Oct 17, 2018  
2014-2015 General Catalog (Spring, Summer 2015) 
2014-2015 General Catalog (Spring, Summer 2015) [ARCHIVED CATALOG Please see current catalog]

Law and Constitutional Studies - BS

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College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Department of Political Science

Location: MAIN 320
Phone: (435) 797-1306
Fax: (435) 797-3751
E-mail: politicalscience@usu.edu
WWW: http://politicalscience.usu.edu/


The law and constitutional studies is the only major of its kind in the Intermountain West.  This is a rigorous program designed for students interested in leadership roles in business, public communications, government, education, or the study or practice of law.  The program is intended to introduce students to the study of law and politics, with an emphasis on the American Constitution, and it focuses on how constitutional rules affect political and economic processes. Students study the theory, history, economics, and development of constitutional thought. They also learn about natural and civil rights, a market economy, a self-governing citizenry, voluntary associations, and the rule of law. Through an intensive program of constitutional study, this major equips students with the intellectual tools and understanding of constitutional principles necessary to enter graduate study or law school, as well as a variety of other professions. The program hosts prominent experts on law and the Constitution such as guest speakers such as Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court. Students also have ample opportunities for internships in federal and state legislatures, regulatory agencies, lobbying firms, think tanks, corporations and international organizations.

Departmental Honors

Students who would like to experience greater academic depth within their major are encouraged to enroll in departmental honors. Through original, independent work, Honors students enjoy the benefits of close supervision and mentoring, as they work one-on-one with faculty in select upper-division departmental courses. Honors students also complete a senior project, which provides another opportunity to collaborate with faculty on a problem that is significant, both personally and in the student's discipline. Participating in departmental honors enhances students' chances for obtaining fellowships and admission to graduate school. Minimum GPA requirements for participation in departmental honors vary by department, but usually fall within the range of 3.30-3.50. Students may enter the Honors Program at almost any stage in their academic career, including at the junior (and sometimes senior) level. The campus-wide Honors Program, which is open to all qualified students regardless of major, offers a rich array of cultural and social activities, special classes, and the benefit of Honors early registration. Interested students should contact the Honors Program, LLC Bldg. A, Room 112, (435) 797-2715, honors@usu.edu. Additional information can be found online at: http://honors.usu.edu

Additional Information

For detailed information about requirements for the Law and Constitutional Studies major, see the major requirement sheet, which can be obtained from the Political Science Department.

Students must complete the General Education Requirements :

  • POLS 1100  (required for POLS and LCS majors) will fulfill the American Institutions requirement
  •   (required for POLS majors) will fulfill the Social Sciences requirement

Students must also complete the University Studies Depth Requirements :

  •   (required for POLS majors), plus  ,   or   (if selected in the Area Requirements), will fulfill the Communication Intensive (CI) requirement
  •   (required for POLS majors) will fulfill the Quantitative Intensive (QI) requirement
  • Complete at least 2 credits in approved 3000-level or above courses from each of the following two categories: Humanities and Creative Arts (DHA) and Life and Physical Sciences (DSC)


Law and Constitutional Studies Pre-Major Requirements

Students who wish to become Law and Constitutional Studies majors must apply for admission after completing the Department's pre-major program. New freshmen in good standing are eligible to declare the pre-major. Continuing students and transfer students with a 3.0 GPA are eligible to declare the pre-major. When the pre-major courses are completed with a GPA of 3.0, the student will be able to declare the Law and Constitutional Studies major. A student must be declared as a Law and Constitutional Studies major in order to apply for graduation.


Complete all of the following (12 credits)

Complete Two additional General Education courses (6 credits) chosen with undergraduate advisor

In an effort to support essential learning outcomes, it is recommended that the student follow the general education program contained in the Preparing for Degrees, Careers and Lives: Pathways to General Education pamphlet developed by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Careful selection of general education classes can enhance a student's undergraduate experience. The following are examples of recommendations to help students enhance their experience in the social sciences and foster critical and creative thinking skills of inquiry, analysis, and evaluation.

For example:

Students who wish to emphasize US Government and policy analysis in their curriculum are encouraged to consider:

Law school candidates:

Interest in environmental policy issues:

Those with an emphasis in political theory:


Law and Constitutional Studies Major Requirements


Minimum GPA for Admission: 3.0, USU; 3.0, Career
Minimum GPA for Graduation: 3.0, major courses; 3.0, USU; 3.0, Career
Minimum Grade Accepted: C in major courses


A. Total Credits in Political Science Courses: 36

Please note that none of the courses can be taken Pass/Fail; all Political Science courses must be taken for a letter grade. Also, all courses must be attended in their entirety. Students cannot take these courses during an internship.

B. Career Total and USU Cumulative GPAs: 3.00

C. Average GPA in Political Science Courses: 3.00

D. Required Courses (21 credits)

E. Course Sequencing

Law and Constitutional Studies majors are required to complete POLS 1100  as a prerequisite to all 3000-and 4000-level Political Science courses. It is advised that Law and Constitutional Studies majors take POLS 3120  prior to POLS 4120 , POLS 4130 , POLS 5130 , or POLS 5140 

F. Area Requirements (6 credits minimum)

Students must take a minimum of six upper-division credits in U.S. Government and Policy in addition to courses required for this major.

G. Electives (9 credits)

Any Political Science upper-division courses can be used to complete the major and fulfill this requirement, with two exceptions:

  1. Not more than three credits in Directed Readings courses (POLS 4910 ) can apply to this requirement.
  2. Not more than three credits in the following courses can apply to this requirement:

Minimum University Requirements

Total Credits


Grade Point Average (most majors require higher GPA)

2.00 GPA

Credits of C- or better


Credits of upper-division courses (#3000 or above)


USU Credits (30 USU credits, 20 of which must be upper-division courses, 10 of which must be courses required for student's major)

30 USU credits

Completion of approved major program of study

See college advisor

Credits in minor (if required)


Credits in American Institutions (ECN 1500 ;HIST 1700 , HIST 2700  or HIST 2710 ; HONR 1300 POLS 1100 ; or USU 1300 )


General Education Requirements  and University Studies Depth Requirements 




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