Sep 23, 2023  
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2021-22 
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2021-22 [Archived Catalog]

Law, Justice & Culture - MA

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Master of Arts in Law, Justice & Culture

Law, Justice & Culture – MA4416 (Athens), MA4417 (Online)

Center for Law, Justice & Culture
Bentley 001B
Ohio University
Athens, OH 45701

Delivery Mode: Athens Campus; Online

Terms of Entry: Fall (Athens - MA4416); Fall, Spring, Summer (Online - MA4417)

Program Overview

The M.A. in Law, Justice & Culture offers graduate training in law and society studies, an interdisciplinary field focusing on the foundations and structures of institutions of justice and law in specific contexts, including the US as well as other western and non-western legal traditions. The MA degree is housed within the Center for Law, Justice & Culture, with faculty drawn from anthropology, criminology, political science, sociology, history, African American studies, women’s, gender and sexuality studies, and law.

This M.A. in Law, Justice & Culture is the first of its kind in Ohio and is one of a few in the United States. As a liberal arts program, it provides a broad view of law’s place in society as well as a theoretical investigation of the fundamentals of law and how it operates in comparative social and historical contexts, emphasizing a context-driven approach to law as ideology and practice.

Students may complete the program across two semesters of full-time coursework on the Athens campus, or four to six semesters of part-time coursework entirely online. The courses focus on: the theoretical and methodological traditions of law and society studies; law and society perspectives across the disciplines; and training in legal research and writing. All students must carry out graduate-level independent research by completing either a master’s thesis or a master’s research essay. The program emphasizes professionalism in academic presentation and communication through its curricular and extra-curricular components.

Through the M.A. program, students develop their analytical and conceptual thinking, legal and scholarly research and writing, ethical and public interest concerns, public advocacy skills, and active engagement with the challenges of law and justice in the twenty-first century.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will demonstrate:

  1. Understanding of a law and society perspective built upon a critical approach to law in relation to society, culture, politics and power (Core Knowledge)
  2. Basic knowledge of social science data collection methods and the analytic techniques that scholars use to evaluate their data (Research Methods and Analysis)
  3. Ability to carry out graduate-level academic research in law and society studies through project design, data collection, analysis and interpretation, and representation (Independent Research)
  4. Professional skills necessary for ethical and engaged scholarship and practice (Professionalism)

Opportunities for Graduates

The program prepares graduates for careers in research and policy centers, public institutions, advocacy organizations, private companies, and nonprofit agencies, as well as for J.D. programs, Ph.D. programs, and research positions in universities and public agencies.

Further Information

Program Contact: Dr. Haley Duschinski,

Link to Program:

Link to Program Handbook:

Admission Requirements

All applicants must have completed the baccalaureate degree prior to matriculation into the program.

Applicants for the M.A. in Law, Justice & Culture must submit the following application materials to the Graduate College:

  • Application forms
  • Curriculum vitae or academic resume
  • Official transcripts
  • Two academic letters of recommendation. Applicants who have been working in professional careers for three or more years may provide professional or academic letters of recommendation or reference that speak to your intellectual characteristics, critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, and ability to effectively communicate.
  • Statement of purpose. Please submit a personal statement of 1,000 words or less describing your background, interests, plans for graduate study, and career aspirations. The statement should include a discussion of some experiences and ideas that have shaped those interests, plans and aspirations, and why OHIO’s MA in Law, Justice & Culture the right program for you to pursue graduate study. This is one of the most important parts of the application, and considerable care should be taken in crafting it.
  • Optional writing sample. The writing sample should represent your very best academic work, regardless of the topic, and it should demonstrate your capacity for clear expression, close reading, skilled observation, critical thinking and the creative, rigorous interpretation of empirical data.
  • English Proficiency. Non-native speakers of English must demonstrate English proficiency by submitting official test scores for either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Photocopies and/or faxes of English proficiency scores are not accepted. See the Graduate College webpages for minimum proficiency scores.

International Students

Enrollment in MA4416 (Athens) permits full-time enrollment in residence at Ohio University, and an I-20 may be issued based on admission to this program. Enrollment in MA4417 (online) does not permit full-time enrollment in residence at Ohio University, and an I-20 cannot be issued based on admission to this program.

Graduation Requirements

The program requires a minimum of 32 credit hours. Students are expected to complete the degree through two semesters of 16 credit hours in residence, or four-six semesters of 4–8 credit hours per semester online.


Complete a minimum of four elective courses totaling at least 16 hours from African American studies, anthropology, criminology, history, political science, and/or sociology. Course selections will be approved by te program director, and should employ interdisciplinary frameworks to examine law and legal institutions, their impact on society, and society’s impact on them.

Culminating Experience

All students must complete a graduate-level research project. Students choosing to complete a master’s research essay may do so in LJC 6800 (a research course) or LJC 6940 (independent research under the supervision of a faculty member). Students may also choose to complete a master’s thesis under the supervision of a thesis advisor and committee.

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