Jurisprudence, Law, and Society (B.A.)

The Bachelor of Arts in Jurisprudence, Law and Society provides a solid foundation for students aspiring to law school and other graduate study, as well as for work in many other careers that require analytic, conceptual, and communications skills. It provides an opportunity for the interdisciplinary study of law in the liberal arts. The major in Jurisprudence represents the confluence of law, theories of justice, humanistic studies and social issues.

Through this major, undergraduate students at Montclair State University have the opportunity to acquire the fundamental knowledge essential to understanding legal institutions and processes. Students in the major develop intellectual skills necessary to evaluate policies, practices, and philosophies within the context of nation and legal systems.

The major draws its essence from a core of Jurisprudence courses, while at the same time building upon the liberal arts focus of discipline-based courses at the university. The capstone experience of the major is a rigorous Senior Research Seminar. This two part, year-long course involves intensive research and writing in a seminar setting. Students prepare a scholarly interdisciplinary, law related, research paper, developed in consultation with a faculty advisor and designed to enhance the student's understanding of the field. Many law schools find the Senior Seminar particularly advantageous in student preparation.

Program objectives include:

  1. To sharpen skills as readers and thinkers, as interpreters of culture, and as citizens.
  2. To advance the ability to test ethical arguments and textual understandings in contexts where decisions must be made.
  3. To understand legal materials, by further developing students interpretive and analytical skills.
  4. To study the role of law in the liberal arts by inviting an examination of a wide range of critical questions about people and the ways they live together, to raise issues traditionally linked to liberal inquiry.
  5. To participate in a rigorous two-semester Capstone Research Seminar which encompasses intellectual preparation for thinking processes, expands the knowledge base and enhances preparation for law-related study.

In addition to the general criteria for admission to Montclair State University, all students must apply to and be admitted into Jurisprudence, Law and Society major. For entry into the program students must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Top twenty percent of high school graduating class.
  2. An overall minimum GPA of 3.0 at the completion of a minimum of 24 credits at Montclair State University or transfer institution.
  3. An overall minimum GPA of 3.0 in the student's first three courses in the Jurisprudence major.

Program Requirements Overview

General Education Requirements42
World Languages and Cultures Requirements3-9
Major Requirements33
Free Electives42-36
Total Credits120

Major Requirements

Major Requirements
JURI 210Perspectives on Law3
or LAWS 200 Introduction to Law
JURI 300Essentials of Jurisprudence3
JURI 324Legal Reasoning3
or PHIL 324 Legal Reasoning
JURI 495Senior Research and Writing Seminar in Jurisprudence I3
JURI 496Senior Research and Writing Seminar in Jurisprudence II3
LAWS 302Legal Research3
Major Electives
Select two of the following:6
Feminist Jurisprudence
Human Rights Law
Special Topics in Jurisprudence (May be taken twice for credit)
Conflict and Its Resolution
Legal Writing
American Government and Politics
Law in Society: Civil Law
Law in Society: Criminal Law
American Constitutional Law: The Federal System
American Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties
Animal Rights: Law, Politics and Culture
U.S. Immigration: Law and Politics
Comparative Legal Perspectives: Israel and the United States
Intelligence and National Security
Politics and Morality of War
International Law
Globalization and Security
Other Major Electives
Philosophy Elective
Select one of the following:3
Philosophical Issues in Law and Justice
Critical Reasoning and Arguments
Philosophy of Law
Additional Elective I
Select one of the following:3
Creative Nonfiction
Style and Editing
English Vocabulary: Classical Roots
General Humanities II (from 1400)
Roman Civilization
Seminar in Law and Literature
Language of Propaganda
Additional Elective II
Select one of the following:3
Forensic Interviewing of Children
Social History of the United States
Political History of the United States
Cultural and Intellectual History of the United States Since 1880
Pre-Law Internship
American Political Thought
The American Congress
Advanced Public Policy Analysis
Forensic Psychology
Sociology of Law
Total Credits33

General Education Requirements

Click here for a list of courses that fulfill General Education categories.

A. New Student Seminar
Complete a 1 credit New Student Seminar1
C. Communication
1. Writing 3
2. Literature3
3. Communication3
D. Fine and Performing Arts
Complete a 3 credit Fine and Performing Arts course.3
F. Humanities
1. Great Works and Their Influences3
2. Philosophical and Religious Perspectives 3
G. Computer Science
Complete a 3 credit Computer Science course.3
H. Mathematics
Complete a 3 credit Mathematics course.3
I. Natural Science Laboratory
Complete a 4 credit Natural Science Laboratory course.4
J. Physical Education
Complete a 1 credit Physical Education course.1
K. Social Science
1. American and European History 3
2. Global Cultural Perspectives3
3. Social Science Perspectives 3
Students in P12 Subject Area Teaching programs complete EDFD 200 as part of the Teacher Education sequence.
L. Interdisciplinary Studies
Complete a 3 credit Interdisciplinary Studies course.3
Students in P12 Subject Area Teaching programs complete SASE 210 as part of the Teacher Education sequence.
Total Credits42

World Languages and Cultures Requirements

Click here for a list of courses that fulfill World Languages and Cultures categories.

World Languages
Based on language placement exam, complete one or two sequential courses in the same language. Requirement is automatically fulfilled by language major courses.3-6
World Cultures
Requirement may be fulfilled by course selected in General Education - Social Science: Global Cultural Perspectives. Requirement may also be fulfilled by major coursework. See list of courses.0-3
Total Credits3-9

Recommended Roadmap to Degree Completion

This four-year plan is provided as an outline for students to follow in order to complete their degree requirements within four years.  This plan is a recommendation and students should only use it in consultation with their academic advisor.

First Year
GENERAL EDUCATION: (A) New Student Seminar1GENERAL EDUCATION: (C2) Literature3
GENERAL EDUCATION: (C3) Communication3GENERAL EDUCATION: (K1) Social Science – American and European History3
GENERAL EDUCATION: (H) Mathematics3JURI 210 or LAWS 2003
GENERAL EDUCATION: (K3) Social Science – Social Science Perspectives3World Language 23
World Language 13 
 16 15
Second Year
GENERAL EDUCATION: (D) Fine and Performing Arts3GENERAL EDUCATION: (F2) Humanities – Philosophical and Religious Perspectives3
GENERAL EDUCATION: (F1) Humanities – Great Works and Their Influences3GENERAL EDUCATION: (I) Natural Science Laboratory4
GENERAL EDUCATION: (K2) Social Science – Global Cultural Perspectives3World Cultures3
LAWS 3023JURI 3003
Free Elective/Minor Course3Major Department Elective3
 15 16
Third Year
GENERAL EDUCATION: (L) Interdisciplinary Studies3Major Elective3
Free Elective/Minor Course3Major Elective3
JURI 3243Free Elective/Minor Course3
Major Department Elective3Free Elective/Minor Course3
Major Elective3Free Elective/Minor Course3
 15 15
Fourth Year
GENERAL EDUCATION: (J) Physical Education1JURI 4963
JURI 4953Free Elective/Minor Course3
LAWS 4974Free Elective/Minor Course3
Major Elective3Free Elective/Minor Course3
Free Elective/Minor Course3 
Free Elective/Minor Course2 
 16 12
Total Credits 120