Political Science and Criminal Justice

Political Science: Legal Studies Option

Mission Statement, Program Goals, and Student Learning Outcomes

Mission Statement

The mission of the Political Science - Option: Legal Studies Program is to provide Political Science Majors the opportunity to focus on legal studies and in particular the judicial branch of government and the interaction between the judicial branch with the other branches of government, including the traditional executive and legislative branches, as well as the media and the democratic process. An additional mission is to promote community engagement and a commitment toward working for the public good. Students will have the capacity to move into specific career opportunities (i.e. paralegal certificate) or have the skill and knowledge for future study in law school or graduate studies.

Program Goals

  • Knowledge :  Students will understand the judicial system, laws, process, and procedures for fundamental fairness and basic principles of constitutional law.  
  • Skill :  Students will have both the written, oral, and research skills to communicate effectively in the legal environment and the critical legal reasoning skills to analyze laws and legal opinions. Students will be able to use appropriate technology in legal studies. Students will have leadership skills.
  • Professionalism :  Students will have an understanding and knowledge of the professional code applicable to legal practice.
  • Citizenship :  Students will understand the importance of participation in a democratic society and have worked in a community service-learning program. Students will know how to function in an office/professional environment.  

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will have understanding and knowledge of the state and federal court systems and how those systems interrelate to each other.
  • Students will have understanding and knowledge of major constitutional provisions, including the federal government’s powers and restraints and individual civil rights and civil liberties.
  • Students can conduct research and perform writing with sufficient clarity to convey their knowledge and skills.
  • Students will demonstrate understanding and knowledge of legal advocacy.
  • Students can apply their legal studies skills and knowledge in applied settings.
  • Students will have the ability to orally communicate legal concepts and theories that they have researched and developed.