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  • 6 - Number of graduate programs in the college ranked in the top 100 nationwide by U.S. News and World Report in March 2016
  • Fall 2015 - Launch of the Doctoral Program in Criminal Justice
  • Spring 2016 - Launch of the completely online Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) program
  • 2015-16 - Academic year in which the college recognized 25 years since its founding in 1990-91
  • > 1,700 - Number of children and adults with speech, language and hearing problems served by the Communication Disorders Clinic
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Faculty & Staff Directory

James Beckman

James Beckman

, J.D., LL.M.
Legal Studies

Professional Links

  • Biography
  • Research


James A. Beckman was the inaugural chair of the Department of Legal Studies (2011-2016) at the University of Central Florida and currently holds the rank of Professor of Legal Studies, the first faculty member in Legal Studies at UCF to achieve that academic rank.  Additionally, before arrival at UCF, he previously served as a professor at the University of Tampa for over a decade. Beckman holds degrees from The University of Tampa, The Ohio State University & Georgetown University, and studied at Oxford University (England) in 1991. Prior to entering academia, Beckman was an active duty military lawyer (Army), serving on the Staff & Faculty of the United States Military Academy at West Point, as well as an active duty assignment at Fort Meade, Maryland. He also served as a litigation attorney for the United States Department of the Treasury in Washington, DC, after leaving active duty military service.   

Professor Beckman has achieved tenure at two different institutions since 2000, and has taught approximately seventy semester long classes at the undergraduate and law school levels.  Professor Beckman's scholarship includes being the author or editor of six books (four academic books; two popular non-academic books) and approximately sixty articles which have appeared in various academic journals, magazines, encyclopedias, books and newspapers.  His latest book, entitled Controversies in Affirmative Action (ABC-CLIO/Praeger, July 2014), is an edited three volume set on affirmative action, spanning thirty-three different chapters dealing with a variety of different contemporary practices and controversies involving affirmative action.   


  • J.D., Law, The Ohio State University College of Law
  • LL.M., International and Comparative Law, Georgetown University
  • Research

    Professor Beckman has published on a myriad of topics related to law, policy and American history.  A majority of Professor Beckman's scholarship deals with the intersection of law and history.  Additionally, three of Professor Beckman's six books deal with the subject of affirmative action in the United States.  Professor Beckman also has a strong research interest on issues pertaining to U.S. National Security Law, having published a book and several articles on effectiveness (or lack thereof) of anti-terrorism legislation and laws. 

    Research Interests

    • affirmative action
    • comparative law
    • international law
    • constitutional law
    • criminal law
    • firearms/guns laws
    • national security law

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    — Michael Neimann,  M.S. in health care informatics ('14)
    My internship with the District 9 Medical Examiner’s Office was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I gained an excellent understanding of the medical examiner’s office and the criminal justice field in general."
    — Adam Stubley,  B.S. in criminal justice, criminal profiling certificate ('11)
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    — Daniel Barr,  V.P. at National Children's Hospital; M.S. in health sciences, health services administration track ('04)
    My master's education helped me see the big picture of the nonprofit industry. UCF showed me how to see the different fundraising tools within the Central Florida area."
    — Krysti Griffith,  Executive Director of Growth from Grief; Master of Nonprofit Management ('12)
    The course opened my eyes to grant writing ... I learned a great deal and you [Barbara Howell] are truly an excellent instructor."
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    The skills I learned during my time at UCF are what made my transition to law school so seamless."
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    — April Heyward,  Post Award Services Coordinator, University of South Carolina; Master of Research Administration ('13)
    It was at UCF that I first learned many of the skills that I’ve since honed, including mapping with GIS software - an ability I found invaluable to my search for internships, graduate-level coursework, and employment."
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