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Law and Policy Professional Studies Track 


Interested in seeking a professional career in the legal, public policy, government, or non-profit fields?  Employers in these sectors are looking for perceptive and creative critical thinkers who are effective writers and communicators. This track trains students in these skills while providing a broad understanding of the historical context and place of law and policy in society. 

Students in this track gain experience in: 

  • Analyzing legal and public policy sources 
  • Reading legal cases, statutes and bills, trial narratives, policy papers, and other sources used by legal, non-profit, and public policy professionals  
  • Learning how constitutional systems developed and changed
  • Researching how laws and policies are shaped and implemented
  • Using legal and government databases for policy or legal research 

Having a sense of the history, terminology, sources, and research tools used in legal and policy fields will provide a leg up from other applicants.  And students in the track can draw on faculty with expertise in the history of law and policy when applying for further education or employment in the field. 

Career opportunities related to this track include: 

  • Attorney or Judge 
  • Legal Assistant or Investigator 
  • Law Enforcement 
  • Policy Think-Tank 
  • Public Office 
  • Non-Profit Organization 
  • Government Agency Historian 
  • Historical Research and Consulting 
  • Education 

Affiliated Faculty


Students pursuing this track should take the capstone course  HIST 4355 - Topics in the History of Law and Society. With the approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, students may substitute for HIST 4355 an internship, independent research project, or senior thesis in the area of law or public policy. Students doing an internship or research project must register for this course under the supervision of a designated History faculty member.

Two additional 3000 or 4000 level courses relating to law or public policy history are required. See the list below for recommended courses. Relevant Special Problems courses in History at the 3000 or 4000 level may count towards this Track if approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Relevant graduate courses in History may count for the second or third courses in the track, if approved by the course instructor and Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Current Courses

(from 2022-23 Undergraduate Catalog)

  • HIST 2327 - Chicano History to 1910
  • HIST 2328 - Chicano History since 1910
  • HIST 3314 - Liberals vs. Conservatives: FDR to the Present
  • HIST 3316 - Race and Racism in American Science and Medicine
  • HIST 3317 - Making of Ethnic America
  • HIST 3320 - U.S. Women’s History Since 1840
  • HIST 3325 - The Mexican American Civil Rights Movement in 20th Century
  • HIST 3330 - African American History to 1865
  • HIST 3331 - African American History Since 1865
  • HIST 3349 - War, Globalization, and Terrorism
  • HIST 3353 - England To 1689
  • HIST 3369 - Colonial Mexico
  • HIST 4320 - Radicalism and Protest in the US
  • HIST 4322 - Environment in U.S. History
  • HIST 4348 - Society and Culture in Early Modern England, 1500-1700
  • HIST 4355 - Topics in the History of Law and Society
  • HIST 4372 - African Experience in Latin America and the Caribbean
  • HIST 4379 - Sex and Violence in the Old South
  • HIST 4398 - Independent Study