The Pre-Law Program
Political Science is the preferred undergraduate major for anyone thinking of attending law school. There is no specific curriculum or course of study associated with pre-law - at IUPUI or at any other university in the United States - but in response to demand, we have a pre-law program designed to provide advice, to help you learn more about law school and the legal profession, and to offer courses you may find helpful:
- We provide pre-law advising, which is available to any IUPUI student. Erin Engels is available to help you with any questions you might have. Your grades and LSAT scores will be the most important considerations in any law school’s decision about whether to admit you, but your choice of a major will also be a primary determining factor. Political science is one of the most useful such majors, which explains why so many of our majors are pre-law students, and so many law students and lawyers were political science majors. The simple fact is that your law school professors are going to assume that you are familiar with the structure and process of American government - including the differences between federal government and state or local government, the responsibilities of each branch of government, and the basic structure of the court system in the United States. Political science also gives you important skills in reasoning, critical thinking, analysis and debate that will give you advantages at law school.
- The department is closely involved with IUPUI’s pre-law student organization, Phi Alpha Delta. Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International is the largest law fraternity in the United States, and IUPUI has an undergraduate (pre-law) chapter that the department helps to sponsor and advise.
- Every year the Robert H. McKinney School of Law, located on the campus of IUPUI, organizes forums on the law school admissions process.
- The department also offers a Minor in Legal Studies. It is possible to major in political science and minor in legal studies, a program that includes a variety of courses on law and society from several IUPUI departments. Our undergraduate offerings in political science include courses on law and law-related topics, including Y211: Introduction to Law, Y304: Constitutional Law, Y305: Constitutional Rights and Liberties, and Y320: Judicial Politics, all of which can be counted toward a major or minor in political science. Other courses, such as Y103: Introduction to American Politics, Y213: Introduction to Public Policy, Y307: Indiana State Government and Politics, and Y380: Women and the Law, have components that you may find useful while attending law school.
So, if you’re a pre-law student, consider the Department of Political Science a home for advising and support, and for useful courses and programs.
Some useful web sites:
Law School Admission Council, for information on entrance to law school.
Top Law Schools, a web site with information on rankings and the admissions process.
American Bar Association, which has a page on preparing for law school.
Advice from Prof. Dan Pinello on getting into law school.