Law-related courses for Fall 2020

Every semester, we provide this list of the amazing array of law-related and law-adjacent courses that might be of interest to students considering legal careers. Some of these courses are squarely focused on the law. Others are more in the nature of background learning that will help you more deeply understand the law and its place in our world. These 100+ courses can be found in over 30 different departments across 9 different colleges and schools at the University—and this is not even including the courses offered at the other four colleges (which are not listed here). It’s not just that the law touches every aspect of our lives and your studies, but that every area of study can support your eventual legal career. So think broadly as you consider which courses to take while you’re here at UMass, and rest assured that you will find something of value in every class you take, even if it takes years to figure out just what it might be.

There is nothing you MUST do as an undergrad in order to prepare for law school – no required classes or majors, no magic extracurricular activities.

Study what you love, pursue what you find meaningful, explore your interests.

You’ll find pages of info on undergraduate preparation for law school right here

Beyond studying what you love, the most important things you can do in the classroom to enhance your eventual application to law school are the following:

  • Learn how to be a good writer – take classes in which you’ll write a lot and get good feedback on your writing.
  • Maintain a strong GPA.  Studying what you love will make this much easier.
  • Get to know your professors.  They’re an amazing resource, and the more they know about you, the better their eventual letters of recommendation can be.



Enrolling in law-related classes is NOT a prerequisite for getting into law school, but it may help you decide if law is the right path for you.

The list below can help you sample law in the classroom. This is NOT a complete list of all courses that touch on or provide background for understanding legal issues, only those most directly related to law (and policy, often). It is also limited to those classes offered this Spring. This list also does NOT indicate availability – classes may be full (check SPIRE). This list is in addition to ALL of the courses in the Legal Studies major.

Did we miss a class you think should be on this list? Please let us know.

General Education classes (GenEd designation in parentheses)

AFROAM 132—African-American History 1619-1860 (DU HS)
AFROAM 236—History of the Civil Rights Movement (DU HS)

ANIMLSCI 260—Animal Care & Welfare (SI)

ANTHRO 205 – Power and Inequality in the US (DU SB)

ECON 105—Intro to Political Economy (DU SB)

EDUC 115—Embracing Diversity (DU I)
EDUC 390J - Become an Ethical Leader (SB)

HISTORY 121 - Modern Latin America (DG HS)
HISTORY 150, 151—US History (HS)
HISTORY 154 – Social Change in the 1960s (DU HS)
HISTORY 220 - Capitalism and its Alternatives in Latin America (DG HS)
HISTORY 242H - American Family in Historical Perspectives, Honors (DU HS)
HISTORY 264 - History of Health Care and Medicine in the U.S. (DU HS)
HISTORY 290A - African American History from Africa to the Civil War (DU HS)
HISTORY 389 - US Women’s History Since 1890 (DU HS)

JOURNAL 250 - News Literacy (DU SB)

PHIL 105 - Practical Reasoning (R2)
PHIL 110—Introduction to Logic (R2)
PHIL 160—Introduction to Ethics (AT)
PHIL 163 - Business Ethics (AT)
PHIL 164—Medical Ethics (AT)
PHIL 170—Problems in Social Thought (SB)

POLISCI 171 - Introduction to Political Theory (SB)
POLISCI 181 - Controversies in Public Policy (DU SB)

PUBHLTH 129—Healthcare for All (DU SB)

RESECON 162—Consumer in Society (SB)

SOCIOL 103—Social Problems (DU SB)
SOCIOL 106—Race, Gender, Class and Ethnicity (DU SB)
SOCIOL 204 - Labor & The Global Economy (SB)
SOCIOL 222 - The Family (DU SB)
SOCIOL 224 - Social Class and Inequality (DU SB)
SOCIOL 242 – Drugs & Society (DU SB)
SOCIOL 244 – Sociology of Immigration (SB)

SPP 110 - Transforming Your World: Introduction to Community Engagement (DU SB)

SRVCLRNG 293 - Learning Through Community Engagement (DU SB)

STPEC 189 - Introduction to Radical Social Theory (DG HS)

WGSS 187—Gender, Sexuality and Culture (DU I)
WGSS 290B - Introduction to Sexuality and Trans Studies: Movements for Justice in the Contemporary World (DG SB)
WGSS 290C - History of Sexuality and Race in the US (DG SB)

Upper-Level Classes (not Gen Eds)

NOT recommended for first years. Pre-requisites may apply and/or courses may be restricted to declared majors. 

ACCOUNTG 371 - Individual Taxation
ACCOUNTG 441 - Auditing
ACCOUNTG 472—Corporate Taxation
ACCOUNTG 483 - CPA Law

AFROAM 297B - Special Topics- Black Workers in the U.S.

ANTHRO 297MR - Forensics: Myth and Reality

BCT 353 - Construction Project Management

COMM 122 - Introduction to Media Industries and Institutions
COMM 394EI - Performance and the Politics of Race
COMM 397SS - Youth, Democracy and the Entertainment Industry

COMPSCI 391L - Computer Crime Law: Technologies of Investigation and Privacy

ECON 308 - Political Economy of the Environment
ECON 311 – Money and Banking
ECON 330—Labor in the American Economy
ECON 333 – Income Inequality and Policy Alternatives
ECON 347 – Economics of LGBT Issues
ECON 348 – Political Economy of Women
ECON 394IO - Industrial Organization
ECON 499C - Honors Thesis- Social Values and Public Decisions: Philosophical & Economic Perspectives

ENGLISH 388 - Rhetoric, Writing, and Society

ENVIRSCI 213 - Introduction to Environmental Policy

GEOGRAPH 372 - Urban Issues

HISTORY 297WL – Women and the Law
HISTORY 361 - American Revolution Era
HISTORY 363 – Civil War Era
HISTORY 368 – US Between World Wars
HISTORY 397RL - Special Topics- Rape Law: Gender, Race, (In)justice

HONORS 499CA - Bioterrorism: Interdisciplinary Perspective on International, Political & Scientific Challenges
HONORS 499CC - Honors Thesis- Debating Globalization
HONORS 499CG - Honors Thesis- American Struggles: Immigration and Mass Incarceration

HT-MGT 320—Hospitality and Tourism Law
HT-MGT 353 - Risk & Sanitation Management

JOURNAL 445 - Journalism & Law

MANAGMNT 260—Intro to [Business] Law
MANAGMNT 314 - Human Resource Management
MANAGMNT 361—Contracts in Business Relationships

PHIL 400 - Logic and Language

POLISCI 356—International Law
POLISCI 360—Constitutional Law
POLISCI 383 - Energy Policy
POLISCI 391PC - Immigration: Politics and Policy
POLISCI 397P – Health Care Politics and Inequality in the US
POLISCI 499CD – Honors Thesis – Health and Health Care Inequality in the US

PSYCH 391AD – Seminar – Psychology of Adoption
PSYCH 391SS - S-Prejudice & Intergroup Relations
PSYCH 395A - S- Adoption Seminar of the Adoption Mentoring Partnership
PSYCH 480 - Intellectual Disability: Concepts and Controversies

PUBHLTH 389 - Health Inequities
PUBHLTH 397L - Special Topics- Public Health Law and Ethics
PUBHLTH 397V - Special Topics- Veterans and the VHA / Veteran Health Administration
PUBHLTH 490M - The Opioid Epidemic
PUBHLTH 490W - Water, Culture & Public Health
PUBHLTH 499N - Honors Project- Public Policy and Citizen Action

RES-ECON 453 – Public Policy and Private Markets

SCH-MGMT 333 - Principles of Real Estate
SCH-MGMT 350 - Professional Ethics in Contemporary Society

SOCIOL 241 – Criminology
SOCIOL 248 - Conformity and Deviance
SOCIOL 283 – Gender & Society
SOCIOL 297S - Special Topics- Sports, Labor, and Social Justice
SOCIOL 323 – Sociology of Law
SOCIOL 329 - Social Movements
SOCIOL 334 - Sociology of International Crises and Disasters
SOCIOL 349 – Race, Class, and Crime
SOCIOL 392J – Seminar: Race and Policing

SPP 397M - Special Topics- Making a Difference: Policies & Strategies for Social Change

SPRTMGT 335—Sport Law

STOCKSCH 356 – Food Justice and Policy

WGSS 201 - Gender and Difference: Critical Analyses
WGSS 230 - Politics of Reproduction
WGSS 293D - Public Health/Private Decisions:  Ethics and Medicine
WGSS 301 - Theorizing Gender, Race, and Power
WGSS 391A - Rape and Representation
WGSS 392J – Feminism and Environmental Justice
WGSS 395J – Imagining Justice