Loyola University Chicago

Department of Political Science

Minor in Law and Politics

To graduate with a minor in Law and Politics, students must complete 18 hours of coursework (6 courses). Specifically, all minors must take:

  • ONE required course (PLSC 385: Introduction to Law)
  • A choice of ONE of the following political science introductory courses: PLSC 100: Political Theory, PLSC 101: American Politics, PLSC 102:  International Relations in an Age of Globalization or PLSC 103: Comparative Politics
    • Note, the required course and introductory courses are not prerequisites and can be completed at any time.
  • ONE upper-division course in EACH OF the following focus areas (1) the American Legal System (2) International Law, (3) a law-related engaged learning course.
  • ONE engaged learning course.
  • One more upper-division course from one of the three focus areas.

 * Special Note for Political Science Majors: Students majoring political science may double-count the introductory (100, 101, 102, or 103) course from their political science major. However, the rest of the credit requirements for a Law and Politics minor are in addition to the requirements of a Political Science major. 

Learning Outcomes and Professional Success

The Minor in Law and Politics is designed to achieve the following learning outcomes:

  • Acquire a foundational understanding of the interactions between law and politic and be able to demonstrate a complex understanding of the political and legal processes and their impact on societies and individuals.
  • By taking at least one course focusing on legal and political aspects of the American system, students will learn and demonstrate an understanding of differences of class, gender, and race in our legal and political system, with a view to fashioning a more humane and just society.
  • By taking at least one course focusing on political and legal interactions in other nations, students will be expected to demonstrate an awareness that human values and behavior, ideas of justice, and methods of interpretation are influenced by culture and time.

The program has a strong emphasis on engaged learning. This will allow students not just to read about legal and political causes and effects on the way societies function, but also to experience firsthand the intricacies of such interactions. Consequently, upon completion of the program, students are expected to develop a better understanding of themselves and their role in society and the world, beyond their aforementioned demonstrated social understanding.

Course Descriptions and Learning Outcomes

Required Course (required for all students):

PLSC 385: Introduction to Law - The nature of law in society, including the constitutional origins and institutional structure of legal systems, the practices of the legal profession, and the substance of selected areas of case law. Outcome: Students will be able to understand the role of law and the legal system in American politics and its impact on the everyday lives of citizens.

Introductory Courses (choose from one of the following):

PLSC 100: Political Theory - An introduction to political theory, covering the principal ideas, controversies and institutions of political society. Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of major approaches to the normative study of politics; to identify the assumptions underlying philosophical arguments; and to critically assess different theories of political justice.

PLSC 101: American Politics - American national government and politics, including institutions, group and electoral processes, and public policy. Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the American political system, the patterns of political participation and behavior of diverse individuals and groups in American society, and evaluate the roles and processes of U.S. political institutions.

PLSC 102: International Relations - Competing perspectives on international politics and global issues such as North-South relations, human rights, war and peace, population growth, and environmentalism. Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the main approaches to the study of international politics and to analyze and assess such major substantive issues as interstate war, terrorism, arms control, international political economy and sustainable development.

PLSC 103: Comparative Politics - A cross-national comparison of political institutions and political behavior. Outcome: Students will learn why political systems differ and how different political systems function and change.

American Legal System (choose at least one but no more than two of the following):

PLSC 195: Law and Civil Rights - This course considers the law pertaining to discrimination, especially on the basis of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, national origin, or religion. Outcome: Students will be able to analyze and appraise the impact of judicial decisions on civil rights in the United States.

PLSC 300A: Occasionally special topics courses in American politics will be focused on law and politics. When they are relevant to the minor, they will count in this category and be given the LWPL tag.

PLSC 319: Women, Law & Public Policy -The legal arrangements and public policies that structure the relationships of women and men in American society. Outcome: Students will be able to analyze and appraise the impact of judicial decisions and public policies on women in the United States.

PLSC 320: Constitutional Law-Due Process - The Supreme Court's role in defining substantive and procedural due process issues such as criminal procedure, individual autonomy, and economic regulation. Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the meaning and application of due process in American law and its impact in safeguarding individual freedoms and civil rights.

PLSC 321: Constitutional Law-Powers of Government - The Supreme Court's role in allocating power among the three branches of the national government and between the state and federal governments. Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of alternative judicial approaches to the separation of governmental powers. 

PLSC 322: Constitutional Law-Rights and Liberties - The Supreme Court's role in defining constitutional guarantees of equal protection and individual freedom. Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the meaning, protection and boundaries of civil rights and individual liberties in American law.

PLSC 372: Crime, Race & Violence — This course provides an explanation of how issues related to racial and ethnic minorities and criminal behaviors impact criminal justice reactions. Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of how issues related to racial and ethnic minorities impact criminal justice reactions.

PLSC 379: The Legislative Process - Legislative campaigns and elections, the formal procedures of law making, the influence of political parties and interest groups, and the interaction with the president, the judiciary, and the bureaucracy. Outcome: Students will be able to analyze and assess the role and processes of the U.S. Congress in the deliberation and formulation of domestic policies and their impact on the everyday lives of citizens.

PLSC 384: The Judicial Process - The judicial process in the American court system from the Supreme Court to local trial courts, civil and criminal procedure, appellate court decision-making, and the impact of judicial policies on American politics and society. Outcome: Students will be able analyze and assess the role and impact of the U.S. court system on the protection of individual freedoms and civil rights.

PLSC 389: State Politics - A comparative study of the composition and powers of state governments. Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of state governments, the patterns of political participation and behavior of diverse individuals and groups in state politics, and evaluate the roles and processes of state political institutions.

Engaged Learning (choose at least ONE):

PLSC 202: Mock Trial - Students will study the trial as a process for finding truth and administering justice by learning the dynamics of the trial, by developing trial strategy, by learning how to conduct and respond to direct and cross examination and by delivering effective opening and closing arguments. Mock trial is an engaged learning course. Prior Permission is required. Outcomes: Mock trials are an activity that promotes critical thinking and reasoning. They call upon students to employ their problem-solving and public-speaking skills, and students gain knowledge of legal practices and procedures.

PLSC 203: Moot Court - Students will study the appeal as a process for finding truth and administering justice by learning the dynamics of appellate advocacy, by developing oral argument strategies, by learning how to respond to questions posed by judges in competition, and by delivering effective summations and rebuttal arguments. Moot court is an engaged learning course. Prior Permission is required. Outcomes: Moot court competitions are an activity that promotes critical thinking and reasoning. They will enhance their ability-to-think- on-their-feet skills, their legal research skills, and their public-speaking skills. Students gain knowledge of legal argumentation and constitutional law.

370: Chicago Internship - Practical experience in political and governmental agencies and organizations in Chicago. Prior Permission is required.  Outcome: Students learn about different forms of public service and the ethical responsibilities of civic engagement. Working in a professional office for fifteen weeks allows students to experience the world of public service first-hand. Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of models of leadership and public service by working with supervisors who are normally leaders in their fields.

PLSC 370: Washington DC Internship - Practical experience in political and governmental agencies and organizations in Washington, D.C. Prior Permission is required. Outcome: Students learn about different forms of public service and the ethical responsibilities of civic engagement. Working in a professional office for fifteen weeks allows students to experience the world of public service first-hand. Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of models of leadership and public service by working with supervisors who are normally leaders in their fields.

International Law (choose at least one but no more than two of the following):

PLSC 301: Political Justice - A study of alternative conceptions of political justice and the attempts to institutionalize them in various political systems.

Outcome: Students will be required to demonstrate a mastery of competing theories about how various goods should be distributed fairly, and apply the just-war doctrine to various real-world cases. This course will help students to analyze and appraise social practices and policies that claim to be consistent with principles of justice.

PLSC 316: Politics of Genocide - This course analyzes the politics surrounding genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in contemporary times. The primary focus is on occurrences since the end of the Cold War, including the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Outcomes: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of genocide and other massive human rights violations, along with the role of the international community in preventing future atrocities.

PLSC 353: International Law - Introduction to legal principles and procedures of recognized international law. Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the role and impact of law and legal principles and institutions in international relations.

PLSC 356: Intervention in World Politics - Examines the purposeful use of political, economic, and military instruments by one country to influence the domestic or the foreign policies of another country. Outcome: Students will obtain an in-depth knowledge of the historical evolution, potential constraints, and case studies of U.S. intervention in the post World-War II era.

PLSC 364: United Nations & International Organization - An examination of the purposes, organization, background, and operations of existing international organizations. Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the formation and structure of various International Organizations, especially the United Nations, the patterns of political participation and behavior of individuals, private and public groups, and governments in International Organizations, and evaluate the roles and processes of International Organizations.

PLSC 367: Model United Nations - Introduction to the operations and practices of United Nations, including training for student participation in the Loyola Model U.N. program. Attendance at Model U.N. conferences is required. Prior Permission is required. Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the formation and structure of the United Nations, the patterns of political participation and behavior of individuals, private and public groups, and governments in the United Nations, and evaluate the roles and processes of the United Nations. Understanding in enhanced by the practical experience gained by participating in Loyola's Model U.N. program.

PLSC 371: Roman Law - An introduction to the general principles and basic concepts of Roman civil law with emphasis upon the Late Republican-Early Imperial period. Outcome: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the assumptions and principles guiding the formulation and implementation of Roman civil law.

 

For more information, please contact Professor Amanda Savage (abryan2@luc.edu), Law and Politics Director for the Department of Political Science. You can also contact the Chair of the Political Science Department, Professor Alex Grigorescu (agrigor@luc.edu)