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Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies
USC Gould School of Law

The Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies provides students with an in-depth understanding of the legal system including the infrastructure, the reasoning process and the substantive commitments that the legal system has made. As future leaders, students in this major will become critical thinkers able to apply and understand various legal concepts in their interaction with real-world issues locally, nationally and globally.

Law Affects Everyone

This program is particularly appropriate for students interested in pursuing a career that integrates legal concepts with other disciplines — or that requires familiarity with extensive aspects of the legal system. The major is designed for students who are looking to become future leaders in the community, the city, the state, the nation and the world. It is also suitable for students wanting to pursue graduate education in various disciplines, including economics, humanities, social science, political science, business, health care, public service and many more, and for anyone who wants to obtain a general understanding of the place of law in contemporary society.

How the BS in Legal Studies Can Benefit You:

  • Gain extensive knowledge of the United States legal system.
  • Analyze how law affects civil society through various aspects of law:
    • Legal infrastructure, both in the U.S. and across the globe
    • The reasoning process that courts employ when interpreting the Constitution, statutes, regulation and the common law, and which purports to justify specific legal decisions
    • The substantive commitments that the legal system has made
    • And how these three aspects of law are affected by normative, historical and societal influences
  • Explain and critically evaluate how the use of legal concepts and legal reasoning interact with and affect social issues.
  • Apply advanced critical and analytical thinking skills.

BS in Legal Studies Requirements (48 Units)

Curriculum Requirements

Required Core Courses (24 units)
LAW 101w - Law and the U.S. Constitution in Global History: 4
LAW 200w - Law and Society: 4
LAW 205 - Introduction to Criminal Law: 4
LAW 210p - Fundamentals of the U.S. Legal System: 4
LAW 220 - The Legal Profession: 2
LAW 225 - Current Court Cases: 2
LAW 300 - Concepts in American Law: 4

Tracks

Students must choose one of the tracks listed below. Each track requires 20 units from its respective course list, and 16 of those units must be upper division courses (numbered at the 300-400 level).

Regulatory State Track

LAW 202 - Wrongful Convictions: 4
LAW 207 - Personal Data in the 21st Century: 4
LAW 211 - Intellectual Property and Technology: 4
LAW 212 - Immigration Law for a New America: 4
LAW 250w - Children and the Law: 4
LAW 352 - Introduction to Law and Economics: 4
LAW 355 - Law and the Landscape of Homelessness: 4
LAW 401 - Cybersecurity & Cybercrime: 4
LAW 402 - Psychology and Law: 4
LAW 403 - Mental Health Law: 4
LAW 404 - Psychology of the Criminal Justice Process: 4
PPD 314 - Public Policy & the Law: 4

Public Law Track

LAW 201 - Law and Politics: 4
LAW 202 - Wrongful Convictions: 4
LAW 207 - Personal Data in the 21st Century: 4
LAW 211 - Intellectual Property and Technology: 4
LAW 212 - Immigration Law for a New America: 4
LAW 250w - Children and the Law: 4
LAW 275p - The Origin and Evolution of American Civil Rights Law: 4
LAW 305 - International Influence: Law & Power: 4
LAW 310w - Global Justice for Mass Atrocities and Genocide: 4
LAW 355 - Law and the Landscape of Homelessness: 4
LAW 401 - Cybersecurity & Cybercrime: 4
LAW 403 - Mental Health Law: 4
LAW 404 - Psychology of the Criminal Justice Process: 4
LAW 406 - Individual Rights in U.S. Constitutional Law: 4
PPD 314 - Public Policy and the Law: 4

Private Law Track

FBE 428 - Introduction to Employment Law: 4
LAW 207 - Personal Data in the 21st Century: 4
LAW 211 - Intellectual Property and Technology: 4
LAW 324 - Sports Law: 4
LAW 350 - Law and Entrepreneurship: 4
LAW 352 - Introduction to Law and Economics: 4
LAW 401 - Cybersecurity & Cybercrime: 4

General Legal Studies Track

Must take 8 units from the Public Law Track
Must take 8 units from the Private Law Track
Must take 4 units from the Regulatory State Track

Additional Requirements - 4 units

LAW 497 - Legal Studies Capstone Project: 2
LAW 498 - Law Internship: 2

University Requirements

General Education
Eight courses in six Core Literacies, plus two courses in Global Perspectives (which may double-count with courses in the Core Literacies). In addition, all entering first-year students freshmen are expected to complete a General Education Seminar during their first year at USC. These seminars satisfy one of the Core Literacy requirements above.

Core Literacies

GE-A: The Arts (one course)
GE-B: Humanistic Inquiry (two courses)
GE-C: Social Analysis (two courses)
GE-D: Life Sciences (one course)
GE-E: Physical Sciences (one course)
GE-F: Quantitative Reasoning (one course)

Global Perspectives

GE-G: Citizenship in a Global Era (one course) W (LAW 101, 200, 250 & 310 meet GE-G requirement)
GE-H: Traditions and Historical Foundations (one course) P (LAW 210 & 275 meet GE-H requirement)

Writing Requirements (8 units)

WRIT 150 - Writing and Critical Reasoning-Thematic Approaches: 4
WRIT 340 - Advanced Writing: 4

Sample Course Plan

View an example of a four-year course plan.

Why Study at USC Gould?

  • Internationally Renowned Law Faculty
    USC Gould School of Law is one of the nation's top-ranked law schools, offering undergraduate law programs and courses taught by its internationally renowned faculty. Learn more about our instructors.
  • Diverse Student Body
    As one of the most diverse law schools in the nation, USC Gould recognizes the inherent value that a diverse academic community offers to students, the legal profession and our broader society.
  • Internship and Research Opportunities
    Undergraduate students majoring in Legal Studies will have the opportunity to intern, as part of their degree requirements.
  • Vibrant City of Los Angeles
    As a USC student, you will experience a city rich in diversity and a robust economy. A thriving cosmopolitan city with businesses ranging from a vast professional and cultural arenas.
  • Discover the City of Angels

Career Outcomes

In recent years, the legal field has been diversifying and employing many individuals in new and exciting roles. As the field has grown and evolved, so have the employment interests and objectives for college graduates who are interested in working in law but may not want to become practicing attorneys. USC Gould's bachelor's degree in Legal Studies provides students with a strong foundation that will prepare them for innovative and emerging employment opportunities or graduate studies.

Legal Studies Career Examples

Below is a sampling of jobs that BS Legal Studies graduates will be well-suited for:

Auditor Humanitarian Affairs Officer
Case Manager Immigration Officer
City, County or State Planner Immigration Specialist
Civil Rights Advocate Jury Consultant
Commercial Developer Legal Administrator
Compliance Officer Legal Correspondent
Compliance Specialist Litigation Support Professional
Conflict Resolution Specialist Lobbyist
Consumer Safety Officer Mediation Specialist
Contracts Administrator Natural Resources Manager
Corporate Ethics Officer Ombudsperson
Court Reporter Paralegal Specialist
E-Discovery Analyst Policy Analyst
Employee Benefits Manager Policy Advisor
Environmental Impact Analyst Legislator
Environmental Protection Specialist Procurement Analyst
Foreign Affairs Officer Public Affairs/Media Manager
Government Agent (FBI, ICE or DEA) Resource Manager
Health/Medical Administrator Trial Consultant
Human Resources Specialist UN - Human Rights & Political Affairs
Human Rights Officer Victim Advocate/Coordinator

Meet Your Advisors

Art Perez
arturope@law.usc.edu
213-764-3354
Book an Appointment

Javier Mulato
jmulato@law.usc.edu
213-764-3354
Book an Appointment

Meet our Student Ambassadors

Our Student Ambassadors are available to answer any of your questions about undergraduate student life at Gould and USC! Learn more about our ambassadors by reading their profiles below.

Tim Migliaro

Tim is a 3rd year majoring in Psychology with a minor in Legal Studies. His area of interest is in Healthcare Law, specifically in the biotech industry and the changing scientific technology and laws surrounding it. This past summer, he worked for Northwell Health, New York State's largest healthcare provider and private employer. Tim is involved on campus with organizations such as USC Make a Wish, the Chi Phi Fraternity, the Trojan Review and the Just Dance Club. In his free time, Tim likes to travel, especially to U.S. National Parks and has visited 21 parks. He also enjoys going to the beach and hiking around the Los Angeles area.

Kathy Thach

Kathy is a 2nd year majoring in Law, History, and Culture with a minor in Legal Studies. Her areas of interest are in the legal regulations of the right to vote and participation in the electoral process, alongside "big-data" analytical campaign techniques. This past summer, she was a Youth Civic Engagement Fellow with Arizona AANHPI For Equity Coalition, and she is currently an Elections Fellow with the Progressive Vietnamese American Organization. Kathy is involved on campus with organizations such as the Joint Educational Project, Society of Women in Law, and The Sack of Troy. As a native Arizonan, being in Los Angeles is a nice break from the heat and she loves exploring the beaches of LA and going on hikes in her free time!

Please feel free to contact our ambassadors at UGambassadors@law.usc.edu. They will be happy to help you with your questions!

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