- Legal Studies Program
- Criminal Justice Program Description
- Legal Studies Minor requirements
- Certificate Programs
- Criminal Justice Concentration (comprehensive) Requirements
- Criminal Justice Minor Requirements
- Student Learning Outcomes
- Legal Studies Major requirements
Maria Stalzer Wyant Cuzzo, Professor of Legal Studies
Gary Keveles, Professor of Criminal Justice
George Wright, Professor of Legal Studies
Christopher O'Connor, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
Providing courses of study both in Legal Studies and Criminal Justice, the Legal Studies Program is one of four programs housed in the Department of Human Behavior, Justice and Diversity. The major in Legal Studies requires coursework totaling 35-36 credits, whereas the Criminal Justice curriculum offers a comprehensive major of 57-58 credits.
Legal Studies Major
The major in Legal Studies provides an undergraduate liberal arts major grounded in the Humanist tradition of law. The focus of the program is the study of law in itself and in its relations to politics, moral philosophy, society and history.
The impact of law and legal process upon citizens in the United States and around the world has increased markedly in recent years. Factors contributing to the development of law include growth in the complexity of government and regulation, expanded conceptions of individual and group rights, increased public access to knowledge via the internet and increasing exposure to structures of legal ordering, such as healthcare and bank regulation. If citizens are to maintain and advance democratic forms of civic life and participation, they require better knowledge of the role of law, its goals, methods, successes and failures. Coupled to this must be an understanding of the limits of the dominant forms of dispute resolution as well as the benefits of alternative forms.
Students in the Legal Studies major learn about both the theoretical and practical dimensions of law, not only within the American model, but in other legal systems as well. They gain first-hand experience in legal analysis, argument and advocacy as well as in mediation and other forms of alternative conflict resolution (ADR). They learn such substantive areas of law as contracts, real property, family law, etc., and gain an understanding of procedural law in civil and criminal contexts. The program offers coursework in law-related topics involving diversity, multiculturalism, environmental regulation and international law.
Understanding crime and justice is essential in a democratic society, and studying both is challenging. Crime involves coercion, freedom, fear and safety. A low incidence of crime enables society to work toward a higher quality of life. An explosion of crime tears at the fabric of a community. Crime is both a legal and a political concept. The very definition of crime is rooted in law; however, it is not limited to law. Some injuries to society become prohibitions in criminal statutes. Other harms, for various historical, political and cultural reasons, are not included within the penal code. Justice, itself, is an elusive philosophical concept that has legal, political, economic, social and psychological underpinnings as well as implications. Ever present in our thinking is the desire for justice in individual cases as well as the pursuit of living in a just society.
With a strong liberal arts emphasis, the Criminal Justice program encourages intellectual curiosity, critical thinking and extensive communication skills, characteristics associated with rewarding professional and personal lives. At the same time, a primary goal of the UW-Superior's Criminal Justice Program is the academic preparation of individuals planning criminal justice careers as well as the educational advancement of practitioners already enjoying criminal justice careers.
The criminal justice curriculum is both broad and deep, enabling students to critically reflect on the complexity of "the problem" of crime as well as our paradoxical responses to it. Its study requires a multidisciplinary approach. Housed in a Legal Studies major, the concentration in Criminal Justice examines various ways of "knowing" the problem, especially through a rigorous, scientific lens. Completion of core courses in criminal justice permits students to become firmly grounded in a range of perspectives in the justice field. Selection of courses from legal studies provides a significant context for appreciating the fluid boundaries of justice systems. In addition to classes in criminal justice and legal studies, the curriculum consists of coursework in six areas: accounting, philosophy, political science, psychology, social work, and sociology. Taking courses from these disciplines enable students to achieve global views of this complex problem and its possible solutions as well as to "drill down" into critical subject areas. Selection of elective courses encourages students to pursue flexible paths of study tailored to their individual interests in such careers as law enforcement, law and court processing, juvenile and adult corrections as well as graduate education. The result is the achievement of baccalaureate competency in the study of criminal justice.
Graduates from UW-Superior's Criminal Justice program distinguish themselves in many diverse professional fields, in graduate and law schools, and in the community. Alumni serve in positions of responsibility across the United States in federal, state and local criminal and juvenile justice agencies as well as in Canadian justice agencies. Others have careers as private attorneys, paralegals, youth counselors, teachers, military officers, security/loss specialists and private investigators.
No minor is required because the Criminal Justice Concentration in Legal Studies is a comprehensive major.
Depending on course selection, the number of credits is either 57 or 58. Thirteen credits of the total satisfy General Education credits. Excluding these 13 General Education credits, the curriculum in criminal justice consists of either 44 or 45 credits.
Completion of 23 credits is required, including 15 credits in required courses, 2 credits in substantive law courses and 6 credits from two of three groups.
Required courses (15 credits required):
Substantive Law courses (2 credits required; students are encouraged to take more credits from this area as electives:
Two Three Groups (6 credits required; those minoring in LSTU must take at least one course denoted below as requiring a term paper):
Group 1-Legal Theory and Practice
Group 2-Legal Process and Ordering
Group 3-Multiculturalism, Diversity and Law
The Legal Studies program collaborates with the Center for Continuing Education in offering three certificate programs. Students who are seeking degrees may also complete certificate requirements as part of their elective credits toward a degree. Non-degree-seeking students may seek the certificates through Center for Continuing Education. Completion and awarding of these two certificates is coordinated through the Center for Continuing Education.
57 total credits (58 credits with a core general education mathematics course - MATH 130)
Legal Studies Core courses (9 credits required):
Justice Core courses (21 credits required):
Research Design and Quantitative Analysis courses (6 or 7 credits required):
Diversity Course (3 credits required):
Elective Credits (18 credits required:) With advisor's approval, other courses not listed below can be substituted and count as part of the 18 credits.
1. Law (6 credits required):
2. Harms, Ethics and Society (6 credits required):
3. Justice System Responses (6 credits required):
The curriculum consists of coursework totaling 24 credits: 12 required credits and 12 elective credits. The elective courses are drawn from two separate pools. Three credits satisfy General Education requirements.
24 total credits
Justice Core courses (12 credits required):
Elective Credits (12 credits required):
A total of 12 elective credits selected from the following two groups. With advisor's approval, other courses not listed below can be substituted and count as part of the 12 credits.
Interpersonal Harm and its Legal Response courses (select 6 credits required):
Justice System courses (6 credits required):
Graduates of the Legal Studies major will have
- Ability to analyze and interpret texts
- Ability to write well
- Ability to effectively convey ideas orally
- Ability to critically think and analytically reason
- Ability to understand citizenship
35-36 total credits
Required courses (21 credits required):
Legal Procedures courses (3 credits required):
Substantive Law courses (2 credits required; students are strongly encouraged to take more of these courses as electives):
Courses in two of three groups (6 credits required; LSTU majors must take at least one course denoted below as requiring a term paper):
Group 1: Legal Theory and Practice
Group 2: Legal Process and Ordering
Group 3: Diversity and Multicultural Issues
For students planning to attend law school or graduate school, a preparatory course in the LSAT or GRE examination is highly recommended.