Pre-Law Majors: Requirements and Program Options

Learn about programs for pre-law majors. Get information on bachelor's degrees, course requirements and licensure requirements to make an informed decision about your education.

View 8 Popular Schools »

Pre-Law Majors and Programs

The American Bar Association (ABA) does not recommend that aspiring lawyers select a particular undergraduate major. Rather, it encourages undergraduates to select majors that interest them, challenge them and help them develop skills that can enable them to succeed in law school. These skills include verbal and written communication, analytical thinking, critical reading, research and time management.

Although some schools offer majors such as pre-law studies, pre-law programs are commonly offered as non-major, pre-professional tracks that students can enroll in while concurrently pursuing a bachelor's degree. Majors declared by pre-law students have traditionally included history, political science and English, though other majors that meet the skills criteria described in the previous paragraph are acceptable. Program advisors typically coordinate with students to assist them with selecting a major and designing a curriculum focused on the development of key skills.

Undergraduate degree programs that offer a pre-law major typically incorporate a cross-disciplinary curriculum that can assist students in developing the skills that will help them pass the LSAT examination and succeed in law school. Some pre-law programs deliver courses online as well as onsite.

Education Prerequisites

College admission requirements typically include a high school diploma or GED. Some may also require taking placement exams. Certain colleges require applicants to have completed rigorous college-prep courses. Additionally, pre-law programs may require applicants to first complete specific lower-division coursework.

Course Topics

Pre-law students are exposed to both general studies courses and law-related courses. Course subjects may include the following:

  • Legal writing
  • Negotiation and dispute resolution
  • Legal analysis
  • American politics
  • Constitutional law
  • Civil rights
  • Criminology
  • Economics

Continuing Education Information

After completing a pre-law program, you can pursue entry-level careers that require analytical and critical thinking skills, but if you seek to become an attorney, it's important to realize that a pre-law major is only the first step. Graduates of pre-law programs typically seek admission to an ABA-accredited law school to obtain the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree.

Following law school, many individuals seek state licensure to practice law. To apply for state licensure, individuals are required to meet the educational requirements, pass the state bar exam and complete other state requirements, such as passing an ethics exam. Alternatively, graduates may continue their educations by pursuing a related graduate degree, such as a Master of Law (LL.M.) or Master of Science of Law (JSM).

Popular Career Options

Once you've met the education and licensing requirements to become a practicing attorney, you might pursue one of the following positions:

  • Patent lawyer
  • Prosecutor
  • Public defender
  • House counsel
Show me popular schools

Related to Pre-law Majors

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular

The Most Popular College Majors Video

Top Schools for Pre-Law

Learn about the academic programs that can help pre-law students begin preparing for careers as licensed attorneys. Find...

Online Pre-Law Schools: How to Choose

Students may choose among many different types of undergraduate degree programs to prepare them for law school, as long as the...

Online Pre-Law Degree Program Information

A pre-law degree program prepares students to work in politics, the legislature or private law firms. With additional study, a...

Online Pre-Law Courses and Classes Overview

Aspiring law students can earn degrees in any field. However, there are specific law-related courses at the undergraduate...

Salary and Job Info for a Bachelors Degree in Law

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (16)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (6)
    • Georgia (5)
    • Illinois (7)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Missouri (2)
    • North Carolina (2)
    • New Jersey (3)
    • Nevada (1)
    • New York (2)
    • Ohio (4)
    • Oklahoma (1)
    • Oregon (1)
    • Pennsylvania (4)
    • Tennessee (2)
    • Texas (7)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (3)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your classroom preference?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Currently not accepting applications from Texas residents
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Which subject are you interested in?

  • School locations:
    • Georgia (3 campuses)
    • Illinois (1 campus)
    • Pennsylvania (2)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    What year did you graduate from high school?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants must have completed 12 college credits
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • California (17 campuses)
    • Washington (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Copyright