The Political Science (BS) - Pre-Professional Legal Studies degree is designed to introduce students to the law school curriculum and prepare them for law school admissions. Students take courses in political science, criminal justice, law, communications, statistics, English and philosophy.
The coursework will help you develop strong critical thinking skills while learning about multiple aspects of the legal system, law, writing, logic and research, and prepare you for the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). The average LSAT exam score for Appalachian pre-law students has been 158 for the past three years.
Appalachian pre-law students are eligible for Appalachian’s accelerated Masters of Arts in Political Science, which can offer a leg up in law school applications.
Law School: Most students continue their education through law school. Others have gone on to graduate school or work for non-profit organizations and law firms practicing various types of law.
Law schools include:
- American University
- Appalachian State University
- Campbell University
- Duke University
- Elon School of Law
- New York University
- N.C. State University
- Rutgers University
- University of Georgia
- University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
- University of Southern California
- University of North Carolina-Charlotte
- Washington University
Students are required to complete eight hours of core political science classes, and six hours of core law courses including:
- Constitutional Law
- Administrative Law
- Diversity in Justice and Public Affairs
- Law and Society
Students must also complete a minimum of 21 hours of political science electives chosen in consultation with an advisor, and a minimum of 30 semester hours of legal studies concentration courses including:
- Basic statistics
- The legal environment of Business
- Criminal law
- Communication law
- Literature and law
- Writing and law
A minor is optional. Popular choices include:
Engagement Outside the Classroom
Pi Alpha Delta - Appalachian’s chapter of the international law fraternity through which pre-law students can meet and network with their peers and faculty.
American Criminal Justice Association (Lambda Alpha Epsilon) - a chapter of the national organization that is dedicated to acknowledging academic achievement in criminal justice and networking between members.
American Correctional Association - The Appalachian Students Chapter of the American Correctional Association works to educate the community about the justice system.
Appalachian is committed to introducing students to different cultures and teaching them how to live and interact in a global society. In this major, past faculty-led study abroad locations included Cuba and Eastern Europe.
There are no admission requirements beyond admission to Appalachian State University.
- You will have the opportunity to take classes with faculty in the Department of Government and Justice Studies, who have expertise in pre-professional legal studies, American politics, criminal justice and public administration.
- Students are prepared for the LSAT and law school admissions, through a diverse range of required courses and electives.
- Scholarships are available through the department.
- Internships with law firms and legal organizations at the state and local level are encouraged so students can gain practical and real world legal experience. Students can earn up to 9 credit hours completing an internship.
- Students with a 3.4 GPA or higher have the opportunity to participate in Appalachian’s Accelerated Admission from Baccalaureate to Master’s Program.
- The department offers a variety of study-away courses which allow students to earn course credits while engaging in real world politics. Recent study-away destinations include Raleigh, N.C., Washington, D.C., the Iowa caucuses, Cuba and Jordan.
Method of Delivery
On campus only
- Congressional Aide
- Consumer Advocate
- Environmental Policy Analyst
- FBI/CIA Agent
- Law Enforcement Officer
- Legal Assistant
- Legislative Analyst
Dr. Phillip Ardoin