Legal Studies is an interdisciplinary, liberal arts major that engages the
meanings, values, practices, and institutions of law and legality. The
Legal Studies curriculum examines how law shapes and is shaped by
political, economic, and cultural forces. The major is designed to
stimulate critical understanding of and inquiry about the theoretical
frameworks, historical dynamics, and cultural embeddedness of law.
The Legal Studies faculty and students grapple with important questions
of social policy within the framework of significant concerns in
jurisprudence and theories of justice. These concerns include individual
liberty, privacy, and autonomy; political and social equality; the just
distribution of resources and opportunities within society; the
relationship between citizens and the state; democratic participation
and representation; the moral commitments of the community; and the
preservation of human dignity.
The major’s course offerings examine law and legality from both humanist
and empirical perspectives. Courses are organized into interdisciplinary
topical areas or “neighborhoods” that transcend disciplinary boundaries
in the interest of collaborative inquiry.
The Legal Studies department has new curriculum. Beginning Fall 13, students must declare under the New Plan. When looking at requirements on this site, please always click on the New Plan. For those who declared before the changes were put in place, please click on the Old Plan throughout the site.