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Political Science

Detroit Mercy Students participate in Moot Court as Supreme Court Justices

Political Science and Legal Careers:
Be a Leader and a Force for Change

Our world is made up of diverse and complex cultures and ideologies that create the foundation for our membership in the human polity.  Understanding the rules and relationships that govern societies and learning to research and to ask the questions that serve as the catalyst for change, allow you to see the application of theory in the real world.

Students interested in pursuing a legal career will find that University of Detroit Mercy's political science and pre-law programs emphasize the development of skills, such as critical thinking and writing, necessary for entering and completing law school.

Whether you are pursuing a major, minor or certificate, our programs will help to position you for success with both theory and practice of legal concepts and an understanding of political science. Special opportunities such as our two student organizations, internships in Washington, D.C., moot court simulations and LSAT test preparation all work to complement your Detroit Mercy student experience and prepare you well for your future.

Pre-Law Program

University of Detroit Mercy's Pre-Law Program provides you with a challenging curriculum that will create a solid foundation in your understanding of legal terminology, conducting legal research, writing legal briefs and constructing logical legal arguments.

In addition, you will have a variety of opportunities to receive first-hand knowledge for law-related activities. For example, you will be able to participate in moot court and play various roles from judge to jury and can experience an actual law class simulation from instructors at Detroit Mercy Law.

This program pairs well with diverse majors, including political science, philosophy, English and economics. Once in the program, you are assigned to an advisor from Detroit Mercy's Pre-Law Committee.

Law Day

Law Day is an annual event each Fall semester sponsored by the Pre-Law Committee and co-sponsored by Pi Sigma Alpha and Phi Alpha Delta. The event features a sample LSAT test preparation class, a Moot Court simulation, tables with law school admissions counselors from many schools and a question and answer panel of law school admissions staff.

The day's events typically provide you with the opportunity to:

  • Speak with representatives from law schools around the country;
  • Watch a moot court trial;
  • Take a practice LSAT exam; and
  • Learn from a question/answer panel discussion from law school admissions counselors.

Law Day

Undergraduate Programs

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    Major - Political Science

    Degree: Bachelor of Arts
    Major: Political Science

    University of Detroit Mercy's Bachelor of Arts with a major in political science offers you a flexible program organized around the various subfields of political science but also allows substantial concentration in an area of personal interest.

    In addition, if you are interested in pursuing a legal career, Detroit Mercy's political science major emphasizes the development of skills, such as critical thinking and writing, necessary for entering and completing law school. You may also consider completing Detroit Mercy's legal studies certificate to supplement your interest in law.

    To obtain this undergraduate degree, the student must fulfill the requirements of the University core curriculum, the requirements for the 33-credit-hour program major and have completed a minimum of 126 credit hours.

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    Major - Legal Administration

    University of Detroit Mercy's Bachelor of Arts with a major in legal administration is designed to assist you with acquiring the skills necessary to manage the complex mixture of personnel, technology and business within a law office.

    To obtain this undergraduate degree, the student must fulfill the requirements of the University core curriculum, the requirements for the 45-credit-hour program major and have completed a minimum of 126 credit hours.

  •  

    Minor - Political Science

    University of Detroit Mercy's 18-credit minor in political science provides you with a flexible program that will allow a broad understanding of the various aspects of the discipline. The program provides the basic foundation in the introductory class followed by a sampling of the subfields.

     
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    Certificate - Legal Studies

    University of Detroit Mercy's Legal Studies Certificate curriculum was developed with guidance from the University's Pre-Law Committee.  The 24-credit certificate pairs well with many diverse majors and is helpful to students pursuing a course of pre-law.

Post-Degree

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    Legal Assistant Certificate

    Gainful Employment Disclosure
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    disclosure statement.

    Program: Legal Assistant Certificate
    Credit Hours: 33

    University of Detroit Mercy's Legal Assistant Certificate program is offered for students who have already obtained a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. The certificate program requires completion of 33 credit hours.

Student Opportunities

Political Science Association

The Political Science Association/Pi Sigma Alpha (P.S.A.) is a non-partisan organization, which fosters political dialogue within the University of Detroit Mercy community. Pi Sigma Alpha, also known as the National Political Science Honor Society, is the only honor society for college students studying political science and government in the country.  During election years, the P.S.A. actively registers students, encourages voting and assists in polling.

Pi Sigma Alpha

Phi Alpha Delta

Phi Alpha Delta is a professional fraternity, otherwise known as the Pre-Law Club. The fraternity brings understanding and information to pre-law students. Phi Alpha Delta is an active organization focused on giving students the resources to talk with different law schools. Phi Alpha Delta also brings a variety of speakers on campus to discuss preparations for the LSAT, what is to be expected in law school and careers in law.

Phi Alpha Delta

Washington Center Program

The Washington Center Program consists of an internship, an academic class and a leadership forum. Programs are available for Summer, Fall and Winter semesters. More than 1,000 internship opportunities are available at organizations including the Library of Congress, the Federal Trade Commission, C-SPAN and the National Institutes of Health. All students are also required to take one of 35 academic courses and participate in the leadership forum.

Washington Center Program

Learning Objectives & Goals

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    Political Science Major

    Graduates of the program will:

    1. Understand the fundamental importance of membership in the human polity (comprehension).

    2. Identify the major ideas and theories and their application to political movements, structures, and institutions in the United States and other countries (empirical).

    3. Develop skills necessary to communicate and evaluate the implications of qualitative and quantitative information relevant to the study and practice of politics (applied).

    4. Develop the ability to make connections between theory and practice, between global and local events, and between political science and other disciplines (analytical/integrative).

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    Legal Administration Major

    Graduates of the program will:

    1. Understand the fundamental importance of the role of law in the political system (comprehension).

    2. Identify the major ideas and theories of the legal system as it pertains to the structures and institutions in the United States and other countries (empirical).

    3. Develop skills necessary to communicate and evaluate legal arguments (applied).

    4. Demonstrate an ability to apply their legal knowledge in an applied environment (applied).

    5. Demonstrate an ability to do legal research employing standard legal research tools including Westlaw and Lexis Nexis (empirical).

    6. Develop the ability to gather and analyze case law and make connections between theory and practice, between global and local events, and between legal studies and other disciplines (analytical/integrative).

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    Political Science Minor

    Graduates of the program will:

    1. Understand the fundamental importance of membership in the human polity (comprehension).

    2. Identify the major ideas and theories and their application to political movements, structures and institutions in the United States and other countries (empirical).

    3. Develop the skills necessary to communicate and evaluate the implications of qualitative and quantitative information relevant to the study and practice of politics (applied).

    4. Develop the ability to make connections between theory and practice, between global and local events, and between political science and other disciplines (analytical/integrative).

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    Legal Studies Certificate

    Graduates of the program will:

    1. Demonstrate an ability to apply their legal knowledge of legal studies in an applied environment (applied).

    2. Demonstrate an ability to perform legal research using standard accepted legal software tools such as Westlaw and Lexis Nexis (analytical/integrative).

    3. Express legal terminology succinctly and professionally both in writing and orally.

    4. Demonstrate an ability to write legal briefs including case briefs and attorney briefs (applied).

    5. Understand the fundamental importance of the role of law in the political system (comprehension).

    6. Develop the critical thinking skills to organize logical legal arguments.

Meet Our Faculty

Stephen Manning, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Political Science, Director of the Pre-Law Program and Department Chair

Robert S. Berg, J.D.
Associate Professor of Political Science

Donald Burkholder, Ph.D.
Retired Associate Professor of Political Science, Detroit Mercy Truman Scholarship Representative and Arbitrator

Genevieve Meyers, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Political Science

Alex Zamalin, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Political Science and Director of the African American Studies Program


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