Nov 29, 2023  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Pre-Law in the Department of Political Science

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While law schools do not require applicants to take specific courses, they do stress completion of courses that will enable you to understand those human institutions and values with which the study and practice of law are concerned. You should also acquire the ability to think logically and creatively and achieve clarity in oral and written communication.

Political Science has a well-deserved reputation as the preeminent field of study for students considering legal education. The emphasis on understanding the nature and role of law in our public lives, on critical thinking about political issues and institutions, and on learning to express our thoughts clearly on these matters, make a degree in Political Science an excellent gateway to the study of law.

Along with a number of courses that specifically focus on the law, the Department of Political Science offers a broad array of classes on politics, political thought, international relations, and the different forms and functions of government. It also offers for-credit internships in professional legal environments, pre-law advising, and connections to a network of campus resources, for the prospective student of law.

Students in all majors who are considering law school should consult with the university’s pre-law advisor, under the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies in 215 Fairchild Hall, early in their undergraduate career. Additional information about pre-law can be found on the pre-law website.


Career opportunities in law include private practice, corporate practice with either a law firm or a private business or organization, public service in all levels of government, teaching positions in colleges and universities, and executive positions in industry and politics. In addition, some professionals in certain fields, for example, journalism and community planning, have found a law background to be advantageous.

Legal Internships

Internships are a great way to learn about a particular area of law. There are numerous internship opportunities for a pre-law student, including congressional and state legislative offices, interest groups, and local law firms. For more information contact the internship coordinator within the department.

The Pre-Law Curriculum

Students who choose the pre-law option, like all Political Science majors, are required to take introductory core courses in American politics, comparative government, world politics and political thought. Following the introductory courses, students must complete POLSC 400 and one upper-level course in each of the core areas. In addition, students following the pre-law curriculum must complete three elective courses for a total of nine credit hours. Students with a pre-law emphasis must take three law-related courses, two required and one elective. These courses may be part of the upper-level core courses or the electives required for the major.

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