Political Science Major or Minor

Which will you pick

Bachelor of Arts

  • political science major
  • legal administration major

Minor

  • political science

Certificates

  • legal studies
  • legal assistant (post degree)

Pre-Law Program

Power, Politics and Choice

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 UDM student experience and prepare you well for your future.

Student Opportunities

University of Detroit Mercy (UDM) offers two political science organizations for you to become more involved: Political Science Association (P.S.A) and Phi Alpha Delta (PAD). UDM also provides an opportunity for students who qualify to live and work in Washington, D.C. through The Washington Center Program.

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.  The P.S.A. brings a variety of political speakers to the University, with topics ranging from Russian economics to careers as lawyers or politicians. Also, during election years, the P.S.A. actively registers students, encourages voting, and assists in polling.

The P.S.A.'s involvement is as strong on campus as it is off campus. One of the group's most acknowledged activities is their participation in Model United Nations (MUN). Traveling to other cities such as Ashtabula, OH and Toronto, P.S.A. members compete individually as well as a team. MUN's are simulations that require hours of research, quick thinking, and powerful persuasion.

P.S.A. meets every Tuesday at 12:45 in room Briggs 126.

For more information, visit the national Pi Sigma Alpha website.

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. Off campus, the fraternity visits different law schools, sitting in on first year classes and talking with law school students and faculty.


Phi Alpha Delta meets every Thursday at 12:45 in room Briggs 126.

For more information visit the national Phi Alpha Delta website.

The Washington Center Program

The Washington Center Program consist of three main parts:

  • Internship
  • Academic class
  • Leadership Forum

Internships can occur in a wide variety of fields, including arts, business, media, politics, international affairs, legal affairs and science. There are more than 1,000 internship opportunities available. Examples include the Library of Congress, the Federal Trade Commission, C-SPAN, CNN, the White House, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the National Institutes of Health. 

All students, in addition to working at their internship, are required to take an academic course. Courses generally meet once a week for a 3-hour session. Students will have more than 35 courses to choose from and will apply for their top choices. Courses also range in topic, from courses like "A Taste of D.C.: Exploring Washington's Culture and Cuisine" to "Philosophy of Law, the Supreme Court and the U.S. Constitutional Tradition," to Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction." 

Students also participate in the Leadership Forum, which includes:

  • A series of lectures by speakers such as Congressmen, Ambassadors, and other leaders in the Washington D.C. arena
  • Meetings with a member of Congress and his or her Congressional staff
  • The development of a Civic Engagement Project in which you can help make a difference in an area that matters to you
  • Roundtable on Philanthropy and Social Responsibility
  • Small group activities such as workshops or panel discussions

At the end of their time in Washington D.C., students will develop a portfolio that helps show what they learned in their internship experience. 

Programs are available for Summer, Fall and Winter semesters. For more information, go to http://www.twc.edu.

Political Science | Legal Administration

Bachelor of Arts with a Major in 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 UDM's legal studies certificate to supplement your interest in law.

Degree Requirements

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

Requirements of the Major
33-credit hours

Required Courses

POL 1000 Introduction to Political Science 3 credits
POL 2100 American Politics 3 credits
POL 2600 Introduction to Comparative Politics OR 3 credits or
POL 2510 International Relations 3 credits
POL 3800 Elements of Political Thought
(or other approved theory course)
3 credits
POL 4990 Senior Seminar 3 credits
STA 2250 Statistics 3 credits
POL Political Science Electives 15 credits

Electives must be in an area of concentration. Some suggested areas include:
  • Judicial Studies and Law
  • American Studies and Theory
  • International and Comparative Politics
  • Public Administration

Please view the catalog for more detailed information about requirements for a major in political science.


Bachelor of Arts with a Major in 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.

Degree Requirements

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

Requirements of the Major
45-credit hours

Required Courses

LEGA 1100* Introduction to Law and Legal Terminology
3 credits
LEGA 1300 Litigation Skills I 3 credits
LEGA 2300 Family Law 3 credits
LEGA 2400 Real Estate Law 3 credits
LEGA 2520 Probate I (Estates and Trusts) 3 credits
LEGA 2650 Corporations and Business Organizations 3 credits
LEGA 2800* Legal Research and Analysis I 3 credits
LEGA 2810 Legal Research and Analysis II 3 credits
LAD 3120 Law Practice Management 3 credits
Electives from Area I 3 credits
Electives from Area II 15 credits

Please view the catalog for more detailed information about requirements for a major in legal administration.

Minor in Political Science

University of Detroit Mercy's 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. 

Requirements for the Minor
18-credit hours

Required Course

POL 1000 Introduction to Political Science 3 credits

An additional 15 credits of courses from the following subfields are also required:

  • American Politics
  • Comparative and International Relations
  • Political Theory
  • Judicial Politics

Please view the catalog for more detailed information about requirements for a minor in political science.

Legal Studies Certificate

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

Requirements
24 credits

Required Courses

LST 2000 Introduction to Legal Studies
(includes a legal research
skills component)
3 credits
POL 2100 American Politics 3 credits

You will also need:

  • At least one course from each of the following areas:
    • Skills for the Legal Profession
    • History and Content of the Law
    • Theoretical Foundations of Law
    • Law in Society
  • A capstone seminar
  • One elective
  • 10 hours of community service

Please view the catalog for more detailed information about requirements for a post graduate legal studies certificate.


Legal Assistant Certificate (Post Degree)

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. The required courses are as follows:

Certificate Requirements
33 credits

Required Courses

LEGA 1100 Introduction to Law and Legal Terminology 3 credits
LEGA 1300 Litigation Skills I 3 credits
LEGA 1310 Litigation Skills II and Ethics 3 credits
LEGA 2800 Legal Research and Analysis I 3 credits
LEGA 2810 Legal Research and Analysis II 3 credits
LAD 3120 Law Practice Management 3 credits
Any five additional legal specialty courses 15 credits

Please view the catalog for more detailed information about requirements for a post graduate legal assistant certificate.

Pre-Law Program

If you are interested in pursuing a career in law, 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 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

Save the Date!
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
University of Detroit Mercy

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
  • Learn from a question/answer panel discussion from law school admissions counselors

More information is available on our Law Day Website.

An Exciting Field of Study

Sociology explores how people interact with each other and how their behavior is shaped within the aspects of society such as communities, age, race, politics and religion. Although we are individuals, we are also social beings whose interaction with others shapes our life experiences, behaviors, attitudes and opportunities. By studying sociology, a student sharpens critical thinking skills, understand different points of view and see the world through distinct perspectives.

As a field of study, sociology is applicable to a diverse range of career paths whether it involve graduate studies and careers within corporations, social service agencies, educational institutions, government agencies, human services, health care, criminal justice or self-employment. The study of sociology serves to enhance self esteem, quality of life, and interpersonal relationships of individual students.

The following coures at University of Detroit Mercy provide a foundation, awareness and insight into the broader world in which we live:

SOC 1000
Introduction to Sociology
3 credits


SOC 1000 is a survey course which focuses upon interpersonal and group behavior in the contemporary world within the areas of:

  • sociology's history
  • theories and concepts
  • methods, and
  • research findings

SOC 2100
Cultural Anthropology
3 credits


SOC 2100 examines the nature of human adaptive systems as well as culture and its various aspects including social organization, technology, economics, religions and language as these are seen among selected cultures throughout the world.

The course also studies distinctive theoretical approaches and problems of cultural change.

For more information

Stephen Manning, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Director of the Pre-Law Program
313-993-1087
mannings@udmercy.edu

Need More Information BEFORE You Apply?

If you would like more information about the political science major or minor, legal assistant major, legal administration certificate or legal studies certificate, or the field of sociology, please use our contact form:

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Are You Ready to Apply?

To apply, please go to the UDM Admissions page:

http://www.udmercy.edu/apply/index.htm

Because our apply page needs to accommodate all of our applicants in the disciplines that UDM offers, it may seem a bit confusing at first. To help you navigate the admissions process, we encourage you to communicate with an admissions counselor by phone at 800-635-5020 or by email at admissions@udmercy.edu.