Law, Public Policy, and Society Degree for Transfer


The Associate in Arts in Law, Public Policy, and Society Degree for Transfer (AA-T) is designed to provide a solid, multidisciplinary lower-division preparation for students who intend to transfer to a California State University (CSU) for a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy, Law, Sociology, Economics, or similar major.

This degree offers a clear pathway to a CSU school and guarantees transfer to a four-year degree as a junior. Although students are guaranteed admission, it is not a guarantee to any campus or program in the CSU system. Students will be encouraged to meet with a counselor for specific university major preparation at the college of their choice to facilitate a seamless transition. This coursework will satisfy the lower division Law, Public Policy, and Society requirements at some of the CSU campuses.

See Taft College’s Transfer Center. Our Transfer Admission Guarantees include many other schools. Check with your Counselor to see if this degree can also transfer to other four-year schools. 

Earnings Potential

A degree in law, public policy, and society offers an exciting range of career options, including professions in government, law, public relations, diplomacy, advocacy, lobbying, public safety services, social work, intelligence analysts, criminal investigations, correctional services, and court service careers. Many careers typically require a minimum of a four-year degree. Some careers, such as lawyer, require a master’s, doctoral, or professional degree. Those interested in the law and legal services generally assume positions of paralegal, legal assistant, or legal analyst prior to entering law school. An associate’s degree is typically required for paralegals and legal assistants. 

Public policy is a multidisciplinary field using strategies and principles from an array of subjects, such as data analysis, economics, mathematics, and political science. It includes studying the laws, priorities and programs run by government agencies and looking at ways to optimize existing public policies or develop new ones. Public policy and advocacy careers range from program or policy analysts for organizations that have a stake in policy, such as government, labor unions, and political groups, to careers as a legislative lobbyist, government relations associate, political speechwriter, and director of research at a global think tank, among others.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage is $50,000 to $63,000 for public policy and social services; $59,200 for paralegals and legal assistants; $69,160 for police and detectives; $73,150 for speechwriters (writer, author); $85,720 for operations research analysts; $95,290 for management analysts; $98,590 for sociologists; $113,940 for economists; $128,020 for policy analysts/political scientists; and $127,990 for lawyers.1

1 “Occupational Outlook Handbook.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 8 Sept. 2022. Accessed 28 October 2023.

Program Requirements

To earn the Law, Public Policy, and Society Degree for Transfer, students must complete: (1) all course requirements with a minimum grade of “C” in each course; and (2) must complete the General Education Breadth pattern for CSUs with an overall GPA of 2.0. There are no local graduation requirements associated with this degree.

Additionally, students shall be deemed eligible for transfer into a CSU baccalaureate program when the student meets both the following requirements:

  1. Completion of 60 semester units or 90 quarter units that are eligible for transfer to the California State University, including both of the following:
    a. The Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) or the California State University General Education-Breadth Requirements.
    b. A minimum of 18 semester units or 27 quarter units in a major or area of emphasis, as determined by the community college district.
  2. Obtainment of a minimum grade point average of 2.0.

Program Learning Outcomes

After completing the Law, Public Policy, and Society AA-T Program, a student will be able to:

  1. Distinguish between ethical behavior and professional standards that influence personal decisions and promote honesty, integrity, concepts of social justice, and the influence of leadership in a legal or public policy/service career. (Ethics and Professionalism)
  2. Demonstrate and evaluate discipline specific knowledge including differentiating between diverse course content including criminal and civil law, police power, policy development, and the roles, responsibilities, and limitations of the legal or public policy/service professional. (Discipline Specific Content)
  3. Employ the use of technology to access, organize, and communicate information and distinguish valid sources, data, and evidence in the social sciences.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively according to industry standards. (Communications and Technology)
  5. Cooperate with professionals in the criminal justice, federal, state, and local government systems, recognize the adapting roles and responsibilities of members of the public policy/service system, and apply an understanding of industry best practices and the personal commitment required for public service. (Engagement)

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