Bentley Hall with Annex

Pre-Law Studies 

Pre-Law Studies

Political Science has a well deserved reputation as the preeminent field of study for students considering legal education. The emphasis on understanding the nature and role of law in our public lives, on critical thinking about political issues and institutions, and on learning to express our thought clearly on these matters, make a degree in Political Science an excellent gateway to the study of law. Whether your career goals are in public leadership, litigation, law enforcement, private practice, or even if you are not really sure what they are, we invite you to consider our program as a place to work and learn.

Along with a number of courses that specifically focus on the law, the Department of Political Science offers a broad array of related classes on politics and the different forms and functions of government. It also offers extensive for credit internships in professional lega environments, pre-law advising, a thriving majors association and connections to a network of campus resources, for the prospective student of law. With a total faculty of more than twenty and more than a half dozen professors involved in studying and teaching about different aspects of our legal environment, we have the resources to help you get what you need.


A legal education is valuable in a wide variety of careers. In addition to traditional law (serving as a prosecutor or dealing with individual and private sector clients) attorneys work as legislative aides, political activists, business executives, reporters, political appointees, educators, policy analysts, and public officials. Anyone considering law school will want to explore the full range of careers open to those qualified to practice law.

The Pre-Law Curriculum

  • A minimum of 30 hours in Political Science course work
  • No more than one course at the l000 level (POLS 1600-Introduction to Politics recommend for majors) (3 hours)
  • POLS 2700-Political Theory (3 hours)
  • POLS 2200-The Politics of Law (3 hours)
  • Either POLS 2300-Comparative Politics or POLS 2500 International Relations (3 hours)
  • Minimum of 18 hours of 3000/4000 level - one of six course courses must be be: POLS 4010, 4015, 4040, 4210, 4550, 4555, 4902, 4932 or 4942
  •  No more than 3 hours of POLS 4910, 4911, or 4961 to course for Political Science major
  • No more than 6 hours of POLS 4900, 4901, 4902, 4903, 4904, 4905, 4941, 4942, 4943, 4943, 4945, 4931, 4933,4934 or 4935 will course for Political Science major
Program requirements are subject to change. The information provided here may not apply to some students. Please consult your catalog and DARS report.

If you are considering law school, you do not have to wait until your senior year to prepare. You can begin in your freshman year, with your course selection.

The following timetable is one way to prepare. You can modify this to suit your own situation. Above all, remember that this is advice, and you are responsible for meeting graduation requirements, admission deadlines, etc.

Freshman & Sophomores
Selecting Courses at OU
Researching Law Schools
LSAT Registration

Thinking ahead to the LSAT
LSDAS Registration
Law School Applications

More information can be found at the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) website, at

Pre-Law Advising

The Department of Political Science offers a pre-law advising service in order to provide the political science majors  with the help they need to prepare for law school throughout their years at Ohio University. Whether you are a pre-law major or not, you can attend pre-law events and visit law faculty so that you may learn more about law schools and legal careers.

  • Please, note if you are not a Political Science pre-law major you should contact an advisor within the department of your major

Pre-Law Faculty

Feel free to schedule a meeting and meet with one of the following pre-law advisors to discuss you plans at any stage of your OU career.

  • Susan Burgess, Ph.D. - Interim Pre-Law Advisor - 225 Bentley Annex - 740-597-1347 
  • Kathleen Sullivan, Ph.D. - Pre-Law Advisor (after fall 2012-13) - 233 Bentley Annex - 740-597-1382