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Bachelor of Arts in
Law and Society

Courses

The Bachelor of Arts in Law and Society can help you develop a greater understanding of the law and legal systems of the United States. You'll receive a solid introduction to legal principles and processes from multiple perspectives, and you can build an integrated understanding of the historical, philosophical, political, and social foundations of law.

The prescribed and supporting courses in this program focus on contemporary issues in U.S. law and ethics. Many different course options are available to fulfill the remainder of the 123 credits required for the program, allowing you to customize the degree to meet your specific goals.

The course list includes only courses offered by World Campus. An official degree audit or the recommended academic plan for this program may include additional course options and detailed requirements. All students are expected to complete at least 36 Penn State credits to earn this degree. Please consult an academic adviser for details.

A student enrolled in this major must receive a grade of C or better in all courses required for the major.

Prescribed Courses (18 credits)

The prescribed courses focus on contemporary issues in U.S. law and ethics.

  • 3
    credits

    An historical survey of the American experience from its colonial beginnings through the Civil War and Reconstruction.

  • 3
    credits

    An historical survey of the American experience from the emergence of urban-industrial society in the late nineteenth century to the present.

  • 3
    credits

    An introduction to law-related issues with a focus on current legal topics viewed from an across-discipline perspective.

  • 3
    credits

    This course examines the American democracy by looking at the dynamic interaction between the founding ideals of the United States government, the institutions established by the Constitution, and the ongoing contest for power within and through those institutions.

  • 3
    credits

    This course explores the historical and contemporary struggles of particular groups within American society to expand their rights.

  • 3
    credits

    Analysis of the roles, procedures, and policies characterizing the American legal system.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 1

Additional Courses (3–6 credits)

Take one or both of the following. Students planning to attend law school are encouraged to complete both PHIL 10 and PHIL 12.

  • 3
    credits

    Discussion of the validity, soundness, and fallacies of everyday language use and reasoning; informal logic; and manipulative arguments and propaganda.

  • 3
    credits

    In this course, students will first learn basic vocabulary for argument analysis, standards for evaluating arguments that are expressed in English, and basic methods for testing these arguments along with the shortcomings of said methods.

Supporting Courses and Related Areas (select 12–15 credits)

12 credits must be at the 400-level.

  • 3
    credits

    A survey of the literature on the role of rhetoric in law, including trial advocacy, appellate argument, and judicial reasoning.

  • 3
    credits

    Theories and strategies important for conceptualizing, developing, and managing conflict negotiation, mediation, and third-party intervention.

    • Prerequisite

      CAS 100

  • 3
    credits

    An overview of the United States criminal justice system and the major components of police, courts and corrections.

  • 3
    credits

    Introduction to law in society with a focus on criminal law, judicial code, laws of sentencing and corrections, ciminal procedure.

    • 3
      credits

      The social origins of law and legal systems; occupational careers; and decision-making of legal officials.

      • Prerequisite

        CRIMJ 100 or CRIMJ 113

    • or:
      3
      credits

      Law and Society studies the social origins of law and legal systems, occupational careers, and decision-making of legal officials.

      • Prerequisite

        CRIM 100 or CRIM 113

  • 3
    credits

    Focused on the fundamentals of fundraising and leadership, including communications, management of events and people, and stewardship.

    • Prerequisite

      60 undergraduate credits or permission of program

  • 3
    credits

    Approved experience, related to student career objectives, in agencies external to the University.

    • Prerequisite

      60 undergraduate credits and permission of program

  • 3
    credits

    Creative projects, including research and design, which are supervised on an individual basis and which fall outside the scope of formal courses.

    • Prerequisite

      60 undergraduate credits and permission of program

  • 3
    credits

    Examination of basic legal principles underlying the employment relationship, and their social, political, and economic bases.

  • 3
    credits

    Development of Anglo-American law regulating collective bargaining, with emphasis on American labor-management relations under Wagner, Taft-Hartley, and other acts.

    • Prerequisite

      3 credits in labor and industrial relations or political science

  • 3
    credits

    A study of selected problems in the history of work in the United States, especially since 1877.

    • Prerequisite

      Completed 60 credits & permission from the program

  • 3
    credits

    Historical and contemporary philosophies of law; concepts of responsibility, property, rights, and justice; and ethical issues in legal practice.

  • 3
    credits

    The origins of judicial review, landmark decisions of the Supreme Court, and their impact on the American form of government.

    • Prerequisite

      PLSC 1

Elective Courses (select 30–39 credits)

Elective courses should be chosen in consultation with an adviser. Among the degree requirements, students should incorporate at least:

  • 3 credits in U.S. cultures
  • 3 credits in international (IL) cultures
  • 3 credits in writing-across-the-curriculum courses

General Education Requirements

Some General Education requirements may be satisfied by courses required for the major. Students should work with an adviser to select courses.

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits
    A student must receive a grade of C or better in GWS courses.
  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
    A student must receive a grade of C or better in GQ courses.
  • Integrative Studies: 6 credits
    This requirement only applies to students starting in summer 2018 or later. Learn more about the Integrative Studies options and consult your academic adviser when choosing courses to fulfill these requirements. Integrative Studies credits may be completed within the thirty Knowledge Domain credits and must be completed with either Inter-domain or Linked courses, not a combination of both.

Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements

Some Bachelor of Arts requirements may be satisfied by courses required for the major, General Education courses, or electives. Students should work with an adviser to select courses.

  • Foreign Language: 0–12 credits
    Student must attain 12th credit level of proficiency in one foreign language.
  • B.A. Fields: 9 credits
    Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts, Foreign Languages, Natural Sciences, Quantification (cannot be taken in the area of the student's primary major; foreign language credits in this category must be in a second foreign language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the first language)
  • Other Cultures: 0–3 credits
    Select 3 credits from approved list. Students may count courses in this category in order to meet other major, minor, elective, or General Education requirements, except for the General Education US/IL requirement.​

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

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