Sep 23, 2021  
USC Catalogue 2020-2021 
USC Catalogue 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Law, History, and Culture (BA)

Law, History and Culture is designed for students drawn to interdisciplinary, humanistic study of law and culture, as well as those who intend to pursue a law degree. It offers students an interdisciplinary education in legal institutions, languages and processes that are central to social, cultural and political developments in the past and present, and play a critical role in shaping our most basic concepts and categories of thought and identity. Students will gain theoretical and analytical perspectives on ethical, political and social issues relevant to law as they explore specific legal issues from a humanistic perspective. Students take courses in four core areas, which represent distinct disciplinary approaches to studying law’s position at the nexus of society. The major helps students develop skills for critical reading, writing and analysis that are both crucial to a liberal education and a gateway to further study of law.


This major requires a minimum of 36 units (or 40 units with honors). Majors must complete courses from all four areas of core competence. One course from Core Competence 1: Legal Reasoning, three courses from Core Competence 2: Historical Approaches, two courses from Core Competence 3: Texts and Interpretations and three courses from Core Competence 4: Society and Policy. 

Core competence 1: Legal reasoning

Core competence 2: Historical approaches

Take three courses from among the following:


Students wishing to pursue Departmental Honors must complete one additional course, HIST 493, generally offered in the spring semester. In order to enroll for Honors, students must have taken at least one upper-division course, normally during one of the previous two semesters, which included a substantial original research component. The nature of the original research will depend on the field in which the student is working.

Additional notes:

No more than two of the nine required courses (8 units) may be taken at the 100 or 200 level, except with special permission of the LHC Major advisor. No more than one lower-division (100 or 200 level) course may be taken in each Area of core competence.

Students may petition to substitute a course not on the approved list for an approved course. In order to do so, they must complete the Course Waiver procedure. Normally no more than two courses total may be substituted for those on the approved list.

Students requesting LHC credit for courses taken out of residence (transfer, study abroad, summer school, etc.) must complete the Course Waiver procedure. Normally no more than two courses total may be substituted for those on the approved list.

Students may request permission to shift one of the required courses from one Area of Core Competence to another Area in order to accommodate their interests. (E.g., take three courses in Area 3 and two in Area 4.) In order to do so, students will have to complete the Area of Competence Substitution procedure. Normally no more than two courses can be shifted from one Area to another.