Undergraduate Program in Law and Public Policy

Interested in a career of public service? Want a deeper knowledge of domestic and international law and administration? Our Law and Public Policy program is for you. The study of law and public policy aims to provide students with an understanding of the legal underpinnings of public policy as it applies to state and non-state actors, across a wide range of domestic and international challenges.

Courses in this program are anchored in the Department of Political Science, and blend the development of key policy analysis skills—such as legal reasoning, governance, public administration, statistics, and data gathering—with coursework on topical policy issues or problems. The degree is intended to impart broad cross-disciplinary fundamentals as distinct from a specialised “pre-law” program or a Diploma in Public Policy.

Students may choose to pursue either a Major or Minor in the Law and Public Policy as an alternative to a BA in Political Science. To learn more about the admissions and program requirements, contact university admissions or consult the University Calendar.

Note that studens are not eligible to complete any combination of a Major or Minor in Political Science and a Major or Minor in Law and Public Policy. This is because many of our Law and Public Policy courses are also cross-listed to Political Science. 

What is required for a Law and Public Policy degree?

A Bachelor of Arts (BA) requires the successful completion of a minimum of 120 credit hours. For the most detailed and up-to-date information about what’s required to complete Law and Public Policy degree please consult the University Calendar, which is maintained by the Office of the University Registrar.

Note that all students completing a degree with us, whether a major or minor, also meet the core degree requirements for a BA as also outlined in the University Calendar.

What courses are eligible for a Law and Public Policy degree?

Law and Public Policy course descriptions are found at the end of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences section under Course Descriptions, Political Science, Law and Public Policy, and are designated by LWPP. Political Science courses that are cross listed as LWPP, including all those numbered x6xx, have calendar entries that emphasize the study of law and/or the study of public policy.

Completing an introductory course in political science is strongly recommended prior to enrolling in a corresponding course at the next level. The program is designed to be taken in sequence, starting with POSC 1000, then proceeding to LWPP 2600, to build core knowledge and skills for more advanced course offerings. Students following this path may opt to take courses in the same area in the same academic year (e.g., if a 2000-level course is completed in Fall then a corresponding 3000-level course may be taken in Winter).

Ready to officially "declare" in Law and Public Policy?

Students interested in signing up, or "declaring", for a Major or Minor in Law and Public Policy may do so at any time in their studies. Preferably this will occur by the end of the first year of studies and/or after having completed at least two courses in the subject, including POSC 1000.

More information about declaring a program of study is available on the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences website

What happened to the old program in Law and Society?

As of September 2023, the Major and Minor in Law and Society (LWSO) is being discontinued and in its place we will be offering the Major and Minor in Law and Public Policy (LWPP). 

In accordance with University Regulations (Undergraduate), Year of Degree and Departmental Regulations - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and Faculty of Science, students for the former Major or Minor in Law and Society will normally follow regulations in effect in the academic year in which the student first successfully completes a course in that subject at the 2000-level or above which may be applied to the major or minor program respectively. These students may alternatively choose to follow the Law and Public Policy major or minor. Students are encouraged to consult the program's designated academic advisor for assistance with course selection.

Any former Law and Society courses completed prior to September 2023 may be substituted as equivalent Law and Public Policy credit hours. Subsequent completion of Law and Society 1000, post September 2023, is ineligible towards the Major in Law and Public Policy, though it may count as a general elective or be eligible towards other departments' degree programs.