Department of Law and Society

School of Humanities


Department of Law and Society
School of Humanities
Houston Baptist University
7502 Fondren Road
Houston TX 77074-3298
Phone: (281) 649-3600
Fax: (281) 649-3601

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The Department of Law and Society offers a variety of programs that will prepare you for careers in law, public service, social work, law enforcement, public policy, and business.  Our goal is to provide you with an education that draws on Great Texts and big ideas while providing you with the job skills that will enhance your resume no matter what field you choose to pursue. 

  • A Criminal Justice minor is designed to prepare students for vocations in the criminal justice field (local, state and federal government, police, penal system, the court system, etc.). This minor will improve one's basic understanding of crime and the criminal justice systems and familiarize you with the key concepts and terminology utilized in the field by focusing on three core elements: police, courts, and corrections. It will force students to exam individual rights protected by the Constitution and balance them against a community's need for public safety and public order. It highlights the complexities of the criminal justice discipline and encourages students to think critically and employ ethical reasoning by presenting real-life examples faced by criminal justice practitioners and asking the student to balance values, criminal procedures, and the law when coming up with solutions. This program will start Spring 2015.

  • The Family Studies program (minor only) is designed to provide students with a fundamental understanding of the essential dimensions of family life. Students will study the theories, contexts, and processes used to understand the dynamics of family interaction related to communication, sexuality, childhood, economics, and family roles. The family studies minor will help prepare students who are planning careers in fields such as marketing, counseling, ministry, social work, public administration and community service.

  • Our Government program (major or minor) is designed to prepare you for a variety of careers in the public and private sector. You'll study some of the great thinkers of ancient and modern politics, develop a strong understanding of the US Constitution and the American political system, and apply what you've learned to modern social issues.  We'll teach you how to analyze social issues, develop solutions, and present them in a clear and coherent manner.  Graduates of our Government program have gone on to careers in non-profit organizations, law enforcement, government service, and law. We even have a recent graduate who is the deputy regional director for a United States Senator!
  • A minor in Latin American Studies (offered as a minor only) provides experience in interdisciplinary inquiry through a curriculum that emphasizes area-specific knowledge of political, economic, and historical movements, as well as linguistic understanding of the language of these movements. The minor in Latin American Studies is designed for students who have interests in the Latin American region, to better prepare them for graduate studies, for careers in international business with operations in Latin America, in politics, and for work in ministries that serve individuals from the region.
  • Interested in going to law school or a career in law? Our Legal Studies program was designed by practicing attorneys to provide you with an education that will help you get into and succeed in law school.  The program is a combined major and minor and you'll take classes from a variety of different areas related to the study and practice of law including government, history, economics, and communications.  You'll also develop an understanding of the different areas of law such as trial law, business law, and criminal law.  Legal Studies is a perfect fit for students who want to go to law school and pursue a career in law, but it would also be valuable to anybody interested in a law related career.
  • Studying Sociology (offered as a minor only) will help you to understand fundamental questions about the human experience, society in general, and human dynamics.  It's a scientific discipline that studies human social behavior from casual and short interactions on the street to all-encompassing institutions like the economy, religion, marriage, and family.  It is a great minor if you are interested in social work, law enforcement, public policy, or missionary work.  Many of our students who minor in Sociology are interested in graduate social work programs and related careers in that field.  It's also a great minor if you are interested in serving low-income communities as a teacher, pastor, or public servant.
  • The Speech Communication program (offered as a minor only) provides you with a strong foundation in the theory, practice, and art of successful communication. The ability to speak effectively, successfully argue a position, and persuade a listening audience is a skill that will benefit you in any career. Because so many of our students are interested in law and business, we'll help hone your mediation skills, provide you with a strong background in argumentation and advocacy, and develop your ability to be an effective communicator, problem-solver, and advocate no matter what your chosen career path. Speech Communications is a great minor if you are looking at a career in law, business, teaching, or any career that requires you to speak in public or small groups.

Regardless of which program you decide on, all of the courses offered in the Department focus on five common elements:
  • Great Texts
  • Research / Analysis
  • Critical Thinking
  • Effective Communication (written and oral)
  • Ethics

Studying in these fields can prepare you for careers in:
  • Advertising
  • Public Service
  • Demography
  • Family Services
  • Foreign Service
  • Government (leadership, legislation, campaigns, etc)
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Human Resources
  • Intelligence Field
  • Law Enforcement
  • Law School
  • Lobbyist
  • Mission Work
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Public Relations
  • Research Analyst
  • Sales
  • Social Work
  • Urban Planning