May 18, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog

Political Science, B.A., Pre-Law Specialization

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Department Contact:

Chair: Dr. Denise Holladay Damico
Coordinator: Dr. Joseph A. Melusky

Program Description:

The BA in Political Science with a Pre-Law Specialization is a multidisciplinary major, including an array of courses in political science, English, philosophy, history, and more. Students learn about political process and policymaking in the United States from institutional, ethical and philosophical perspectives, and take courses in U.S. Constitutional Law, civil liberties and civil rights, and business law. Students will study case law, logic, writing, and public speaking, while developing and refining their communications skills and critical reasoning abilities. Students will also learn how to do political and policy research. The specialization provides a unique preparation for law school as students will receive professional advising from a Pre-Law adviser. The BA in Political Science with a Pre-Law Specialization is an excellent choice for students interested in going to law school and eventually joining the legal profession as a public interest lawyer, government lawyer, private-practice lawyer or seeking election or appointment to the judiciary. In addition, the program is good preparation for further study leading to a paralegal career. Saint Francis University offers two highly competitive early admission programs for pre-law students, in collaboration with Duquesne University’s Thomas R. Kline School of Law and Drexel University’s Thomas R. Kline School of Law. These partnerships provide special academic opportunities for qualified students to earn both an undergraduate degree and a law degree in just six years rather than seven. Either program can easily be completed with the Political Science major.

Paralegal courses can be taken as pre-law electives. This makes it very feasible for interested students to complete the pre-law specialization and the paralegal minor simultaneously.


Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Critical Thinking: Students will develop the ability to think critically about information (e.g., data or texts), theories, concepts, problems, issues, institutions and processes of American Politics and Government, World Politics and Political Theory before accepting or formulating a position or conclusion or proposing a solution to a problem.

  2. Citizenship: Students will develop a deeper and fuller understanding of political processes, acquiring a solid conceptual foundation that can be built upon in their lives as citizens.
  3. Research Methods: Students will be able to use and explain research methods used in the discipline of political science and evaluate conclusions derived from these methods. Students will develop skills that include the ability to identify, locate and access sources of information, the ability to critically evaluate information, the ability to organize information to present a sound central idea in a logical order, and the ability to use the work of others accurately and ethically.
  4. Communication Skills: Students will demonstrate the necessary oral and written skills (English and Public Speaking) to convey their knowledge to others about political science or other appropriate topics.
  5. Ethics: Students will demonstrate familiarity with theorists and ethical frameworks that can help them make hard decisions, evaluate the policy decisions that public officials make on their behalf, and recognize the implications of these choices; Knowledge of reliable frameworks of principles will help students evaluate ambiguous facts and define behavior as “right” or “good.”


Capstone Requirement

Students in the Bachelor of Arts in the Political Science, Pre-Law Specialization program are required to complete the following two course sequence to graduate from this program:

  • PLSC 330 - Political Science Research Methods (3 cr)
  • PLSC 494 - Political Science Research (1 cr)

Estimated Completion Time:

Typically 4 years of full-time study

Total Credits Required:

128 credits minimum

Courses Required for the Major: (49 credits)

Additional requirements:

  • At least 21 PLSC credits must be at the 300 or 400 level, excluding 398/399, 487, and 494.

Free Electives (7 credits)

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