Pre-Law | Political Science | SIU

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Pre-Law

The Pre-Law Specialization effectively prepares students for admission to law school and subsequent careers in law, business, government, and many other fields.

Certain disciplines, coupled with broader interdisciplinary study, are particularly well suited for preparing students for law careers. Students attending SIU Carbondale who plan to go to law school can take advantage of the Department of Political Science's Pre-Law Program of Study by majoring in political science. Political science is traditionally one of the most common undergraduate majors for students planning to attend law school. Participating in our pre-law program will provide you with analytical and substantive background relevant to the study of law and help ensure that you develop the skills necessary for admission to law school.

Political science majors preparing for law school must meet the basic requirements for the political science major including core courses, a minimum of 33 credit hours in political science, three 400 level courses, pre-law specialization requirements, and completion of an existing minor, internship, or interdisciplinary program of study. In fulfilling these requirements, political science majors preparing for law school will have the opportunity to take courses in subjects like administrative law, civil liberties, civil rights, constitutional law, court management, democratic theory, judicial process, legal process, policy analysis and the theory of law. The Pre-law advisor approves minors and internships. (The Director of Undergraduate Studies approves minors and study abroad programs.)

Political Science Major with Pre-Law Specialization

*Credit Hours indicated within ().

  • University Core Curriculum (41)
  • College of Liberal Arts (11)
  • Major in Political Science (48-54)
    • Core requirements: POLS 114, 205, 250, 270 and 300 (15)
    • Pre-Law Course Sequence: POLS 230, 333A and 333B, and any two of the following: 435, 436, 437, 438, or 475 (15)
    • Political Science 400-level courses (3)
    • Political Science 300-400 level Electives (6)
  • Minor, Internship, or Interdisciplinary Study—12 hrs. of minor course must be 300-400 level (12-18)
  • Electives (17-20)

Total (120)

»To view a pre-law specialization checklist in a PDF table, click here.

The department's Pre-Law advisor will assist you throughout your undergraduate years. Many important issues will be considered in order to ensure that you complete the program of study best suited to your career interests. Your Pre-Law advisor will help you determine a career focus, select a program of study, prepare and register for the LSAT, and apply to law schools.