Pre-law at UMD
Students may declare themselves as pre-law to inform their advisor of their intention to pursue law school and be advised appropriately. When students reach 45 credits they will declare their major. The pre-law program at UMD is housed within the Political Science Department.
Admission to law school requires a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree or its equivalent. Well-balanced Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Business Administration programs are accepted as the equivalent of the B.A. degree by most law schools.
Although law schools do not recommend any particular major any current major will provide potential pre-law students with a well-rounded education. Students are advised to plan a broad undergraduate degree. See an example of a sample plan below. Electives should be chosen in areas outside the major field to develop and demonstrate multiple competencies in varying subjects and methods.
Whatever the specialty, a professional career in law requires the communication of ideas and information through words. Success in law school, as well as in subsequent professional practice, depends to a great extent on the capacity for effective writing and speaking. Therefore, students are encouraged to take courses that require considerable reading, writing, and independent thinking, and they should develop through coursework or activities their capacity for expressing themselves verbally.
Advisement from the UMD program highlight key courses all students interested in prelaw should take:
Year 1 - POL 1011 American Government and Politics, POL 1610 Intro to Political Theory
Year 2 - POL 1800 Mock Trial, PHIL 1018 Logic and/or PHIL 1008 Critical Thinking
Year 3 - fall: POL 3150 American Constitutional Law I, spring: POL 3151 American Constitutional Law II
In addition here is a a four year sample plan outlining a declared Political Science major with an American Indian Studies minor: