2024-2025 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 24, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Course Catalog

Law, Society, and Policy, BA

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Department Chair: Merril Silverstein, Professor of Sociology, 302 Eggers Hall, sociologychair@syr.edu, 315-443-2347

Program Director: Gretchen Purser, Associate Professor of Sociology, 400H Eggers Hall, gwpurser@syr.edu, 315-443-5848

Primary Faculty:

Patrick Berry, Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition, pwberry@syr.edu315.443.1912, 239 HBC

Keith Bybee, Professor of Political Science, kjbybee@syr.edu315.443.8678, 321 Eggers Hall

Andrew Cohen, Professor of History, awcohe01@syr.edu315.443.3320, 305 Maxwell Hall

Verena Erlenbusch-Anderson, Associate Professor of Philosophy, verlenbu@syr.edu315.443.3155, 524 Hall of Languages

Lynn Greenky, Associate Teaching Professor of Communication and Rhetorical Studies, llgreenk@syr.edu, 315.443.1268, 110 Sims Hall

Tom Keck, Professor of Political Science, tmkeck@syr.edu315.443.5862, 312 Eggers Hall 

Gabriela Kirk, Faculty Fellow of Sociology, gmkirk@syr.edu315.443.5765, 426 Eggers Hall

Robert Rubinstein, Professor of Anthropology, rar@syr.edu315.443.3837, 209 Maxwell Hall

Yüksel Sezgin, Associate Professor of Political Science,  ysezgin@syr.edu, 315.443.4431,100F Eggers Hall 

Program Description: This Integrated Learning Major (ILM) in Law, Society, and Policy introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of law and society. Drawing on a range of courses across the humanities and social sciences, this ILM grounds students in the study of law, legal institutions, the legal dimensions of social life, and the policy process. Students gain an understanding of how the law shapes, and is shaped by, society and how policies are devised and implemented to address social problems. Majors complete 27 credits, including 12 credits in required classes and 15 credits in an area of concentration: (1) Law, Crime, and Society in the U.S. or (2) Comparative and International Law. At least 18 credits must be upper-division courses, The ILM cultivates interests in human rights and in the principles and pursuit of justice. It prepares students for a variety of careers and for graduate programs in law, public policy, or the social sciences.

This ILM may be combined with any other undergraduate major with approval by the program director. While certain majors typically serve as the base major for this ILM, students are encouraged to meet with the program director to determine their best choice of a base major. Dually enrolled students must have a base major within Arts and Sciences|Maxwell.

Dual Enrollments:
Students dually enrolled in Newhouse* and Arts and Sciences|Maxwell will complete a minimum of 122 credits, with at least 90 credits in Arts and Sciences|Maxwell coursework and an Arts and Sciences|Maxwell major.

*Students dually enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences|Maxwell as first year students must complete the Liberal Arts Core. Students who transfer to the dual program after their first year as singly enrolled students in the Newhouse School will satisfy general requirements for the dual degree program by completing the Newhouse Core Requirements.

The major in Law, Society, and Policy will integrate with the following majors:

CAS/Maxwell: African American Studies, Anthropology, Economics, English and Textual Studies, Geography and the Environment, History, International Relations, Latino/Latin American Studies, Philosophy, Policy Studies, Political Science, Political Philosophy, Psychology, Religion, Sociology, Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition

Falk: Food Studies, Human Development and Family Science, Public Health, Social Work

iSchool: Innovation, Science, and Technology, Information Management and Technology, Applied Data Analytics

Newhouse: Broadcast and Digital Journalism, Magazine, News, and Digital Journalism, Public Relations (Newhouse students can only declare the ILM by petitioning through their Advising Office.)

VPA: Communications and Rhetorical Studies

Student Learning Outcomes

1)  Students will think critically about the complex roles of law in society, including how law shapes–and is shaped by–social, economic, cultural, and political life.

2) Students will learn the skills of legal reasoning and be able to apply them to social issues.

3) Students will improve a range of analytic and communicative skills: their ability to comprehend, contrast, develop and defend arguments; their ability to read and interpret texts from a variety of disciplines, their ability to write analytically; their ability to present orally.

4) Students will be able to critically reflect on the promise and limitations of law in the actualization of rights and the pursuit of justice.

5) Students will identify how the politics of race, class, gender, and nationality have shaped legal institutions and outcomes, and how legal institutions disparately impact diverse populations.


Majors complete 27 credits, including 12 required credits and 15 concentration area credits. At least 18 credits must be upper-division courses.

Internship Requirement

Majors must complete a 3 credit internship to gain practical experience.  Students may fulfill this requirement by taking LSP 370 or an internship course in their base major.

Concentration Areas

Students choose one of two areas of concentration: (1) Law, Crime, and Society in the U.S. or (2) Comparative and International Law. Students will complete 15 credits in the concentration area, with the advice of the Program Director. In addition to the courses listed in each concentration area, there are courses offered on the SU campus as “special topics” courses (usually listed as 300-level) and via SU Abroad, which a student may petition to count towards the major. At least a third of the course content must be directly applicable to the concentration in order for the course to be approved by petition. Students can petition for 3 credits of a base major senior capstone or thesis course to count towards the concentration.

Law, Crime, and Society in the U.S.

Students will take 15 credits that provide a solid grounding in multidisciplinary perspectives on law and the ways in which it shapes, and is shaped by, social, economic, and political life in the United States.

Comparative and International Law

Students will take 15 credits that provide a solid grounding in multidisciplinary perspectives on comparative and international law, including the diversity of institutions and processes across national and international contexts, and the implications for human rights.

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