Law and Social Thought

Law and Social Thought: Program of Study

The Program in Law and Social Thought is designed to enhance student participation in the experience of learning. We have designed an innovative curriculum involving outstanding faculty members from many disciplines in the arts and sciences.


The Gateway Course

3 semester hours

An introduction to the themes and ideas of the LST program. Grounded in the interdisciplinary filed of Law and Society, the Gateway Course approaches the study of Law from Many perspectives. All students who enroll in the LST program take the 2000 level gateway course. Click to read more about the Gateway Course.


2 semester hours

The pro-seminar gives students and faculty in the program the opportunity to discuss particular issues concerning the interdisciplinary aspect of the study of law and social thought. It also is an opportunity to engage in mutual exploration of issues of concern to students in the classroom and beyond. The pro-seminar group does event planning and program development.

LST Elective Courses/Cross-Listed Courses

18 semester hours

Course work in LST consists of core courses  and courses that are cross-listed with the major. These courses are arranged into “paths” that will help a student with a minor or a major in LST focus more narrowly and explore related ideas across disciplinary boundaries. In order to encourage a truly interdisciplinary approach, students are permitted to take no more than two courses in a given path in the same department. The “Paths” are:

Path 1: Law, History, and Theory


The historical development of the law and the theoretical and philosophical or theoretical struggles surrounding its formation, transmission, transgression, and enforcement.

Path 2: Law, Difference, and Social Practices


The effect on law of racial, ethnic, national, gender, cultural, physical and/or cognitive differences and the institutions that think about and manage them, and the role these differences play in the formation, interpretation, and enforcement of law.

Path 3: Law, Institutions, and Public Policy


The political, economic, and scientific struggles and decisions that produce law and its relations to the populations governed by it and the way those populations are articulated in and by legal institutions.

Path 4: Comparative Law


The questions of international law, of cross-cultural understandings that form and transcend law, of legal systems and the rule of law as it is understood in non-Western and emerging countries.


Upper Division Seminars

6 semester hours

Students majoring in LST enroll in at least three seminars designated as LST Upper Division Seminar in their third or fourth years.

Advanced seminars, taught in and for existing departments are designated as LST Upper Division Seminars by the program directors in consultation with LST students, faculty, and department chairs.

The Capstone Seminar                                                                                                                                                                                             3 semester hours

Brings LST students together to examine a topic, problem, concept, or historical phenomenon in depth from many different disciplinary perspectives. Guest speakers from on and off campus, field trips, student presentations, and interactive learning exercises are highlights of the Capstone Seminars. Students have the opportunity to bring their otherwise diverse sources of learning together to study a topic in common.

Field Experience

3-6 semester hours

We regard field experience - consisting of community activism and outreach, service learning, cross-cultural dialogue, travel or internship - as fundamental to a university education. Students are encouraged to think of field experience as an opportunity to study and advance their area of specialization. Click to read more about Field Experience.


In Women's and Gender Studies: Questions of gender are everywhere in the study of law. Students wishing to study gender and law are encouraged to pursue this concentration.

Recognizing the importance of the experience of disability to contemporary law, LST also offers a concentration in Disability Studies. Please see Dr. Van Hoy or Dr. Heberle for details as to requirements.


Every LST student is required to turn in a graduation portfolio. Requirements are listed here.

Last Updated: 12/6/23