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LSTD510 - Constitutional Law

Course Details

Course Code: LSTD510 Course ID: 3850 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course provides the student with a theoretical foundation in Constitutional law. The Constitution divides power. In particular, it apportions authority along three main dimensions: between the state and federal governments; among the branches of the federal government; and between, on the one hand, all levels of government and, on the other hand, individuals. The vast majority of live constitutional questions concern a conflict along one or more of these axes. Students will study issues of policy, principle, philosophy, and constitutional implications by focusing on construction and application. This graduate course will explore advanced principles, doctrines and controversies regarding the structure of and division of powers in American government. Specific topics include judicial review, jurisdiction, standing to sue, federalism, federal and state powers and immunities, the separation of powers among the branches of the federal government, the First Amendment, and the Equal Protection Clause.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
05/27/19 - 11/01/19 11/04/19 - 12/29/19 Fall 2019 Session I 8 Week session
07/29/19 - 01/03/20 01/06/20 - 03/01/20 Winter 2020 Session B 8 Week session
09/30/19 - 02/28/20 03/02/20 - 04/26/20 Winter 2020 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After completing this course, the Student will be able to:

1. Distinguish the development of Constitutional Law in the areas of judicial, legislative, and executive powers;

2. Analyze the separation of powers, federalism, national and state regulation of commerce, and property rights;

3. Assess the role of the judiciary by examining landmark constitutional decisions;

4. Appraise the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution; and

5. Analyze a recent Supreme Court case.

Forums: There will be nine Forum assignments (Introduction = 1% and the eight Forums = 3% each for a total of 25 %),

Research Paper Topic Approval: At the end of Week 2 each student will turn in their research paper topic (5% of final grade) for approval. Details of the assignment can be found under “Assignments.”

Case Brief: At the end of Week 4 each student will turn in a completed case brief (10% of final grade). Details on how to brief a case can be found under “Assignments.” Students are given the option to brief any of the Supreme Court cases they are assigned for reading during the course.

Literature Review: At the end of Week 6, in preparation for the final research assignment each student will turn in a literature review (15% of final grade) of the scholarly research they will be using for their research paper. Details of the assignment can be found under “Assignments.”

Research Paper: At the end of Week 8 each student will turn in a 10-15 page research paper (45% of final grade) on a controversial Constitutional Law topic. Details of the assignment can be found under “Assignments.”

4. GRADES: See Syllabus link in the classroom. Under “APUS Policies,” click on “Grading Policy” for detailed information.

NameGrade %
Introduction Forum 1.00 %
Introduction 1.00 %
Forums 24.00 %
Week 1 3.00 %
Week 2 3.00 %
Week 3 3.00 %
Week 4 3.00 %
Week 5 3.00 %
Week 6 3.00 %
Week 7 3.00 %
Week 8 3.00 %
Research Paper Approval 5.00 %
Research Paper Proposal-Week#2 5.00 %
Case Brief 10.00 %
Case Brief- Week #4 10.00 %
Literature Review 15.00 %
Literature Review-Week #6 15.00 %
Research Paper 45.00 %
Research Paper - Week#8 45.00 %

1., The National Constitution Center

2., The

3. Various selected readings made available in the Classroom Lessons section under Reading and Resources.

*Recommended, but not required: The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, 20th ed., (2015).


In addition to the required course text the following public domain Websites are useful. Please abide by the university’s academic honesty policy when using Internet sources as well. Note web site addresses are subject to change.

Site Name

Website URL/Address

Oyez – Supreme Court Media

Supreme Court Website

Wall Street Journal

Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Links provided inside the classroom in the Lessons section.
Author: No Author Specified

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.