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Pre-Law

North Dakota State University offers students a special program of pre-law advisement. The Department of Criminal Justice and Political Science provides an extensive program for all interested students regardless of academic major. Emphasis is placed on the development of scholarly skills and insights, rather than the mastery of a prescribed subject. Thus, the pre-law student may elect the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree, selecting a major or minor of special personal interest. A pre-law emphasis is offered for the political science major.

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Pre-Political Science Preparation

Students intent on pursuing an undergraduate degree in political science are enrolled as pre-professional students and must first meet grade point average and course work requirements in order to be admitted to the political science program. Once students satisfy all requirements, they complete and submit the pre-political science application form, available on the department website. This form needs to be turned in to the department's academic assistant. After verification that the student meets the requirements for acceptance, he or she is accepted into the professional program and can continue to pursue a degree in political science.

The Program

No particular course of study serves as a prerequisite for admission to law school. Present-day law students have undergraduate degrees in political science, English, business, natural science, history, linguistics and a host of other disciplines. However, some broad general recommendations about college preparation for law school may be useful.

The main guide to undergraduate study should be your own interests and talents. Successful study and practice of law can be based on any of a large number of college backgrounds; therefore, the pre-law student should feel free to study in depth what interests him or her most and to enjoy the stimulation of undergraduate education. Political science is one of the fields of concentration most frequently chosen by those who plan to enter law school, and the department offers a pre-law emphasis for those who major in the discipline.

Goals of the Pre-Law Program

As undergraduate courses are chosen, certain goals should be kept in mind. First, a lawyer must be able to communicate effectively in oral and written expression. In a real sense, words are the tools of the lawyer's trade. Training for communication skills obviously must include mastery of the English language. But, above all, a lawyer must be able to write well. Any course in a discipline in which a student knows that he or she will be required to commit ideas or research to writing, submit the writing to rigorous criticism by a faculty member, and then rewrite to meet the criticism, is a course that will help prepare the student for law school.

Second, the prospective law student needs a fair range of critical understanding of human institutions and values. Here, political science, economics, philosophy, sociology and history are useful. It also should be noted that undergraduate law courses should not be taken for the purpose of learning the law, and certainly are not essential for law school admission. Such courses may be helpful, however, in providing an understanding of the place of law in society and in providing a better basis by which to estimate one's interest in law school.

Third, the prospective law student must develop creative critical thinking. A lawyer must be able to reason closely from given premises and propositions to tenable conclusions. The analysis of a legal problem almost always involves more than a persuasive policy-oriented essay. The ability to do this type of close reasoning may be sought in courses in mathematics, physical sciences, logic and advanced political and economic theory, among others.

Political science graduates have attended many different law schools, including University of Minnesota, University of North Dakota, University of Nebraska, Duke, Northwestern, Baylor, Cornell and George Washington University.

Pre-Law Club

The Department of Criminal Justice and Political Science works closely with the Pre-Law Club, which is designed to provide students with information about law schools, entrance examinations and career opportunities in the field of law.

The Faculty

Thomas Ambrosio
   Associate Professor, Ph.D.,
   2000, University of Virginia

Nicholas Bauroth
    Associate Professor, Ph.D.,
    2003, Loyola University

Eric Raile
    Assistant Professor, Ph.D.,
    2008, Michigan State University

Kjersten Nelson
   Assistant Professor, Ph.D.,
   2009, University of Minnesota

Curriculum

No particular course of study serves as a prerequisite for admission to law school and many different majors provide a good background. A traditional major for some pre-law students has been political science. At NDSU the Department of Criminal Justice and Political Science offers a pre-law emphasis for its majors.

Sample Curriculum

General Education Requirements

Credits

__________________________________________________

First Year Experience

  Univ. 189 - Skills for Academic Success

1

Communication

  Comm. 110 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking

3

  Engl. 110, 120 - College Composition I, II

3, 3

  English Upper Division Writing

3

Quantitative Reasoning

3

Science & Technology

10

Humanities & Fine Arts

6

  Social and Behavioral Sciences

  PolS. 110 - Introduction to Political Science or
   PolS. 115 - American Government

3

Social and Behavioral Sciences Elective

3

Wellness

2

Cultural Diversity

-

Global Perspective

-

Total

40

College/Department Requirements

Credits

__________________________________________________

Humanities Elective(s)

3 or 6

Social Science Elective

3

Fine Arts Elective(s)

3 or 6

Total

12

Major Requirements

Credits

__________________________________________________

PolS. 220 - International Politics or
PolS. 225 - Comparative Politics

3

PolS. 240 - Political Ideologies

3

PolS. 325 - Applied Research Methods

4

PolS. 489 - Seminar

3

Total

13

Pre-Law Emphasis

Credits

__________________________________________________

PolS. 230 - Judicial Process

3

PolS. 430 - Constitutional Law-Civil Liberties

3

PolS. 431 - Constitutional Law-Criminal Justice

3

PolS. 444 - International Law or
PolS. 499 - Special Topics: International Law

3

400 Level Political Science Electives

9

Communication and English Electives

10

Law Related Electives

14-15

Electives/Minor

11-12

Total

57

CURRICULUM TOTAL

122

Note:
Students must have a qualifying minor or meet the foreign language requirement.

Suggested Electives for pre-law emphasis:

Busn. 431 - Business Law I and Busn. 432 - Business Law II;
Comm. 214 - Persuasive Speaking or Comm. 308 - Business and Professional Speaking
Engl. 320 - Business and Professional Writing
Engl. 358 - Intermediate Composition

For more details on the pre-law emphasis for political science majors contact an adviser in the department.

This sample curriculum is not intended to serve as a curriculum guide for current students, but rather an example of course offerings for prospective students. For the curriculum requirements in effect at the time of entrance into a program, consult with an academic adviser or with the Office of Registration and Records.

Criminal Justice & Public Policy Bldg


Criminal Justice & Public Policy Bldg is located at 1616 12th Ave N across from lot TA (Campus Map)

Contact Information

Department of Criminal Justice and Political Science
North Dakota State University
Criminal Justice and Public Policy Bldg. 110
Department 2315, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-6174 / Fax: (701) 231-5877
Email: Nicholas.Bauroth@ndsu.edu

Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Ceres 114
Dept 5230, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802
Email: NDSU.Admission@ndsu.edu
Web: www.ndsu.edu/admission/


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Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802
Campus address: Ceres Hall 114
Physical/delivery address: 1301 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5230 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: NDSU WebMaster

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 3:46:27 PM