Core Courses (9 credits required)
POLI 102: US Politics
POLI 311: Judicial Process & Policymaking
This course analyzes the structure and functions of the American judicial system with an emphasis on how courts work, how judges decide cases, and the political effects of judicial decision-making. Prerequisite: POLI 102 or permission of chair.
POLI 496: Legal Research
This workshop introduces skills needed for law school and legal work, such as: briefing cases, using legal sources and documents, and writing memoranda.
Electives with no Political Science requirements (3 credits)
POLI 215: Women and the Law
Using court cases, this course examines current developments in American law regarding the status and rights of women in the areas of employment, marriage and family, reproduction, sexuality and education.
POLI 307: International Law
This course provides an overview of the development of international law, the institutions involved, and landmark cases. It examines the role of the United Nations and the extent to which international law helps to guide and constrain behavior among the nations of the world. Prerequisite: POLI 110 or permission of Political Science Department Chair.
CJ305: Criminal Law*
This course provides students with an overview of criminal law with an emphasis on the major crimes under federal and state jurisdictions. Also emphasized are the concrete rules within the framework of doctrinal policies and principles, and doctrine itself within the web of jurisprudence, moral philosophy and everyday experiences. Hence, there is a detailed presentation of purposes and perspectives concerning criminal law and the principles of liability, as well as a host of concrete rules, all of which illustrate underlying themes. Prerequisites: CJ 111 and CJ 112.
CJ 325: Criminal Procedure*
This course examines the methods by which the criminal justice system functions. For example, it examines the law surrounding the arresting of suspects, the searching of premises and persons, the interrogation of suspects and the use of police lineups. Since many aspects of criminal procedure are regulated by the U.S. Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights, this course emphasizes federal constitutional criminal procedure. Prerequisites: CJ 111 and CJ 112.
CJ 340: Criminal Evidence*
The goal of this course is to familiarize students with the rules of evidence, which are most often directed to the courts and concern the admissibility of evidence at trial. Included is a discussion on burdens of proof, judicial notice, presumptions, inferences and stipulations, relevancy and materiality, witnesses, privileges, documentary and real evidence and the hearsay rule and its exceptions. Prerequisites: CJ 111 and CJ 112.
*CJ refers to courses offered through the Criminal Justice Department.
Electives with Political Science Prerequisites (3 credits)
POLI 306: Constitutional Law
This course examines the federal constitution, its organization and functions with emphasis on major judicial theories and the role of the Supreme Court using court cases. Prerequisite: POLI 102 or permission of the Political Science Department Chair.
POLI 313: Civil Liberties in the United States
This course analyzes the amendments to the federal constitution as they relate to the development of civil liberties in American society, with an emphasis on the First, Tenth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Prerequisite: POLI 102 or permission of the Political Science Department Chair.
POLI 491: Legal Writing
In this course students learn research and writing methods specific to the legal process, including applying the law to real and hypothetical situations. Students develop legal reasoning skills by analyzing legislation, debating legal issues, and assessing case law. Students organize and formulate two types of legal writing: a motion and a memorandum.
Legal Reasoning (3 credits)
Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing Skills. With approval of the Pre-Law Advisor or Department Chair, you may select a course that emphasizes these skills -- a course that may also fulfill your major requirements.