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Letters of Specialization

A letter of specialization is an academic credential designed to help you explore a particular area of interest within a major. A course list guides you through class selection and creates a clear pathway within the major that is focused on this area of study. As you complete the courses, you develop an expertise in that area. Upon graduation you will receive a formal letter from the director of the program which can be cited as a credential on resumes, personal statements, and in letters of recommendation.

Comparative and International Law 

A letter of specialization in Comparative and International Law enables students to build greater expertise in the ways that laws, legal systems, justice, and rights operate internationally and in domestic contexts outside the United States. Students who complete the letter gain an appreciation for diverse international perspectives and approaches, become more engaged global citizens, and build a strong foundation for work in the public, non-profit and private sectors, especially in fields that require cross-cultural collaboration and understanding.

Requirements: Complete five courses from the Comparative and International Law Letter of Specialization course list. At least four classes must be Legal courses from the list. Each course must carry at least 3 credits and be taken for a letter grade. Students must maintain a cumulative average GPA of 2.0 across the five courses.

To request approval for a class that is not on the course list, please email Dr. Lauren McCarthy with course title and description.  If approved, please upload documentation to the declaration form. 

Declaration Form can be completed when last class is in progress.

Complete Course List: For current semester offerings, please consult the Directory of Courses spreadsheet. Access to classes not guaranteed; restrictions still apply.

Legal Courses
LEGAL 318 Russian Politics, Law and Society
LEGAL 340 Law and Inequality
LEGAL 343 Globalization and the Law (formerly LEGAL 397TL)
LEGAL 353 Law and Colonial Legacies
LEGAL 355 Crimmigration
LEGAL 356 Law and Society in Africa
LEGAL 362 S- Human Trafficking (formerly LEGAL 397K)
LEGAL 370 Comparative Law and Society
LEGAL 373 Justice in Diverse Democracies
LEGAL 375 Human Rights & Wrongs
LEGAL 380 Human Rights Based Social Justice (formerly 397RJ)
LEGAL 392J Transitional Justice and Truth Commissions
LEGAL 393LG Law & Global Migration
LEGAL 393P Owning Property: Inequity in Law
LEGAL 394SI Law, Societies and Global Justice
LEGAL 482 The Irish Peace Process
LEGAL 484 The Irish Peace Process: After the Good Friday Agreements

Law-Related Liberal Arts Courses
GERMAN 371 Crime and Criminals in Modern German Culture
JUDAIC 350 Jewish Law and Society
POLISCI 253 International Environmental Politics and Policies
POLISCI 356 International Law
POLISCI 359 International Political Econ
POLISCI 391E S-Rules of War
POLISCI 394IIH International Environmental Policy and Politics

 

Conflict Resolution 

The letter of specialization in Conflict Resolution reflects student achievement in the interdisciplinary study of conflict and conflict resolution. Students gain expertise through exposure to scholarship from a variety of cultures and disputing contexts and acquire analytical skills to effectively apply socio-legal analyses to case studies and real-world applications of dispute resolution. Students completing the letter demonstrate the ability to critically assess sources of complex conflicts and the applicability of legal and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to address them. This broad foundation and set of transferable analytical skills prepare students for careers in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

Requirements: Complete five courses from the Conflict Resolution Letter of Specialization course list. At least four classes must be Legal courses from the list. Each course must carry at least 3 credits and be taken for a letter grade. Students must maintain a cumulative average GPA of 2.0 across the five courses.

To request approval for a class that is not on the course list, please email Dr. Leah Wing with course title and description. If approved, please upload documentation to the declaration form. 

Declaration Form can be completed when last class is in progress. 

Complete Course List: For current semester offerings, please consult the Directory of Courses spreadsheet.spreadsheet. Access to classes not guaranteed; restrictions still apply.

Legal Courses
LEGAL 252 Law and Personal Freedom
LEGAL 258 Women in the Justice System
LEGAL 358 ST-ConflictResolutn/TrialCourt
LEGAL 366 ST-Specialty Courts/CrimJusSys
LEGAL 368 Alternative Dispute Resolution
LEGAL 375 Human Rights & Wrongs
LEGAL 391WC S-War Crimes Tribunals
LEGAL 392J S-TransitonalJustice&TruthComm
LEGAL 432 Environmental Justice
LEGAL 482 The Irish Peace Process
LEGAL 484 IrishPeaceProcess:Good Friday
LEGAL 494DI Envrmtl & Pub Pol Dspte Res

Law-Related Liberal Arts Courses UMass
EDUC 202 Soc.Issues/IntergroupDialogue
ENGLISH 205 Introduction to Post-Colonial Studies
ENGLISH 491SA South African Literature and Politics, Apartheid and Post-Apartheid
ENVIRSCI 445 Sustainability and Problem-Sol
HISTORY 260 Power&Violence in South Africa
HISTORY 397GGH ST-Gandhi:Myth,Prspctve,Poltcs
MANAGMNT 491A S-Interpersonal Skills
PHIL 160 Introduction To Ethics
PHIL 160H Introduction To Ethics
PHIL 164 Medical Ethics
PHIL 164H Medical Ethics
POLISCI 338 Natnlsm, Ethncty&Identity Pol
POLISCI 351 International Security Policy
POLISCI 354 International Relations
PSYCH 217 Psych Of Cruelty & Kindness
PSYCH 369 Cooperation and Conflict
SPORTMGT 335 Sport Law

Five College Courses: Check Catalogs for Availability
Amherst College LIST 348
Hampshire College CSI 128T-1
Hampshire College CSI 232-1
Hampshire College CSI 243
Hampshire College IA 198T-1
Mount Holyoke GEOG 206 Political Geography
Mount Holyoke INTERNAT REL 337 Intern'l Human Rights Advocacy in Theory & Practice
Smith College GOV 248 The Arab-Israeli Dispute
Smith College MES 235 Perspectives on the Arab-Israeli Conflict 
Smith College WGSS 201 Gender&Diff: Critical Analyses

 

Constitutional Law 

A letter of specialization in Constitutional Law enables students to build greater expertise in understanding the ways in which the U.S. Constitution is shaped by law, politics, and society. Students who complete the letter gain rich insights into how to read and critique case law, become more engaged in debates about how best to interpret the Constitution, and build a strong foundation for careers in the public, non-profit, and private sectors, especially in fields that require a deep understanding of how the Constitution does and does not serve the people who are governed by it.

Requirements: Complete five courses from the Constitutional Law Letter of Specialization course list. At least three classes must be Legal courses from the list. Each course must carry at least 3 credits and be taken for a letter grade. Students must maintain a cumulative average GPA of 2.0 across the five courses.

To request approval for a class that is not on the course list, please email Dr. Rebecca Hamlin with course title and description. If approved, please upload documentation to the declaration form. 

Declaration Form can be completed when last class is in progress.

Complete Course List: For current semester offerings, please consult the Directory of Courses spreadsheet.spreadsheet. Access to classes not guaranteed; restrictions still apply.

Legal Courses
LEGAL 252 Law and Personal Freedom
LEGAL 253 Race,Citizenship,USConstitutn
LEGAL 257 ST-Law & Politics of Voting in the US
LEGAL 265 Power, Institutions and the American Constitution
LEGAL 266 ST-Rights,Liberties&AmConstutn
LEGAL 275 Interdiscipilnary LegalStudies
LEGAL 319 Law and the Regulatory State
LEGAL 352 Lawyering for a Better World
LEGAL 360 Civil Liberties in Wartime
LEGAL 360H Civil Liberties in Wartime
LEGAL 361 Law and Public Policy
LEGAL 391U S-Due Process/Criminal Trial

Law-Related Liberal Arts Courses
AFROAM 236 Hist of the Civil Rights Mvmt
HISTORY 154 Social Change in the 1960s
HISTORY 375 US Constitutional History II
HISTORY 389 US Women's History Since 1890
HISTORY 397DV ST-Hist/Domestic Violence Law
HISTORY 397RR ST-Hist/ReproductiveRightsLaw
HISTORY 397WLH ST-Women and the Law, Hons
HONORS 322H Criminal Law & Justice in US
JOURNAL 445 Journalism & Law
POLISCI 162 Intro to Constitutional Law
POLISCI 360 Constitutional Law
POLISCI 360H Constitutional Law
POLISCI 361 Civil Liberties
POLISCI 365 Bill-Rght/Equal Prot
POLISCI 383 Energy Policy
POLISCI 391E S-Rules of War
POLISCI 397E ST-IndigenousRights&Social Mov
SOCIOL 242 Drugs & Society

 

Law and Social Justice 

The letter of specialization in Law and Social Justice signifies a broad base for understanding economic, social, and political inequality, and the role of law and alternative dispute resolution in perpetuating and alleviating inequality. Courses that qualify for this letter span domestic and international legal studies, and students who earn this letter demonstrate commitment to understanding how law, as part of society, can serve emancipatory and oppressive goals.

Requirements: Complete five courses from the Law and Social Justice Letter of Specialization course list. At least four classes must be Legal courses from the list. Each course must carry at least 3 credits and be taken for a letter grade. Students must maintain a cumulative average GPA of 2.0 across the five courses.

To request approval for a class that is not on the course list, please email Dr. Jamie Rowen with course title and description. If approved, please upload documentation to the declaration form. 

Declaration Form can be completed when last class is in progress.

Complete Course List: For current semester offerings, please consult the Directory of Courses spreadsheet. Access to classes not guaranteed; restrictions still apply.

Legal Courses
LEGAL 255 Bias in the American Legal System
LEGAL 275 Interdiscipilnary LegalStudies
LEGAL 319 Law and the Regulatory State
LEGAL 352 Lawyering for a Better World
LEGAL 362 S- Human Trafficking
LEGAL 375 Human Rights & Wrongs
LEGAL 391T S-Animals, Politics & the Law
LEGAL 392J S-TransitonalJustice&TruthComm
LEGAL 393LG S-Law & Global Migration
LEGAL 394AI Law & Social Activism
LEGAL 394CI Law, Crime and Society
LEGAL 394FI Family & The State
LEGAL 432 Environmental Justice
LEGAL 482 The Irish Peace Process
LEGAL 484 IrishPeaceProcess:Good Friday

Law-Related Liberal Arts Courses
AFROAM 236 Hist of the Civil Rights Mvmt
AFROAM 326 Black Women in U.S. History
ANTHRO 205 Power and Inequality/US
ANTHRO 205H Power and Inequality/US
ECON 144H Political Economy of Racism
ECON 330 Labor in the American Economy
ECON 348 The Political Economy of Women
ECON 394LI Law and Economics
EDUC 617 Law & Higher Ed
HISTORY 154 Social Change in the 1960s
HISTORY 170 IndigenousPeoples/NorthAmerica
HISTORY 297E ST-Immgr&Migrtn/US1877-Present
HISTORY 349H Tpcs Euro Hist: Sex & Society
HISTORY 378J Social Justice Lawyering
HISTORY 389 US Women's History Since 1890
HISTORY 397DV ST-Hist/Domestic Violence Law
HISTORY 397RR ST-Hist/ReproductiveRightsLaw
HISTORY 397WLH ST-Women and the Law, Hons
HONORS 322H Criminal Law & Justice in US
JUDAIC 383 Women, Gender, Judaism
JUDAIC 383H Women, Gender, Judaism
JUDAIC 394MI Major Issues in Jewish Life
LABOR 280 Labor & Work In The US
POLISCI 360 Constitutional Law
POLISCI 360H Constitutional Law
POLISCI 361 Civil Liberties
POLISCI 365 Bill-Rght/Equal Prot
POLISCI 394FI Family & The State
POLISCI 397E ST-IndigenousRights&Social Mov
SOCIOL 222 The Family
SOCIOL 224 Social Class and Inequality
SOCIOL 242 Drugs & Society
SOCIOL 283 Gender & Society
SOCIOL 323 Soc Of Law
SOCIOL 341 Social Welfare
SOCIOL 344 Gender And Crime
SOCIOL 345 Juvenile Delinquency
SOCIOL 364 Sociology of Mental Health
SOCIOL 397MC ST-Mass Incarceration/ US
WGSS 201 Gender&Diff: Critical Analyses
WGSS 201H Gender&Diff: Critical Analyses
WGSS 397TP S-TransIdentitiesIssues&PubPol

 

Data Analytics for Politics, Policy, and Legal Studies (DAPPLS)

Students who complete the letter will have a strong foundation in the basics of designing social and political research, as well as more extensive training in at least two techniques for collecting and analyzing data. Students will additionally have the opportunity to apply these technical skills in substantive coursework and in a hands-on research setting. Students will be well qualified to serve in positions where they work actively with specialists to design research to answer specific questions and to translate research for practitioners and other non-specialist audiences. Some students may want to combine the letter of specialization with an accelerated master’s program to build greater expertise in data analytic skills that are likely to be highly attractive for positions across the public, nonprofit and private sectors.

Requirements: Complete 12 credits of coursework and 3 credits of research experience. Coursework must consist of five classes from the DAPPLS course list and include one Research Design class, two Technical classes, and one Substantive classes. Each course must carry at least 3 credits and be taken for a letter grade. Students must maintain a cumulative average GPA of 2.0 across the five courses.

To request approval for a class that is not on the course list, please email Dr. Justin Gross (for Political Science) or Dr. Doug Rice (for Legal Studies) with course title and syllabus. If approved, please upload documentation to the declaration form. 

Declaration Form can be completed when last class is in progress.

Complete Course List: For current semester offerings, please consult the Directory of Courses spreadsheet. Access to classes not guaranteed; restrictions still apply.

Research Design 
LEGAL 393E S-Empirical Legal Studies
POLISCI 328 Research Methods/Poli & Soc Sci
POLISCI 750 Research Design 

Research Experience
LEGAL 398R Research Practicum
POLISCI 398R Research Practicum  

Technical
LEGAL 228 Weighing the Evidence
POLISCI 228 Weighing the Evidence
POLISCI 229 Experiments
POLISCI 453 Political Network Analysis
POLISCI 499C Honors Seminar
POLISCI 753 Political Network Analysis
POLISCI 755 Introduction to Quantitative Analysis
POLISCI 797BA ST-Topics/BayesianAnlysis&Stat
POLISCI 797ML Machine Learning for the Social Sciences
POLISCI 797SR Survey Research Methods
POLISCI 797TA Text as Data 

Substantive
LEGAL 342 ST- Machine Bias and Law (formerly LEGAL 397BD)
LEGAL 361 Law & Public Policy
LEGAL 394AI Law & Social Activism
LEGAL 394JI Judges and Judging
POLISCI 305 Congress and the Legislative Process
POLISCI 308 Public Opinion in Politics
POLISCI 320 Public Administration
POLISCI 329 Political Psychology
POLISCI 391FPH S-Framing Pub Pol & the News 
POLISCI 391PC Immigration: Politics & Policy
POLISCI 393M S-Media in American Politics
POLISCI 394AI Modern Islamic Poli Thought
POLISCI 397AP ST-Polarization/American Pol
POLISCI 791PP Political Psychology