this type to work in the paralegal field.

Access to WestlawNext is included at no additional charge. Students will have Westlaw access for the two modules that require it.

The program is designed to be taken in its entirety, with modules complementing each other to offer a comprehensive overview of the paralegal field. As a result, students cannot register for a single module.

Director of the Paralegal Studies Program, Joe Spada, answers the question in the video below.


Boston University has successfully been teaching a comprehensive program for more than 30 years, and ABA approval of Paralegal Certificate is not the accepted standard. ABA approval is primarily associated with schools of law, rather than paralegal programs.

We have found that most employers seeking to hire paralegals place more value on the reputation of Boston University and the Paralegal Studies Program than ABA approval, which is obtained for a fee.

ABA does approve post-degree certificates and degree programs at every level, however they don’t recognize online paralegal programs. This is seen as a questionable disqualifier since even the most respected institutions now offer partially or fully online programs as a way to make quality education more accessible to non-traditional students. For some students, attending classes on-campus is simply not practical, or even possible.

Students should be able to perform the following basic tasks:
  • Create a document, name it, save it, and find it again on their computer
  • Attach a document to an email
  • Download a document or PDF, save it, and find it again on their computer
  • Locate a document on their computer and upload it to another site
  • Print a document
  • Edit a Word document with a .doc or .docx extension (assignments must be submitted in this format)
  • Listen to audio on their computer
  • Watch short video clips (two minutes long)
  • Navigate between multiple windows open simultaneously on their computer
  • Use an Internet browser
  • View a document with tracked changes embedded in it

The course requires a high-speed internet connection, as the learning platform will not function effectively using a dial-up line. The program can run on either a Mac or PC, but we suggest students not attempt to complete coursework on a tablet. The Blackboard system does not allow students to submit assignments or take exams (among other functions) from a tablet environment. To learn more about the necessary system requirements and what to expect from an online course, click here.

Boston University provides technical assistance for all online students. Contact details can be found in the course syllabus.

As the program is non-credit, official transcripts are unavailable. However, students can request an unofficial transcript by emailing the Center for Professional Education at cpe@bu.edu with the following information:
  • Your name
  • Date you attended the program
  • Number of copies of transcripts requested
  • Address where you’d like your transcript(s) sent

BU values its students and strives to provide the best experience possible. If you have any issues, please contact an enrollment advisor at enrollment@paralegalonline.bu.edu or (888) 700-3966. If you find that your issue cannot be resolved by academic or administrative departments, visit this page for more information.

The Center for Professional Education at Boston University and the online paralegal studies certificate program provide a number of academic accommodations for students. More information can be found through the Office of Disability & Access Services. Additional information about technical and education requirements, as well as an overview of the curriculum students will complete during the certificate are available on our website.

Request a Brochure

To learn more about the online Paralegal Studies Program, contact an enrollment advisor at (888) 700-3966 or fill out the form below to download a free brochure.

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