The CRS curriculum provides the unusual combination of depth and breadth. In-depth instruction in civil rights and race theory are taught by professors who built the intellectual foundations of the field.  Also, courses addressing specific racial groups and other forms of social hierarchies provide rich comparative analyses. This approach helps us understand that we live in a multiracial world with intersecting and overlapping forms of subordination. 

Courses in Fulfillment of the Critical Race Studies Specialization

Overview: Students are required to take six courses to complete the program, including two (2) core courses, one (1) course in comparative analysis, two (2) applied courses (one doctrine and one practice), and a course which fulfills the writing requirement, in which students will complete a 35 page paper, double-spaced. This requirement is further described below under the subheading "CRS Writing Requirement." The cumulative GPA within these courses must be a B- or higher in order to gain the Critical Race Studies certification.  Students can use an Externship in place of the applied practice course.

Core Courses: BOTH courses are required. (Note that it is highly recommended that these courses be taken in the 2L year and be taken before embarking on the writing requirement)
Course # Course Name
214 Civil Rights
266 Critical Race Theory
  • Applied Courses (TWO Courses) (at least one from each list) 

    Applied Courses Requirement: The courses below provide a basis for applying the central themes in Critical Race Theory to specific areas of the law and to practical legal settings. The courses in “Doctrine” provide students with a sound grasp of the laws and policies that govern specific areas of practice. The courses listed in “Practice” are designed to expose students to the practical application of laws and policies to concrete social issues and actual legal settings.

  • CRS Writing Requirement

    Students may use any of the courses listed above or any of the seminars listed below to fulfill the writing requirement. However, the course or seminar may not be used to fulfill another specialization requirement at the same time. In other words, there can be no double-counting of a single course to fulfill two requirements within the specialization. The paper must be at least 35 pages long, double-spaced and related to a topic relevant to the specialization’s course of study. The CRS paper can be used to fulfill the law school’s writing requirement.

  • As an alternative to writing a paper within an approved course or seminar, students may enroll in a minimum of 3 units of Independent Research (Law 340) under the supervision of a UCLA faculty member and produce a paper that meets the same standards as stated above to fulfill this requirement. This includes Law Review Comments written as part of Law 341. If the faculty supervisor is a Core CRS faculty member, no pre-approval is necessary; however, the supervising faculty must be notified that the paper is being written to fulfill the CRS Writing Requirement. If the supervising faculty member is NOT a Core CRS faculty, pre-approval is REQUIRED. To obtain pre-approval, the student must submit a description of the writing project to the CRS Program Director by the end of the fourth week of the semester in which the paper is to be written, indicating how the project will engage race/racism or employ critical race scholarship or concepts in its analysis.


    1. Please refer to the Course List to determine which of the courses listed above will be offered during the current school year.
    2. The course requirements list is reviewed and updated on a periodic basis by the CRS Faculty.  You are required to complete the requirements as they were published when you elected into the specialization.  However, you may petition to have a course meet certain requirements, when changes have been made after you elect into the specialization.
    3. In limited instances, the CRS faculty directors will consider a student’s petition to have a course not listed on the requirements page count towards certification.  You should send an email to the program director and cc the faculty director, citing the language of the requirement on this page, describing how the course meets the requirement, and attaching course syllabi or relevant materials. We will typically respond to your email petition within three (3) working days.