Student Resources for Political Science Majors


Political Science and Preparation for Law School

Political Science has traditionally been a popular major for students interested in going on to law school. Currently, approximately two-thirds of University of Scranton Political Science graduates choose to attend law school. Typically, 90-95% of these students are successful in gaining admission to law school, compared to a nationwide success rate of about 75%. Selected examples of recent admissions include Catholic University, Harvard University, Syracuse University, the University of Notre Dame, and Villanova University.

While the American Bar Association does not recommend any particular undergraduate major as preparation for law school, it does emphasize the importance of developing reading, writing, research, and critical thinking skills, as well as educational breadth (Preparation for Legal Education, Pre-Law Committee of the American Bar Association. Copyright 1996). The structure of the Political Science curriculum at the University of Scranton emphasizes the acquisition of these skills in addition to providing sufficient flexibility for students interested in double majors, minors, and a broad selection of elective courses.

In addition, the content of the Political Science curriculum emphasizes not only the political, but also the legal dimensions of American Government. We treat topics such as separation of powers, federalism, civil liberties, and the structure and function of the judicial branch of government. Political Science courses such as Judicial Politics, Constitutional Law, and Jurisprudence are popular electives among students planning on law school.

The ABA also notes that some basic areas of knowledge provide useful background for legal education. Included among these are an understanding of the factors that have influenced the development of our pluralistic society, an understanding of political thought, an understanding of the contemporary American political system, an understanding of the public policy process, an understanding of diverse cultures and political systems, and an understanding of international institutions and issues (Ibid).

Of course, the Political Science curriculum at the University of Scranton covers all these areas.

Visit the Pre-Law Website for more information.

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