Academic Programs Catalog

College of Social Science

Department of Political Science

Undergraduate Programs
Political Science - Prelaw

The prelaw major is designed to introduce students to the study of law and the judicial process and at the same time to provide an orientation to the law which is more general than that of most law schools. Students who elect this program may plan careers in (1) government and large businesses, (2) law firms, (3) individual or partnership practice of civil law, (4) trial practice, including criminal law, and (5) teaching. Since very few law schools provide information about the political, economic, societal and psychological environment in which the law exists, this background must generally be acquired prior to or after law school. The prelaw major is intended to give students the analytical skills and substantive background in those courses which will most likely contribute to their development.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science–Prelaw

  1. The University requirements for bachelor's degrees as described in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog; 120 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science–Prelaw.

    The University's Tier II writing requirement for the Political Science—Prelaw major is met by completing the following course:  Political Science 422.  That course is referenced in item 3.a.(5) below.
  2. The requirements of the College of Social Science for the Bachelor of Arts degree.
  3. The following requirements for the major:
    a. The following courses in the Department of Political Science (34 credits)
    (1) All of the following courses (15 credits):
    PLS 100 Introduction to American Politics 3
    PLS 200 Introduction to Political Science 4
    PLS 201 Introduction to Methods of Political Analysis 4
    PLS 392 Special Topics in Political Science 4
    (2) One of the following courses (3 credits):
    PLS 140 Introduction to Comparative Politics 3
    PLS 160 Introduction to International Relations 3
    PLS 170 Introduction to Political Philosophy 3
    (3) One of the following courses (3 credits):
    PLS 320 Judicial Politics 3
    PLS 321 Constitutional Law 3
    (4) At least three additional political science courses at the 300–400 level to total at least 9 credits. Only one of the following courses may be counted toward this requirement:
    PLS 494 Field Experience in Political Science
    or
    PLS 495 Independent Study
    (5) The following course (4 credits):
    PLS 422 Seminar in Political Science (W) 4
    NOTE: Of the courses taken to satisfy the requirements for 3.  a. (2) and 3. a. (4), at least two courses must be in comparative/international politics (PLS 140, PLS 160, PLS 342-359, and PLS 361-369), and at least two courses must be in political philosophy (PLS 170 and PLS 370-379). One of the comparative/international politics courses may be a course from an approved list of courses, offered outside the Department of Political Science. The approved list of comparative/international politics courses is available in the Department of Political Science. Students should consult with their academic advisor with questions concerning this requirement.