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Law and Public Affairs

Law and Public Affairs is an interdisciplinary major including a core set of courses that give students the background to appraise and understand the American political and legal systems. It examines the law as it cuts across themes central to other disciplines and examines how law permeates social, political, economic, and other institutions. Students discover how decisions are made by these institutions and policy is created, and they develop skills in advocacy, research, problem-solving, writing, and critical thinking. Students are also exposed to a global perspective on law and justice, comparing American legal issues and policies to those of other cultures. Graduates are prepared to pursue career opportunities in policy and regulation, advo-cacy, non-profit agency work, government agency work, legal offices for municipalities, or government organizations. Students may also continue with graduate study in such fields as public administration, policy studies, management, political science, and law. A graduate with a degree in Law and Public Affairs is qualified to work as a lobbyist, a city and regional planner, a public or program administrator, a volunteer coordinator, a community outreach coordinator, law firm work - public interest or otherwise, and/or to do corporate work. Graduates receive a Bachelor of Arts degree.

The following goals and associated learning outcomes delineate what we strive for students to achieve when they complete the major program of study in Law and Public Affairs:

Goal 1: Disciplinary principles
Upon completion of the major program of study in Law and Public Affairs, students will be able to

  1. demonstrate an understanding of disciplinary concepts
  2. demonstrate an understanding of issues of diversity in the field
  3. demonstrate civic/social responsibility


Goal 2: Professional skills
Upon completion of the major program of study in Law and Public Affairs, students will be able to

  1. compare occupations and career paths in the discipline
  2. evaluate ethical and moral issues in a professional/disciplinary context
  3. perform effectively in a professional environment

Goal 3: Analytical thinking skills
Upon completion of the major program of study in Law and Public Affairs, students will be able to

  1. think critically about issues in the discipline
  2. demonstrate effective quantitative reasoning skills
  3. evaluate appropriate source materials

Goal 4: Communication skills
Upon completion of the major program of study in Law and Public Affairs, students will be able to

  1. communicate effectively in writing
  2. communicate effectively orally
  3. demonstrate competence in use of technology and computing skills