The History/Law and Society Major


The History/Law and Society major is designed to offer students the opportunity to combine the study of history, with its emphasis on the changes over time in society, politics, the economy, and culture, with the study of legal and law-like relationships and institutions.

The coherent series of courses included in this major ought to be of particular value to those intending to study law or to enter other graduate fields as well as to those planning professional careers in government, public administration, business, or other areas where the relationship between history and the law is of significance.

The major requirements for the B.A. degree in History/Law and Society are as follows:

  1. History requirements (52 units): All requirements for the B.A. in History
  2. Law and Society requirements (36 units)
    1. PHIL 007 or PHIL 007H
    2. LWSO 100
    3. One course chosen from ECON 111, POSC 114, PSYC 012, SOC 004 (or equivalent course in research methods)
    4. Three courses chosen from ANTH 127, ECON 119, HISE 153, PHIL 165, POSC 167, PSYC 175, SOC 159
    5. Two courses chosen from ENSC 174, HISA 120A, HISA 120B, HISE 123, LWSO 175 (E-Z), PHIL 164, POSC 111, POSC 166, POSC 168, POSC 186, SOC 147, SOC 149, SOC 180
    6. LWSO 193, Senior Seminar

Note: For sections 2.d) and 2.e) combined, not more than two courses may be taken from the same department. In filling the dual requirements of the major, students may not count more than two courses toward both parts of their total requirements (History requirements and Law and Society requirements). The History courses that may fill the dual requirements include HISE 153 (History of the Common Law), and HISA 120A and HISA 120B (The Supreme Court and the Constitution).

Recommended Prelaw Courses

The History major has long been considered as an ideal major for students planning to study law since it meets the three goals that law schools recommend for undergraduate applicants:

  1. That they achieve an understanding of the development of social, political, and economic institutions.
  2. That they develop an ability to communicate well, both orally and in writing
  3. That they possess the capacity to think clearly and analytically.

The History Department especially recommends the following upper-division courses to prelaw students:

  • HISE 150 (Ancient/Medieval England)
  • HISE 153 (History of the Common Law)
  • HISA 120A, HISA 120B (The Supreme Court and the Constitution)