School of Government and International Affairs

Programs / Minors & Certificates: Certificate in Constitutional Studies

A Certificate in Constitutional Studies

The certificate in Constitutional Studies will concentrate on the development of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, their interpretation by judges through judicial decisions, and how the constitutional doctrines of federalism, enumerated powers, separation of powers, and the rule of law apply to the national and state governments. The capstone class, the American Legal System, will then examine broader considerations of how fundamental law has acted to define the powers of government and also sought to limit those powers through the institution of civil rights and civil liberties.

The Certificate in Constitutional Studies is awarded upon graduation and students must have a 3.0 overall Grade Point Average in classwork and complete certificate coursework with a 3.0 average or better. Students must also successfully complete a paper incorporating U.S. Constitutional law in the POLS 4410 capstone class as an assessment of achieving significant knowledge of constitutional law.

Curriculum Courses

  • Course
    Title
    Credits
  • POLS 4405
    Comparative Legal Systems
    3
  • POLS 4411
    Criminal Law
    3
  • POLS 4416
    Law and Gender
    3
  • POLS 4420
    Judicial Process
    3
  • POLS 4429
    Legal Theory & Philosophy
    3
  • POLS 4466
    Trial Procedure and Evidence
    3

Core Constitutional Certificate Classes

The core classes are one formal class in constitutional law, either POLS 3315 or POLS 4415, coupled with the capstone class of POLS 4410 American Legal Systems.

  • Course
    Title
    Credits
  • POLS 4410
    American Legal System
    3
  • POLS 3315
    American Constitutional Law: Federalism
    3
  • POLS 4415
    Civil Liberties
    3

Note

POLS 4415 or POLS 3315 meet the Core Requirement of 6 hours. POLS 4410 is the capstone class and is required for the certificate as the program assessment occurs in that class. POLS 3300 U.S. Constitution and Courts is a required class to enroll in upper division legal classes but is not required for the certificate.