Political Science

Bachelor of Arts or Science in Political Science w/ a Pre-Law Concentration

Program Requirements (effective Fall 2010).
The following requirements apply to students starting MTSU in the fall 2010 or later. Students currently enrolled will continue to operate under the prior program, but have the option of adopting the new program if desired. Please consult your advisor.

Concentration: Pre-Law (36 credit hours)

Core (18 hours):
PS 1005 American Gov't & Politics (previously 2010)
PS 1010 Foundations of Government
PS 2440 Law and the Legal System
PS 3370 Constitutional Law
PS 3380 Constitutional Law
PS 4800 Senior Seminar

2 of the following (6 hrs):
PS 3001, 4230, 4700, 4920, 4930

4 electives courses (with at least one in four of the following areas) (12 hrs):
American Government
Public Administration
Comparative Government
International Relations
Political Theory

Pre-law cognate (18 hrs)(takes the place of one minor):
PHIL 2110 Elementary Logic and Critical Thinking
COMM 4650 History, Theory and Criticism of Rhetoric
ENGL 4785 Law and Literature
ECON 2410 Macroeconomics
ECON 2420Microeconomics
PS 3530 Legal Writing and Research
ENGL 4605 Advanced Composition
PHIL 3150 Ethics
One of the following: PS 3010, 3490, 3500, 4590

Program Requirements (prior to 2010-11) (33 hours):

PS 1010 Foundations of Government
PS 2010 American Government and Politics
PS 2440 Law and the Legal System
PS 3370 American Constitutional Law
PS 3380 American Constitutional Law
PS 4800 Senior Seminar
Two of the following: PS 4000 (now 3001), 4230, 4700,
4920 and 4930
One course from three of the following sub-fields:American Politics, Public Administration, International Relations, and Comparative Politics

Pre-law cognate (takes the place of one minor)
ECON 2410 (or 2420)
PHIL 2110
COMM 3210 (or 2200)
PS 3530 (or ENGL 4605)
ACTG 3000 or BLAW 3400
one upper-division PS law class

Please refer to the proper Upper-Division Form for the complete requirements.

For the complete listing and description of courses click here.

Curriculum Mapping

Examples laying out all requirements to complete the degree in 4 years.
Click on:

Political Science, Pre-Law, B.A., Academic Map

Political Science, Pre-Law, B.S., Academic Map

Thinking About Law School?
(click here for more information)

The Pre-Law Emphasis under the Political Science major is designed for the student who plans to attend law school or seek a career as a professional legal assistant. The law profession includes lawyers, judges, clerks, and legal research assistants and continues to expand each year in spite of the fact that we have more lawyers than doctors. The complexity of our legal system and the increasing tendency of people to seek legal remedies for their problems assures future growth in this area. Students who are interested in the law and a potential legal career should begin their preparation with a sound undergraduate background in courses that include general social science and humanities subjects. Specialization in the "law" will occur after the undergraduate degree is complete. The background needed for successful legal careers includes knowledge of governmental institutions and practices, development of skills in critical analysis and oral/written communication, and logical reasoning capacity.

What kinds of students are law schools looking for? Law schools are looking for applicants who have sound undergraduate academic preparation, good score on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), evidence of leadership ability, and who are very likely to complete law school once admitted.

What courses should be taken to prepare for admission to law school? Law schools want to see solid, basic courses covering a broad range of subjects on a student's transcript. They prefer to teach the law courses and therefore want a good foundation on which to build. The Pre-Law program at MTSU draws on the special talents of several departments, which add to a basic program of government study in the Political Science Department. Courses in speech, logic, economics, and Legal Research and Writing have been included in the Pre-Law requirements because of their valuable assistance to students. Pre-Law professors keep in close touch with law schools in order to know when the requirements need to be changed.

What is the track record of the Pre-Law program at MTSU? The program has placed students in the Law Schools of institutions such as: University of California at Berkeley (Boalt)Duke UniversityCollege of William and MaryVanderbilt UniversityTulaneBoston University. Many of our Tennessee graduates go to Vanderbilt, the University of Tennessee Law School, University of Memphis, Cumberland Law School, and the Nashville School of Law.

What GPA is needed for law school? What about the LSAT? A 3.0 ("B") average should be considered the minimum goal for those who wish to go to law school. For top law schools the GPA should be much higher (as close to 4.0 as possible). The Law School Admissions Test is administered several times per year in Nashville. It is required by virtually every law school. The four hour test is rigorous and demanding. Students should perpare as much as possible beforehand for the LSAT. Scores in the middle to upper 160's are generally needed for admission to more prestigious law schools. U.S. News & World Reports (1998) shows that students enrolling in Yale Law School have the highest median LSAT score at 171.

What opportunities does the Pre-Law major offer to provide a realistic idea of what lawyers do? In cooperation with the Bar Association of Rutherford and Cannon Counties, a Pre-Law Internship (PS 404) for students in their senior year. Students work with individual law firms for a semester.Students may also enroll in a one-hour credit Legal Courtroom Procedure (P S 2100) course each fall.MTSU's award-winning Mock Trial team offers realistic courtroom competition.MTSU also sponsors an award winning program in mediation.