Socio-Legal Studies



The concentration in socio-legal studies offers a model for educating and training students in the study of legal ideas, institutions and practices from the perspectives of the social sciences, law, and the humanities. The distinction between law "on the books" and law "in action," which refers to how people experience law in their everyday lives, is a cornerstone of the concentration. Course work provides students with multiple and intersecting theoretical and methodological approaches that reveal law as a socially embedded system of loosely connected institutions, practices, presumptions and rules. Students participating in the concentration will learn how to apply these socio-legal tools of analysis to their study of law in action.

The concentration consists of four components to ensure students develop a broad understanding of socio-legal studies. Foundational courses in socio-legal theories (three credits) and in legal institutions (three credits) will be required. Students will then have the option of selecting three electives (nine credits) from a set of approved courses, providing flexibility so that they may pursue an individualized course of study. Additional courses beyond those listed on this proposal may be added with approval of the certificate director. Finally, a three credit experiential learning component will be required, for a total of 18 credit hours, of which a minimum of 12 hours must be upper division. This may be an internship within the U.S. or abroad, or a research experience under the guidance of a member of the socio-legal studies certificate faculty.


  • Students must complete a minimum of 18 credit hours including 12 of upper division hours from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for this concentration.
  • All courses must be completed with a grade of “C” (2.00) or higher.
  • Students are required to consult an advisor in School of Social Transformation for Interdisciplinary Component courses and internship options.

Core Theory and Foundations Courses - 6 credit hours

JUS 303 Justice Theory

JUS 308 Courts and Society 

JUS 360/CRJ 350 Law and Social Control

JUS 410 Punishment: Logic and Approach 

JUS 463/CRJ 470 Discretionary Justice

JUS 465 Death Penalty in the United States

PHI 307 Philosophy of Law

PHI 336 Social and Political Philosophy

PHI 408 Feminist Ethics

POS 315 The Supreme Court

POS 465 International Organization and Law

POS 471 Constitutional Law I

POS 472 Constitutional Law II

Interdisciplinary Component - 12 credit hours
Note: Interdisciplinary electives must be taken from at least two different academic disciplines. Any course listed below may count towards this requirement. Other courses can be approved by the certificate program director. Select in consultation with an advisor in the School of Social Transformation. 

AFR 215 Bob Marley and Reggae: Lyrics of Resistance

AFR 301/JUS 300 Race and Racism in Africa/African Diaspora

AFR 304/JUS 304 Islands of Globalization: Caribbean Politics and Political Economy

AFR 420/JUS 421 Race, Ethnicity and Politics in African Diaspora

AFR/APA/JUS/SST 428 Critical Race Theory 

CRJ 305 Gender, Crime and Criminal Justice

CRJ 306 Race, Ethnicity, Crime and Criminal Justice

JUS 329 Domestic Violence

JUS 350 Immigration and Justice

JUS 374 The Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights

JUS 422/WST 422 Women, Law, and Social Control 

JUS 425 Race, Gender, and Justice

JUS 430 Social Protest, Conflict, and Change

JUS 432 Racial Justice

JUS 467 Terrorism, War and Justice

JUS 469 Political Deviance and the Law

JUS 470 Alternative Dispute Resolution

JUS 484 Internship 

JUS 498 Pro-Seminar 

POS 370 Law and Society

POS 470 Law and the Political Order

PSY 468 Psychology and Law

SOC 340 The Sociology of Deviance

SOC 445 Globalization, Development and Resistance

TCL 335/HST 323/AFR 335 Historical Studies in Race, Crime, and the Law

TCL 340 Chicana/o and Latina/o Politics and Policy






Interdisciplinary Studies Advising
All appointments:

Downtown Phoenix
Arizona Center, Suite 380

Santa Catalina Hall

Urban Systems Engineering





College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


School of Social Transformation | NVS1 310AA