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History and Social Sciences

Legal Studies

The Legal Studies program includes opportunities for a major and a minor and challenges students to deepen their understanding of legal concepts, institutions, and processes within a broader Liberal Arts framework. Legal Studies will lead to a Bachelor of Arts degree, and it can easily be paired with Political Science, History, or Sociology (which has concentrations in Criminology and Social Justice) for a double major!  The major encourages students to investigate attitudes toward law and justice within the context of a growing literature on Legal Studies and related disciplines like Political Science, Sociology, History, and Philosophy. Student coursework will cover a wide range of topics including American legal history, Western and non-Western legal traditions, philosophy of law, conflict resolution, politics and law, the criminal justice process, policing and society, and international law and human rights. All courses are taught by top faculty with backgrounds in law, the humanities, and the social sciences.  For more information, please contact Dr. Barry Jackisch at

All Legal Studies majors will receive an education inside and outside of the classroom. Our extensive list of course offerings from top experts in the field will provide an important academic background for a wide range of career fields. USF’s small class size and individualized attention from professors also gives each student the constant contact and feedback they need to succeed. Finally, our program allows students to graduate in four years with a double major in Legal Studies and another related area (like Political Science, Sociology/Criminology, or History). This broad preparation and double major will provide each student with an added advantage over other college programs. Finally, students will experience directly the application of the academic study through field trips and internships in various legal fields.

Curricular Requirements for the Legal Studies Major 

Liberal Arts Major, Legal Studies

(128 credit hours to complete degree)

A. General Education (40-43 credit hours)

B. The Legal Studies Major (45 credit hours)

1. Required Courses

LGST 101       Introduction to Legal Studies (3 cr. hrs.)

LGST 206       Law and Society (3 cr. hrs.)

LGST 210       Legal Research (3 cr. hrs)

LGST 301       Criminal Law (3 cr. hrs)

LGST 306       Policing and Society (3 cr. hrs)

LGST 308       Jurisprudence (3 cr. hrs)

LGST 310       Law and Contracts (3 cr. hrs)

POLI 101        Introduction to Political Science (3 cr. hrs)

POLI 102        American Government and Politics (3 cr. hrs)

POLI 300        American Constitutional Law (3 cr. hrs.)

POLI 304        American Judiciary (3 cr. hrs.)

POLI 305        Comparative Political and Legal Systems (3 cr. hrs.)

POLI 312        Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (3 cr. hrs.)

POLI 340        International Law and Organizations (3 cr. hrs.)

LGST 400       Senior Research Seminar

C. Electives: (40-43 credit hours)

The number of available elective credits allows students comfortably to double major in compatible programs like Political Science, Sociology/Criminology, or History. In addition, students will also be able to take select courses from other complementary areas including, but not limited to, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, and Social Work.

Find out more by reviewing the Catalog and the Program Sheet.