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National College Credit Recommendation Service

Board of Regents  |  University of the State of New York

LawShelf Educational Media | Evaluated Learning Experience

First Amendment Law (GOV-204)


Various (self-study, self-paced).

Various, distance learning format.

December 2021 - Present.

Instructional delivery format: 
Online/distance learning
Learner Outcomes: 

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to: explain ways in which government may regulate speech; examine the categories of protected speech such as political, religious, artistic, and hate speech, and explain why these types of speech are protected under the First Amendment; discuss how and why the Supreme Court has determined that certain categories of speech such as, incitement, fighting words and obscenity, are deemed unprotected; explain the allowable restrictions on political speech and protest; differentiate between the Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment; discuss the differences between religious beliefs and religious practices, and how the law regulates them differently; and articulate the three principles that guide the assessment of the constitutionality of laws or actions allegedly infringing on the free exercise clause. 


This course focuses on the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment to the US Constitution, including freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition. The course covers when those freedoms can be limited and under what circumstances. It also focuses on the “establishment of religion” clause, which prohibits the government from “establishing” a national religion and the “free exercise” clause that prevents the government from prohibiting the free exercise of religion.

Credit recommendation: 

In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category, 3 semester hours in Civil Rights or Civil Liberties (6/21) (11/21 administrative review).