Undergraduate Studies

Jurisprudence Specialization

Dr. Mark Pickering writes notes during a lectureThe jurisprudence specialization is a collection of philosophy courses of special interest to students intending careers in law or politics, or with a curiosity about the theories underpinning these institutions. It is designed to sharpen the abilities to reason, to respond to opposing arguments, and to put one’s point clearly and precisely.

The specialization also provides the opportunity to explore some of the deepest questions about the law, its relation to morality, what justifies authority, and what is distinctive about legal reasoning.

While anyone can take these classes (subject to applicable prerequisites), students interested in completing either the specialized major or minor should contact phillaw@ua.edu. Students completing the specialized major will receive a notation on their transcript.

Award Opportunity

On the basis of their performance in the jurisprudence classes, students completing the specialized major are eligible for The Norvin Richards Award in Philosophy and the Law, a substantial cash stipend.

Course Requirements

Learn more about required courses in the UA catalog.

Major Requirements (Beginning Fall 2018)

  • PHL 106/195: Intro to Deductive Logic (3 credit hours)
  • PHL 211: Ancient Philosophy (3 credit hours)
  • PHL 212: Early Modern Philosophy (3 credit hours)
  • One of the following (3 credit hours):
    • PHL 221/292: Introduction to Ethics
    • PHL 230: Political Philosophy
    • PHL 234: Social Philosophy
  • One of the following (3 credit hours):
    • PHL 240: Philosophy & the Law
    • PHL 241: Philosophical Issues in Criminal Law
    • PHL 242: Philosophical Issues in Civil Law
    • PHL 243: Philosophical Issues in Constitutional Law
  • One of the following (3 credit hours):
    • PHL 341: Law & Morality
    • PHL 343: Philosophical Issues in International Law
    • PHL 349: Legal Reasoning
    • PHL 440: Seminar on Law
    • PHL 448: Philosophy of Law
  • Any 3 additional philosophy courses at the 300/400 levels or above (9 credit hours)
  • Any additional three-hour PHL course at any level (3 credit hours)

Minor Requirements (18 credit hours)

  • One of the following (3 credit hours):
    • PHL 104: Critical Thinking
    • PHL 106/195: Intro to Deductive Logic
  • One of the following (3 credit hours):
    • PHL 221/292: Introduction to Ethics
    • PHL 230: Political Philosophy
    • PHL 234: Social Philosophy
  • One of the following (3 credit hours):
    • PHL 240: Philosophy & the Law
    • PHL 241: Philosophical Issues in Criminal Law
    • PHL 242: Philosophical Issues in Civil Law
    • PHL 243: Philosophical Issues in Constitutional Law
  • One of the following (3 credit hours):
    • PHL 341: Law and Morality
    • PHL 343: Philosophical Issues in International Law
    • PHL 349: Legal Reasoning
    • PHL 440: Seminar on Law
    • PHL 448: Philosophy of Law
  • Any additional philosophy courses at the 300/400 levels or above. (3 credit hours)
  • Any additional three-hour PHL course at any level. (3 credit hours)

A specialized minor does not appear on the transcript; however, the department can provide documentation of completion upon request.

Major Requirements (Pre-Fall 2018)

  • PHL 106/195: Intro to Deductive Logic
  • PHL 211: Ancient Philosophy
  • PHL 212: Early Modern Philosophy
  • One of the following:
    • PHL 221/292: Introduction to Ethics
    • PHL 230: Political Philosophy
    • PHL 234: Social Philosophy
  • One of the following:
    • PHL 240: Philosophy & the Law
    • PHL 241: Philosophical Issues in Criminal Law
    • PHL 242: Philosophical Issues in Civil Law
    • PHL 243: Philosophical Issues in Constitutional Law
  • One of the following:
    • PHL 362: Mind, Language, and Reality
    • PHL 370: Epistemology
  • Three courses from the jurisprudence list at the 300/400 levels
  • Any additional three-hour PHL course.

Jurisprudence Course List

  • PHL 221/292: Introduction to Ethics
  • PHL 230: Political Philosophy
  • PHL 234: Social Philosophy
  • PHL 240: Philosophy and the Law
  • PHL 241: Philosophical Issues in Criminal Law
  • PHL 242: Philosophical Issues in Civil Law
  • PHL 243: Philosophical Issues in Constitutional Law
  • PHL 256: Philosophy of Sport
  • PHL 305: Symbolic Logic
  • PHL 333: Global Justice
  • PHL 341: Law and Morality
  • PHL 343: Philosophical Issues in International Law
  • PHL 349: Legal Reasoning
  • PHL 440: Seminar on Law
  • PHL 448: Philosophy of Law