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PRE-LAW EMPHASIS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE
Although there are many acceptable majors for pre-law students, political science is one of the most common. After all, political science is the closest of all majors to the institutions and values with which law deals. The primary study of law is the state, and so too for political science. Additionally, the demands of political science courses (reading of complex texts, independent research, frequent class presentations, and demanding writing assignments) strengthen the analytical and communications skills that the practice of law requires.
Students should be aware that a pre-law emphasis or a transcript filled with law courses does not improve your chances of gaining admission to law school. Law school admissions committees look for breadth and rigor in your academic program (as well as a high GPA and LSAT score). The Political Science Pre-Law Emphasis is available only to political science majors. We encourage all students interested in law school to look at the University's general Pre-Law website. Their description of the application process, and specifically the personal statement, is especially useful.
Requirements for the pre-law emphasis include a variety of courses from both inside and outside of the political science department. At most, six courses are required: three within the political science department and three from outside the political science department, although many of these courses fulfill other Core and political science major requirements.
The Pre-Law Emphasis in Political Science requires at most six (6) courses:
Declare your Pre-Law Emphasis with a Program Petition form obtained in A&S 230, and track your progress toward completion using your degree audit on e-campus. Questions can be directed to Terri Peretti (A&S 236, TPeretti@scu.edu) or Julie Wong (A&S 230, JWong2@scu.edu).
Poli Sci and Pre-Law Requirements Checklist NEW Core (Writable pdf)
Poli Sci and Pre-Law Requirements Checklist OLD Core (Writable pdf)
List A - Three (3) Courses
Poli 45 – Criminal Justice System
Poli 124 – Law, Security, and Force
Poli 125 – International Law
Poli 127 – Special Topics: Global Perspectives in Women and Law
Poli 159 - The Constitution and Liberty
Poli 160 – The Constitution and Equality
Poli 161 – Law and Politics in the U.S.
Poli 167 – The Making of Public Policy
Poli 169P - Women & Law in the U.S.
Poli 185P/195P - Senior Seminar in U.S. Politics (only if offered by Chen or Peretti)
POLI 197A/B or 198 - Public Sector Study & Internship -- Can fulfill a List A requirement IF the internship is law-related. Special approval from Professor Peretti is required.
List B - One (1) Course
Phil 10 – Ethical Issues in the Law
Phil 29 - Reasoning and Interpretation in Law
Phil 113 – Ethics and Constitutional Law
Phil 114 - Ethics and Criminal Law
Phil 154 – Philosophy of Law
Econ 126 – Economics and Law
Psych 155 – Psychology and Law
Comm 170A – Communication Law and Responsibility
Anthro 151 – Law and Society
Soc 159 – Sociology of Crime
Soc 160 – Law in a Changing Society
Soc 176 – Elder Law
Sctr 119 - Law in Judaism, Christianity & Islam
Tesp 144 - Theology and the Law
ELSJ 50 - Law & Social Justice
List C - One (1) Course
Phil 25 – Informal Logic
Engl 79 – Writing about Literature & Culture
Engl 176 – Intensive Writing
Engl 177 – Argumentation
Plus One (1) Additional Course from Either List B or C
Note: Law-related Public Sector internships and Washington Semester Program (WSP) coursework in law can be approved for List A coursework. Please see Professor Peretti for approval.
Students participating in Washington Semester Program’s Public Law, International Law, and Justice programs are guaranteed completion of one of their List A requirements. Students may also complete one or two additional List A course requirements, depending on their selection of research topic and internship.