United States Air Force Academy

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Identify, Understand and Resolve Complex Issues

LEGAL STUDIES

The legal studies major provides a broad liberal arts background upon which a cadet may build expertise in the study of law and its role and function in both American society and the international community.

Increasingly complex legal considerations permeate every aspect of modern life in both the civilian and military environments. Cadets who choose the Legal Studies major will build expertise in the study of law and its role and function in both American society and the international community. Cadets will also develop the critical thinking skills that will permit them to identify, understand, and begin to resolve the complex legal and other issues which they will encounter after graduation. The Legal Studies major is not a “pre-law” major; rather, it is designed to provide cadets an enhanced knowledge of the law and a respect for the rule of law, while intentionally developing critical thinking and clear communication skills that will serve our graduates well both in the Air Force and beyond.

Legal studies cadets must complete 14 courses in addition to the required academic core; five of these must be upper-level courses offered by the Department of Law. In addition to the law courses, a legal studies major has discretion in taking courses offered by the Departments of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership, Economics and Geosciences, English and Fine Arts, Foreign Languages, History, Management, Military Strategic Studies, Philosophy and Political Sciences. This program is designed to expose cadets to a range of issues within the discipline of law.

SAMPLE COURSES
  • Law for Air Force Officers
  • Legal Research and Writing
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Cyberlaw
  • Modern Application of the Law of Armed Conflict
SUGGESTED COURSE SEQUENCE
4th CLASS YEAR (FRESHMAN) 3RD CLASS YEAR (SOPHOMORE) 2ND CLASS YEAR (JUNIOR) 1ST CLASS YEAR (SENIOR)
Commissioning
Education 100
Foreign Lang 1
Beh Sci 110
History 100
Math 141
Comp Sci 110
Foreign Lang 2
Chem 100
English 111
Math 145
Physics 110
Officership 100
Commissioning
Eductation 200
Law 220
Bio/Chem/Phys Option 1
Econ 201
English 211
MSS 251
Law 221
Pol Sci 211
Engr Mech 220
Bio/Chem/Phys Option 2
Soc Sci 311
Officership 200
Commissioning
Education 300
Law 321
Law Option 1
Philos 310
ECE 315
Math 300
History 300
Law 351
Law Option 2
Law Option 3
Soc Sci/Hum Option
Aero Eng 315
Officership 300
Commissioning
Education 400
Law 421
Law Option 4
Law Option 5
Astro Eng 310
Adv STEM Oppt
Adv Socio-Cultural Opt
Law 485
Law Option 7
Academy Option Adv Open Opt
Officership 400

For full program requirements and course descriptions, download the current Curriculum Handbook.

To learn more about this major, download the Legal Studies Major guide.

CONTACT US

Lt Col Shawn McKelvy
Assistant Professor of Law
shawn.mckelvy@usafa.edu
(719) 333-2729

INTERESTED IN LEGAL STUDIES?