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Pre-Law

1. What are the requirements for a major in political science?

The requirements for a major in political science can be found here. In addition to the core curriculum requirements for all majors, political science majors can concentrate in General Political Science, International Affairs or Pre Law.

2. What are the requirements for Pre Law concentration?

To concentrate in Pre Law, a student must take the following:

  1. PolS 3140 (Judicial Politics and Process),
  2. PolS 4130 (Constitutional Law)
  3. PolS 4131 (Civil Liberties and Civil Rights)
  4. PolS 3800 (Intro To Political Research)
  5. PolS 4900 (Senior Seminar in Political Science)
  6. Select two courses from the following:
    • PolS 4420 (International Law)
    • PolS 4425 (Politics Of International Criminal Justice)
    • PolS 4427 (Politics Of International Human Rights)
    • PolS 4157 (Politics of the Civil Rights Movement)
    • PolS 3145 (Introduction to American Law)
    • PolS 3170 (American Legislative Process)
    • PolS 3110 (State Government)
    • PolS 4180 (American Chief Executives)
    • PolS 4570 (American Political Thought)
    • PolS 4115 (Urban Politics)
    • PolS 3700 (Public Administration/Bureaucratic Politics)
    • PolS 3750 (Public Policy Analysis)
    • PolS 3770 (Governmental Budgeting)
    • PolS 4780 (Administrative Law & Government)
  7. Six additional hours of political science at the 3000-4000 level. Students must satisfy distribution requirement of taking one course in three of five areas of political science. These five areas include American government and politics, comparative politics, international politics, public policy and administration, and political theory.
  8. Electives. Students are encouraged to either choose a major or a minor in another department or to take an interdisciplinary minor in law and society from courses recommended by the Department as appropriate for a pre-law student; the list of courses is available from the pre-law advisor in the Department. Students may use electives to complete the remaining 120 hours of courses. Students must have at least 39 hours at 3000-4000 level.

3. What are the above mandatory courses?

The courses are:

PolS 3140 – Judicial Process and Politics: Social and political context of judicial decisions with emphasis on Supreme Court decision-making. Relates law to public policy.

PolS 4130 – Constitutional Law: Powers of Government: Development of U.S. constitutional system and fundamental principles of constitutional interpretation. Includes the courts and judicial review, authority of Congress in fields of commerce and taxation, authority of the president and federal-state relations. 

PolS 4131 – Civil Liberties and Civil Rights: Supreme Court's interpretation of the Bill of Rights and Fourteenth Amendment. Areas covered include administration of justice, freedom of expression and religion, and equal protection of racial, sexual, political and economic groups

PolS 3800 – Introduction to Political Research: Research techniques in political science including data collection, analysis, and interpretation.

A complete description of all courses can be found in the on-line catalogue through the go solar registration web site.

Please note: not all courses are offered each semester, and these courses tend to fill up quickly.

It is your responsibility to meet major and degree requirements, so make sure the courses are offered the semester in which you want to take them, and make sure to register early so you can be sure of placement in the courses. 

4. What are the other Pre-Law courses offered by the Department?

The Department offers the following:

  • PolS 3145 – Introduction to American Law: Substance of law as a component of public policy and the political system; emphasis on the elements and rationale of private law.
  • PolS 4950 – Moot Court or Mock Trial (2 credits only): Students learn basic trial or appellate court advocacy.
  • PolS 4220 – Comparative Legal Systems and Politics: Survey of three major legal systems: Anglo-American- adversarial-precedent systems; Napoleonic-inquisitorial-code systems used in the majority of countries; and customary legal approaches in traditional societies. Analyzes problems of judicial independence, legal professionalism, and accountability of constitutional development in new democracies in the developing world, as well as problems of developed legal systems in Japan and the West
  • PolS 4420 – International Law: Analysis of origin, principles, enforcement, and adjudication of international law.
  • PolS 4425 – Politics Of International Criminal Justice: Politics of international crimes, such as drugs and other contraband, fissile materials, Internet fraud, and war crimes, as well as the national and transnational conspiracies and organizations that commit or control these crimes.

These are not required for the Pre Law concentration, but students might find them interesting, and taking them would satisfy field requirements for the pre law concentration and the major, and the Introduction to American Law, and Moot Court would give students preliminary exposure to law school.

Please note: not all courses are offered each semester, and these courses tend to fill up quickly.

It is your responsibility to meet major and degree requirements, so make sure the courses are offered the semester in which you want to take them, and make sure to register early so you can be sure of placement in the courses. 

5. What electives are specifically recommended?

There is no particular course requirement to get into law school. The best way to prepare for law school is to take as broad a curriculum as possible. Take electives that interest you and help you to learn to think and write.

6. What other courses should I take to fulfill my major requirement?

The three Pre Law courses are American Politics courses, since “Students must satisfy distribution requirement of taking one course in three of five areas of political science” use the Pre Law courses to satisfy the American Politics courses, leaving you free to take the other fields as your interests determine. As stated in the answers to Question 4, above, the department offers Law courses in other Field areas.

7. Where do I get more information about the Prelaw concentration?
Contact Professor Steve Anthony:

Professor Steve Anthony
Phone: (404) 413-6189
Email: santhony@gsu.edu 

8. What is the Prelaw Club and how do I become a member?

If you are thinking about going to law school, the Prelaw Club can help answer questions about the process. Topics discussed by knowledgeable guest speakers include finding the right law school for you, the application process, prep courses for the LSAT and financing law school. The Prelaw Club is open to all students interested in learning more about law school. It meets weekly each Thursday of fall and spring semester at 12:00 p.m. in room 1004 of Langdale Hall. To join the club - show up!