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Law, Politics and Society

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Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) with a major in Law, Politics and Society

Law, Politics and Society department web site

Program Overview

The Law, Politics and Society (LPS) program offers students an interdisciplinary perspective on the complex interactions of law, culture, economics, politics, and social structure. The program does not treat law as a fixed, naturally given feature of social life, nor as a professional practice reserved only for specialists such as lawyers, judges and legislators. Instead, we understand law as a pervasive part of everyday life, socially constructed and often contested.

As a liberal arts major, the LPS program is designed to provide students with a broad education contributing to their pre-professional and personal growth, in preparation for effective participation in civil society, and ethical global citizenship.

B.A. Degree Requirements

Through their coursework, LPS students will encounter the structures and people that create, interpret, implement, and are affected by law; they will engage in in-depth examination of problems and opportunities facing contemporary societies, and identify the complex web of contributing legal, political, and social factors – as well as possible solutions to those problems. Students will leave the major with a more critical and nuanced understanding of the historical underpinnings of contemporary law, politics, and society, able to critically evaluate normative claims, and craft their own unique and imaginative responses to current issues.

In this major, LPS students will:

  • read and understand legal texts, court decisions, and theoretical writing, as well as use those texts effectively to convey complex ideas and arguments in writing
  • know and articulate the difference between law as a professional practice and law as a topic of liberal arts inquiry;
  • demonstrate awareness of how issues of justice, morality, authority, order, legitimacy, individualism and community create tensions within ordered social life;
  • explain how historical development and different cultural practices, social organizations and political systems affect law and justice around the world;
  • examine how factors such as race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality and religion impact legal, social, and political life;
  • deploy contemporary legal, critical and/or interpretive theories in their own analyses of political, social or legal events or situations.
Course Credit Hours
LPS 001 - Introduction to Law, Politics, and Society 3
LPS 002 - Critical Concepts in Law, Politics, and Society 3
LPS 100 - LPS Perspectives on Constitutional Law 3
LPS 190 - Senior Seminar in Law, Politics, and Society 3
(4) LPS-designated courses outside of the core curriculum, 3 of which must be upper-division 12
LPS 035 - Special Topics (lower division) 3
LPS 135 - Special Topics (upper division) 1-3
LPS 138 - Reproductive Law and Politics in the U.S. 3
LPS 145 - Special Topics (international focus) 3
(2) Lower-division electives in related fields* 6
(4) Upper-division electives in related fields* 12
Total 42

*Related fields include:

  • Anthropology
  • Economics
  • English
  • Environmental Science and Policy
  • History
  • Law
  • Philosophy
  • Politics and International Relations
  • Religion
  • Rhetoric
  • Sociology

Related-field courses must have a departmental designation as international/global, and at least one must have a departmental designation as experiential learning.

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