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Law, Society, and Policy

As a law, society, and policy major, you will gain an understanding of how the law shapes, and is shaped by, society and how policies are devised and implemented.

Law students and faculty sitting around a table talking.

Drawing on a range of courses across the humanities and social sciences, this integrated learning major grounds students in the study of law, legal institutions, the legal dimensions of social life and the policy process.

Integrated learning majors (ILM) combine a traditional major with coursework in an applied or multidisciplinary field. This ILM cultivates interests in human rights and in the principles and pursuit of justice. It prepares students for a variety of careers and for graduate programs in law, public policy or the social sciences.

About Maxwell

The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs is Syracuse University’s home for innovative, interdisciplinary teaching and research in the social sciences, public policy, public administration and international relations. It includes America’s #1 ranked graduate program in public affairs, offering highly regarded professional degrees alongside advanced scholarly degrees in the social sciences, and it is home to undergraduate programs across the full spectrum of social sciences. 


Core coursework is comprised of environmental sciences, data analysis, humanities, and science-policy. Sample courses include:

  • Law and Legal Communication
  • An Introduction to the Analysis of Public Policy
  • The Long Civil Rights Era
  • Philosophy of Law
  • Qualitative Methods in Sociology
  • Practicum in the Study of History
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • International Law
  • Human Rights and Global Affairs

View official major requirements.

Practical Experience

Numerous hands-on and real-world learning opportunities are available to enrolled students. In addition to a required internship, you can take advantage of:

  • The Syracuse University Undergraduate Mock Trial Team gives you the chance to prepare a case for a trial. Students become trial attorneys and witnesses compete against other universities across the country.
  • The University’s Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Chapter welcomes all students interested in law or thinking about a career in law. Along with introducing students to different specialties within the field of law, the group also discusses internships, LSAT preparation, and hosts guest speakers and social events.
  • The National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA) Pre-Law Chapter articulates and promotes the needs and goals of minority pre-law students. NBLSA advocates for minorities and offers various service opportunities and programs.
  • Challenge yourself as a RenĂ©e Crown University Honors student.
  • Participate in research and funded projects with renowned professors and researchers.

Study Abroad

Well-known as one of the top international education providers in the U.S., Syracuse Abroad is a longstanding part of the Syracuse experience. With over 100 programs in 60 countries, nearly half of all students go abroad during their time at Syracuse.

Life After Syracuse University

With a degree in law, society, and policy, you can explore such careers as:

  • Attorney
  • Law enforcement professional
  • Community organizer
  • Human services provider
  • Public interest advocate
  • Policy consultant
  • Research analyst

Or continue on to pursue a law degree at Syracuse University’s College of Law or another institution.