Curricular Program

The College of Law certifies the completion of the Law, Politics, and the Media Curricular Program, recognizing students who have taken a concentration in courses relating to the study of how judicial institutions, public policy-making, and media coverage affect and are affected by one another.  The program is designed to promote the holistic study of the complex interactions between the courts, the media, and the political process.  Our goal is to better prepare students for roles as advocates, policy-makers, judges, judicial administrators and information officers, and legal analysts in an age of increasing public concern about the independence of the judiciary, judicial selection, responsible media coverage of the courts, and the interdependence of these and related issues.


Interested students will qualify by completing a 17 credit hour course of study.  Students must take a required core course (Law, Politics, and the Media – 3 credit hours) and four elective courses spread across IJPM’s three base disciplines (12 credit hours).  Students must also complete a significant interdisciplinary research project (“capstone project”) written in an independent study course supervised by the IJPM Director (2 credit hours).  Please note that the capstone project may be used to satisfy the College of Law upper-level writing requirement. Please note also that students must achieve a grade of B or higher in the Law, Politics, and the Media class.

Any law student in good standing who has met all curricular program requirements will be awarded a certificate of completion.  Those interested in the program should submit a proposed program of study to IJPM.  Students whose Proposed Program of Study has been approved must submit a completed program of study to IJPM by March 1st of their third year for review and approval in order to obtain recognition for having completed the program requirements.  For the detailed rules governing all College of Law Curricular Programs, including the deadlines for application, students are advised to consult the College of Law Academic Handbook, Sec. E (“Academic Programs for Credit”), Sub. sec. 7.


In addition to being required to complete the Law, Politics, and the Media course (and to receive a B or higher in this course), each candidate will also be required to propose and complete a capstone project (to be supervised by the IJPM Director in an independent study course), to take two courses from the Law electives category, and to take one elective course in each of the Maxwell and Newhouse elective course categories (for a total of four elective courses).

Students considering their selection of course electives should note that it is possible to receive elective credit for taking courses that are not on the below list of program-eligible electives but that are directly relevant to a student’s capstone project.  The substitution of non-listed elective courses in the place of listed elective courses requires advance petition to and approval by the IJPM Director.

Law, Politics, and the Media (LAW 839/NEW 500/PSC 700).  The program’s core requirement will be the cross-disciplinary Law, Politics, and the Media course.  The course, taught by a team of faculty instructors from the College of Law, Maxwell, and Newhouse, features a series of guest lecturers — including judges, legislators, interest group representatives, court administrators, and journalists — whose real-world perspectives complement the academic study of how media, politics, and the judiciary affect one another.

*IMPORTANT PROGRAM NOTE*  Beginning with students in the Class of 2015, the following requirements in addition to the above-listed requirements must be met in order to complete the program.

  • No course counted toward the program may be taken pass/fail, and a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 must be earned in all of the certificate program classes.
  • There will be 9 mandatory credits for program completion and 8 elective credits.
  • The 9 mandatory credits will consist of the Law, Politics and the Media (LAW 839), Federal Courts (LAW 721) and Communications Law (LAW 738).  There will no longer be any elective Law courses.
  • The 8 elective credits will consist of one Maxwell course and one Newhouse course (drawn form the lists below), and the independent study course tied to the capstone project (described above).
  • The research paper written for the Law, Politics, and the Media course will count as a significant written work independent of the capstone project, and program students must earn at least a B on this research paper.
  • Program students must also satisfy an experiential learning requirement embedded within the Law, Politics, and the Media course.  Specifically, program students will be required to write a six-page memorandum that outlines concrete solutions to a problem or problems identified by one of the practitioner guest speakers in the course.  Memos will be read by the practitioner and each certificate student will be required to conference with the practitioner to learn his/her reactions.  Certificate students must then submit a brief report on the conference to the IJPM Director.




  • Administrative Law (LAW 702)
  • Advanced Constitutional Law (LAW 713)
  • Federal Courts (LAW 721)
  • Federal Criminal Law (LAW 735)
  • Communications Law (LAW 738)
  • Jurisprudence of Human Rights (LAW 782) OR
  • Contemporary American Legal Thought (LAW 847)
  • Constitutional Criminal Procedure – Adjudicative (LAW 796)
  • Civil Rights: Power, Privilege, and the Law (LAW 758)


  • American Constitutional Development (PSC 711)
  • Judicial Politics (PSC 715)
  • Foundations of American Political Thought (PSC/SOS 716 HST 682)
  • American Legal History: Modern Public Law (HST/LAW 738)
  • Race and Law (HST 689/LAW 880)
  • Public Administration and Law (PPA 742)


  • Economics, Persuasion, and the Global Marketplace (ADV 345/645)
  • Research Methods (COM 605)
  • Media and Diversity (COM 646)
  • Origins of Contemporary Media Issues (COM 688)
  • Media Law (COM 698)
  • Communications Theory (COM 755)
  • Theories of Media Content (COM 788)
  • Historical Narratives and Interpretation (DFH 695/HST 695)
  • Principles of Journalism (NEW 608)
  • Introduction to Public Diplomacy and Communications (PRL 602)
  • Organizational Public Relations (PRL 605)
  • Critical and Historical Perspectives on Broadcast Journalism (RTN 636)
  • Children and Television (TRF 434/634)
  • Communications Industry Frontiers (TRF 483/683)
  • Topics in International Perspectives (TRF 560)
  • Film Business (TRF 592)
  • Radio Business (TRF 593)
  • Television Business (TRF 594)
  • Telecommunications Law & Policy (TRF 637)
  • Social Effects of Television (TRF 698)