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The Department of Philosophy

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BA in Philosophy with a Law Specialization 

Students are admitted to law school from a wide variety of academic disciplines, and no specific major is required for entrance into law school.  The American Bar Association (ABA) recommends pursuing an area of study that interests you and that helps you develop a strong skill set in problem solving, critical reading, writing, oral communication, and research.  Law schools judge applicants based upon their diversity of experiences, grade point average, and Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores.

The Philosophy major offers excellent preparation for law school, because it excels at teaching the skills that you will use in law school and in legal professions.  On average, Philosophy majors tend to excel on the LSAT, and Philosophy majors have a high law school admission rate.  The Philosophy Department offers a BA in Philosophy with a Law specialization that specifies 15 hours of 33 required credit hours to complete the Philosophy major.  By including this coursework, the BA in Philosophy with a Law specialization is designed to guide students toward curricular decisions that will facilitate their future success in law school and in subsequent legal professions.

Students aspiring to law school may also wish to complete the Pre-Law minor.  Students completing the BA in Philosophy with a Law specialization will need to complete 5 additional courses outside of Philosophy for the Pre-Law minor.  See the requirements listed below, as well as the Pre-Law section of the Undergraduate catalog for details.

Other programs of study correlated with high law school acceptance rates and high LSAT scores include Economics, English, History, and Political Science.  These may be combined with the Philosophy major as either a second major or a minor.

Requirments:

To complete a BA in Philosophy with a Law specialization, all the requirements for a standard BA in Philosophy must be satisfied (including 33 required credit hours with a C or better, a minor, and 8 hours of Foreign Language). Because the Law specialization includes a foreign language requirement, only the BA (and not the BS) has a Law specialization option. The standard BA requirements include a History of Philosophy sequence (6 hours), PHIL 480 (3 hours) and PHIL 490 (3 hours), 12 hours selected from 4 subject areas, and 9 hours of PHIL electives. The requirements for the Law specialization include 9 hours of required courses (6 of which replace electives and 3 of which may be applied to the Value Theory Area), 3 hours from a new subject area in Political and Legal Theory (replaces the remaining elective), and 3 hours in the Metaphysics and Epistemology area that must be satisfied by selecting one of two courses in that area.

For the Law specialization, courses selected to satisfy the requirements for the standard BA in Philosophy must include the following 15 hours:

Required courses (9 hours)

   PHIL 213 - Introduction to Deductive Logic
   PHIL 343 - Philosophy of Law (same as POLS 391)
   PHIL 320 - Ethics (satisfies Value Theory area)

Political and Legal Theory Area (3 hours)

   PHIL 340 - Social and Political Philosophy
   PHIL 440 - Classical Political Theory (same as POLS 484)
   PHIL 441 - Modern Political Theory (same as POLS 485)
   PHIL 498 - Legal Theory (same as POLS 498)

Metaphysics and Epistemology Area (3 hours)

   PHIL 310 - Theories of Knowledge
   PHIL 355 – Philosophy of Language

Minor Requirements (18-24 hours):

As with the standard Philosophy BA, the Law specialization requires a minor. Students completing the BA in Philosophy with a Law specialization will have satisfied coursework in two of the five areas of the Pre-Law minor (PHIL 213 satisfies the Critical Thinking requirement; PHIL 343 satisfies the Theory and Application of Law requirement), and will need to complete 5 additional courses outside of Philosophy to complete the Pre-Law minor. See the Pre-Law section of the Undergraduate Catalog for details. The following are also excellent choices for a minor or a second major, since these courses of study (along with Philosophy) are correlated with high law school acceptance rates and high LSAT scores:

  • English
  • Economics
  • History
  • Political Science

Foreign Language

It is recommended that students satisfy the 8 hours of foreign language required for the BA with Latin 101 and Latin 102.

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