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Undergraduate Courses and Programs in Law

Law affects everyone, and students can broaden their education by understanding the concept of law and its impact on society. Our goal is to provide students an opportunity to explore the role of law early in their undergraduate studies.

To accomplish this, the USC Gould School of Law, one of the nation's top-ranked law schools, offers an array of undergraduate programs and courses taught by its internationally renowned faculty. Students may participate in one of the many majors, minors, and/or stand-alone courses. To discover how law impacts almost every facet of life contact undergraduate@law.usc.edu

Undergraduate Courses

The USC Gould School of Law's undergraduate courses meet a variety of graduation requirements. Some courses satisfy USC General Education (GE) requirements, and others are either required or are electives in several USC majors and minors.

For more information, visit The Fall Schedule of Classes


LAW 101w Law and the U.S. Constitution in Global History (4 units)

Satisfies Global Perspective in Category G: Citizenship in a Diverse World
Learn how taking a stand for a powerful idea can make an impact! Explore how committed advocates have transformed U.S. constitutional law.

LAW 101w USC Catalogue Page

LAW 200w Law and Society (4 units)

Satisfies Global Perspective in Category G: Citizenship in a Diverse World
How do we, as individuals or as a society, have an impact upon judicial decision and help shape the meaning of the Constitution?

Learn how to read and write about key Supreme Court cases. Consider the social context in which they arose, the stories of individuals who became a part of our constitutional history, and the resonance their stories have today.

LAW 200w USC Catalogue Page

LAW 201 Law and Politics (4 units)

How do we select and elect our candidates? Why do so many think the system is broken? Examine the relationship between the rules that structure the political system, the theories behind them, and the reality of how the political system actually works.

LAW 201 USC Catalogue Page

LAW 202 Wrongful Convictions (4 units)

Discoveries of false convictions mount steadily, making wrongful convictions a prominent concern in the American criminal justice system.

Explore sources of error throughout the criminal process: the police investigation, the pre-trial process, the adjudicatory process, and the post-conviction process.

Investigate the relationship between public media and the criminal process, the role of non-governmental organizations, and the impact of civic engagement on public policy making.

LAW 202 USC Catalogue Page

LAW 210 Fundamentals of the U.S. Legal System (4 units)

How is law used to govern society?
Examine the basic principles of private law and public law, and the basic methods that the legal system employs to resolve disputes.

LAW 210 USC Catalogue Page

LAW 220 The Legal Profession (2 units)

What are the various roles that lawyers play?
Learn the basic structure of the American legal system, the educational training that lawyers receive, and become exposed to various types of legal careers.

LAW 220 USC Catalogue Page

LAW 250w Children and Law (4 units)

Satisfies Global Perspective in Category G: Citizenship in a Diverse World

What legally defines a child in the eyes of the law?

Explore legal issues and implications surrounding children - essential to domestic, international, family, psychological and education-based decisions.

LAW 250w USC Catalogue Page

LAW 275p The Origin and Evolution of American Civil Rights Law (4 units)

Satisfies Global Perspective in Category H: Traditions and Historical Foundations

For over 150 years, American civil rights laws have aimed to make all persons equal under the law, but what does legal equality mean and how can it be achieved? Explore this history and address important questions that continue to vex civil rights enforcement.

LAW 275p USC Catalogue Page

LAW 300 Concepts in American Law (4 units)

Discover how U.S. laws were shaped by the human condition,
all while learning from the lawyers and judges responsible for landmark legal decisions in American law.

LAW 300 USC Catalogue Page

LAW 320p Law, Slavery, and Race (4 units)

Satisfies Global Perspective in Category H: Traditions and Historical Foundations

Uncover how law, politics and culture impacted the institution of slavery and the development of modern conceptions of race.

LAW 320p USC Catalogue Page

LAW 350 Law and Entrepreneurship (4 units)

Registration Restriction: Not open to Accounting and Business Administration majors

Planning to work for a startup or to start your own business? Learn the legal information you need to know - from formation to fundraising, intellectual property laws to IPOs - to be an entrepreneur.

LAW 350 USC Catalogue Page

LAW 402 Psychology and Law (4 units)

Examine policies, procedures, and practices within the criminal justice, drawing on perspectives from cognitive, social, and clinical psychology.

LAW 402 USC Catalogue Page

LAW 403 Mental Health Law (4 units)

From civil issues to criminal defenses, where do ethics come into play regarding mental health in the courtroom?

LAW 403 USC Catalogue Page

LAW 404 Law and Psychology: Examining the Criminal Justice Process (4 units)

Recommended Preparation: PSYC 100

Examine the psychology of the major players in criminal justice - witnesses, investigators, attorneys, judges, and jurors - and how they impact verdicts.

LAW 404 USC Catalogue Page

LAW 450 Global Justice for Mass Atrocities and Genocide (4 units)

How does the international community establish laws against genocide?
Explore the development of international laws that protect human rights.

LAW 450 USC Catalogue Page

Student Testimonial

"I loved the exposure that this class provided. Through this class I met a woman I looked up to as a role model but that I never thought I'd have the opportunity to meet, the District Attorney of Los Angeles, Jackie Lacey (Gould Class of 1982). It's an opportunity I am forever grateful for because I not only got to shadow her, but I also started interning in the complex child abuse unit - which was of my interest - that same semester. I honestly wouldn't change anything about the course!"

- Marilyn Aguilar
Psychology and Philosophy major, USC '19
Course: LAW 220 The Legal Profession

Minor in Legal Studies

The Minor in Legal Studies provides an academic foundation in law for undergraduate students. The minor allows students to deepen their understanding of the U.S. legal system as a part of their bachelor's degree.

The curriculum includes a new Fundamentals of the U.S. Legal System course in addition to an array of in-depth and real-world legal courses. Classes from the Economics, History, Philosophy and Political Science departments at Dornsife and Price School of Public Policy are also a part of the curriculum to amplify legal studies with historical, societal and economic understanding.

Minor in Legal Studies curriculum

Minor in Legal Studies - 22 units

Required Courses (6 units)

LAW 210
Fundamentals of the U.S. Legal System
4 units

LAW 220
The Legal Profession
2 units

ELECTIVES (16 units)

ECON 434
Economic Analysis of Law
4 units

HIST 386
American Legal History
4 units

LAW 101w*
Law and the U.S. Constitution in Global History
4 units

LAW 200w*
Law and Society
4 units

LAW 201
Law and Politics: Electing a President
4 units

LAW 202
Wrongful Convictions
4 units

LAW 250w*
Children and Law
4 units

LAW 275
The Origin and Evolution of American Civil Rights Law
4 units

LAW 300
Concepts in American Law
4 units

LAW 320p*
Law, Slavery, and Race
4 units

LAW 350
Law and Entrepreneurship
4 units

LAW 402
Psychology and Law
4 units

LAW 403
Mental Health Law
4 units

LAW 404
Law and Psychology: Examining the Criminal Justice Process
4 units

LAW 450
Law, Atrocity Crimes and Transitional Justice
4 units

PHIL 430
Philosophy of Law
4 units

PHIL 431
Law, Society, and Politics
4 units

POSC 345
International Law
4 units

PPD 314
Public Policy and Law
4 units

*Meets General Education (GE) requirement

To declare the minor in Legal Studies, please fill out this application. Please email undergraduate@law.usc.edu for more information.

3+3 Accelerated Bachelor/JD

The 3+3 Accelerated Bachelor/JD program is designed for outstanding USC undergraduates interested in attending USC Gould School of Law. You will be able to complete your undergraduate and law school studies in six years instead of the usual seven, helping you fast-track your career. The accelerated degree pathway is open to all majors.

Eligibility

To be considered for the 3+3 accelerated Bachelor/JD program you must:

  • Complete your undergraduate degree requirements by the end of your third year of college.
  • Maintain a 3.80 undergraduate cumulative GPA.
  • Report an SAT/ACT score within the 85th percentile.

Application Process

The law school application must be submitted by January of your third year in college. The LSAT is not currently required under this special program, however, this may be subject to change per the American Bar Association's yearly review of program regulations.

      1. Meet with your major academic advisor to discuss your remaining degree requirements, and the likelihood of completing your bachelor's degree in three years. If graduating in three years is feasible, request a course plan that reflects your anticipated graduation date. Make sure your STARS Report is updated, including all necessary course substitutions or waivers

      2. Schedule an appointment to meet with a USC Gould Office of Undergraduate Law advisor to determine your remaining degree requirements and the likelihood of completing your degree in three years.

      3. After meeting with a USC Gould Office of Undergraduate Law advisor, submit your law school application. Application components include the following:
      • All undergraduate transcripts
      • Personal statement (2-4 pages)
      • Two letters of recommendations (at least one academic)
      • A reported SAT/ACT score within the 85th percentile
      • An account with the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) so USC Gould can receive a Credential Assembly Service (CAS) report on your behalf.
      • Personal interview

    USC Gould does not accept applications for the 3+3 Accelerated Bachelor/JD degree submitted via LSAC.

    Review our most frequently asked questions here

    View dates and deadlines for the 3+3 Accelerated Bachelor/JD degree.

Undergraduate Majors

USC Gould offers two interdisciplinary majors in partnership with the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Additionally, LAW courses, taught by Gould School of Law faculty and lecturers, are offered in the Public Policy and Law track.

Major: Law, History, and Culture (BA)

Law, History and Culture is an interdisciplinary major combining approaches from history, literature, philosophy, political theory, religion and classical studies to explore the law's position at the nexus of society.

The major helps undergraduate students develop the critical skills of reading, writing and analysis crucial to both a liberal education and the study of law. Students will gain theoretical and analytical perspectives on ethical, political and social issues relevant to law as they explore specific legal issues from a humanistic perspective.

View the Law, History, and Culture (BA) curriculum

Please email Melissa Calderon for more information and to declare the major in Law, History and Culture (BA).

Major: Philosophy, Politics and Law (BA)

Philosophy, Politics and Law is an interdisciplinary major that offers undergraduate students a basic education in philosophy, political theory and elements of law.

This major may be of particular interest to students contemplating post-graduate work in law; those interested in a career in public service or politics; and those attracted by the rigor of philosophy and its attention to foundational issues, who are also interested in politics and law.

View the Philosophy, Politics and Law (BA) curriculum

Please email philosophy@dornsife.usc.edu for more information and to declare the major in Philosophy, Politics and Law.

Major: Public Policy (BS)

The Public Policy major includes a selection of undergraduate law courses taught by the distinguished faculty and lecturers of the Gould School of Law in its Public Policy and Law track.

View the Public Policy (BS) curriculum

Please email Jim Lee for more information and to declare the major in Public Policy.

Other Undergraduate Minors that Include LAW Courses

Minor: Forensics and Criminality

The interdisciplinary minor in Forensics and Criminality is designed for undergraduate students, who are interested in the study of law, deviant behavior or careers in the criminal justice system. Students study the psychological and/or ethical issues related to criminal behavior, consider criminality in the context of social class analysis, and learn about the American system of criminal justice.

Minor: Forensics and Criminality curriculum

Please schedule an advisement appointment with Karla Rivera

Minor: Law and Public Policy

The minor in Law and Public Policy draws upon four fields of study: public policy and management, law, economics and political science. It provides undergraduate students with an understanding of the political and economic contexts in which laws are made as well as how legal institutions shape policy formulation. Students learn to analyze the consequences of policy and alternatives; the roles played by government, business and nonprofit organizations in public decision making; and the legal bases for various areas of public policy.

Minor: Law and Public Policy curriculum

Please email Jim Lee for more information and to declare the minor in Law and Public Policy.

Minor: Law and Society

The interdisciplinary minor in Law and Society focuses on the effect of law on society as well as the ways in which social forces influence the legal system. "Law on the books" will be compared to "law in action." Undergraduate students are introduced to key legal institutions, policies, and the constitutional principles that underlie political debates.

Minor: Law and Society curriculum

Please email Dominique Hall-Carr (last names A-L) or Kiki Miller (last names M-Z) for more information.

Minor: Psychology and Law

The interdisciplinary Minor in Psychology and Law brings together courses in psychology that focus on the social, clinical, cognitive and societal aspects of psychology and how they relate to law. This knowledge is augmented with courses from the USC Gould School of Law that identify the relationship between mental health, social psychology and law.

Minor: Psychology and Law curriculum

Please email psycadvisor@dornsife.usc.edu for more information and to declare the minor in Psychology and Law.

Other Minors

The Justice, Voice and Advocacy, Health Policy, and Resistance to Genocide Interdisciplinary minors include elective undergraduate LAW courses taught by the distinguished faculty and lecturers of the USC Gould School of Law.

Minor: Justice, Voice, and Advocacy curriculum

Minor: Health Policy curriculum

Minor: Resistance to Genocide Interdisciplinary curriculum

Please email undergraduate@usc.edu for more information.

Undergraduate Instructors

List of Our Undergraduate Instructors

To learn more about undergraduate programs and courses or to declare a Minor in Legal Studies, contact:

Javier Mulato, M.Ed.
Student Services Advisor
Email: jmulato@law.usc.edu
Office: 213-740-6314

Maddy Zamany
Director of Undergraduate Programs
mzamany@law.usc.edu

Kristine Moe
Associate Director of Undergraduate Programs
kmoe@law.usc.edu

Jim Lee
Assistant Director of Undergraduate Student Outreach
jimlee@law.usc.edu

Javier Mulato
Student Services Advisor
jmulato@law.usc.edu

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