The Legal Studies Major 2012-13
Legal studies is an interdisciplinary program that is designed for students who wish to use the methods and perspectives of various academic disciplines to study legal issues and to use the conceptual framework of the law to illuminate empirical and theoretical concerns in the various disciplines. The major is not intended as a substitute or preparation for any part of a law school curriculum but rather as a full field of study within the liberal arts curriculum.
Study and Research Opportunities
- B.A., undergraduate minor
- Internship and field study opportunities available through the Legal Studies and Politics Department and the UCDC Program in Washington, D.C.
- Academic credit available for internship and field study work through the Legal Studies and Politics Department with the sponsorship of a Legal Studies or Politics faculty member
High School Preparation
No specific courses at the high school level are required for admission to the major in legal studies at UC Santa Cruz. Courses in history, literature, philosophy, and the social sciences, whether taken at the high school or college level, are appropriate background and preparation for the legal studies major.
Transfer students will find it helpful to complete college courses that satisfy campus general education requirements before coming to UC Santa Cruz. Courses from another institution may be considered for the legal studies major only if they appear on the student’s transfer credit list on the MyUCSC portal. Students are allowed to substitute only one philosophy course in logic or ethics taken elsewhere to satisfy a Legal Studies major lower-division requirement. Students should discuss the procedure with the department adviser.
While it is not a condition of admission, students from California community colleges may complete the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) in preparation for transfer to UC Santa Cruz. Transfer course agreements and articulation between the University of California and California community colleges can be accessed on the ASSIST.ORG web site.
Legal studies alumna Jessian Choy won the 2002 Brower Youth Award for environmental activism from the Earth Island Institute.
Joseph W. Guzzetta (B.A., legal studies and economics, ’01) is a litigation associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP, where he focuses on securities and intellectual property. Gibson, Dunn is a major international law firm headquartered in Los Angeles that provides a wide range of legal services to major companies.
Declaring the Major
Declaring the major in legal studies is a three-step process: (1) complete and pass with a grade of C or better Legal Studies 10, Introduction to the Legal Process, (2) attend a declaration orientation workshop, and (3) meet with the legal studies undergraduate adviser.
Students graduating from UC Santa Cruz with a major in legal studies are well prepared to go on to graduate or professional school in a variety of liberal arts or professional fields, and subsequently into academic or professional careers in such fields as business, education, journalism, law, public policy analysis, public finance, social work, or urban planning.
The UCDC (quarter in Washington, D.C.) program supervises and supports students who pursue internships and academic study in the nation’s capital. The program is open through a competitive application process to juniors and seniors in all majors. Students enroll for fall, winter, or spring quarter, earn 12–15 course credits, and continue to be registered as full-time students. Courses are taught by UC faculty along with visiting faculty from the Washington, D.C. area. Applicant selection is based on academic record, a written statement, letters of recommendation, and a personal interview.
Students live in the UC Washington Center, together with students from all of the participating UC campuses. This provides a social and intellectual community throughout the quarter.
Interested students in junior or senior standing with strong academic records are encouraged to apply. For further information, contact the UCDC coordinator, 5 Merrill College, (831) 459-2855, email@example.com, politics.ucsc.edu/ucdc.
Students satisfy the senior comprehensive requirement by taking, in their senior year, either course 196, Senior Capstone, one proseminar from a designated list, or an equivalent seminar approved in advance by the legal studies academic adviser. (The list of designated proseminars is available in the Legal Studies Program Office.) The capstone course is designed to provide an interdisciplinary integration of themes related to the study of law and includes a substantial writing requirement. Students who have not already completed or been guaranteed admission into a proseminar by the beginning of the quarter in which the capstone course is offered will be required to take the capstone course.
27 Merrill College
University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, California 95064