Our BA in socio-legal studies asks core questions, like: How does law impact our everyday lives? How do social institutions shape law? And how does law empower and constrain us?
Through our socio-legal studies program, you'll explore questions like these alongside faculty drawn from disciplines across the University. Throughout this process, you'll hone critical thinking and writing and can further develop these skills outside the classroom through internship and study abroad opportunities.
Many socio-legal studies graduates pursue legal careers or post-graduate studies. However, the issues addressed in the major are relevant to many fields that focus on applying the law, including social work, education, business and international relations.
Socio-Legal Studies at DU Offers
The opportunity to take classes in multiple departments, giving you a more well-rounded view of the elements at play in the sociological and legal landscape.
The Partners in Scholarship (PinS) program where you can collaborate with faculty on research initiatives.
Internships that empower you to apply classroom learning to larger communities in business, social service and government.
Special events led by award-winning faculty and guests whose work actively contributes to local and national policy debate.
Career development and an alumni mentoring program, which offer insight into opportunities after graduation.
- All students majoring in Socio-Legal Studies must take a minimum of 40 credits in the program and must also complete a second major.
- The curriculum includes required course credits and elective credits. Courses are drawn from these departments: environmental studies; media, film and journalism studies; philosophy; political science and sociology/criminology.
- Socio-Legal majors may graduate with program distinction if they receive a recommendation from a member of the socio-legal studies faculty, have an overall DU GPA of 3.5 and GPA within the socio-legal studies major of 3.75. To earn the designation of graduation with distinction in Socio-Legal Studies, students must successfully complete a senior thesis.
- The Socio-Legal Studies minor is 20 credits.
For more information about courses, degree/minor requirements and the program, visit the DU Undergraduate Bulletin.
About this Course
The criminal justice system was once considered infallible—innocent people did not end up in prison. But DNA evidence has revealed that innocents are, in fact, incarcerated and perhaps even executed. This course focuses on the prevalence of wrongful conviction; the harms caused by wrongful conviction; the causes of wrongful conviction; strategies for reducing wrongful conviction; and the prospect of compensating the wrongfully convicted. Prerequisite: SOCI 1810 or permission of instructor.
Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties
About this Course
This course addresses major ideas and principles of U.S. constitutional law, with a focus on equal protection of the law, fundamental rights, and freedom of speech and religion. Within each of these areas, we will consider the development of court rulings over time, economic and political influences on court decision-making and policy implications of these rulings. While PLSC 2860 complements this course, it is not necessary to take both courses. Satisfies the department distribution requirement in law. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.
About this Course
Students will learn about the purpose and application of federal laws pertaining to environmental protection, including NEPA, RCRA, CERCLA, and Clean Water and Clean Air Acts. This course will address the role of states in implementation of federal environmental laws.