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Prelaw Studies Certificate Program

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Prelaw Advisor, Stephen N. Bretsen

Wheaton College offers a certificate program in Prelaw Studies. This is an interdisciplinary program designed to provide students with a concentration of course work that supports the future study and practice of law. The requirements of the certificate are 24 hours from three groupings: (Group 1—Core Requirements) The required core courses are PSCI 271 Introduction to Law (2) and a four-hour internship. The internship will be approved for academic credit and administered through the student's major department but must be related to the field of law and approved by the Prelaw Advisor. If the student’s major department is unwilling to approve and administer the internship, the Prelaw Advisor may do so for academic credit outside the student’s major department. (Group 2—Law-Related Courses) A total of ten elective hours must be taken from an approved group of law-related courses. Course work must be elected from at least two departments. (Group 3—Supporting Elective Courses) A total of eight elective hours must be taken from an approved list of supporting courses. Course work must be elected from at least two departments, one of which is not elected under Group 2, Law-Related Courses. The required and approved elective courses are as follows, with relevant "topics in…" courses considered on a case-by-case basis:

Core Courses Required (Six hours total)

                PSCI 271 Introduction to Law (2)

                Major Department 496 Internship (4) or LAW 496 Prelaw Internship (4)


Law-Related Elective Courses (From at least two departments, ten hours total):

                B EC 352 Business Law (2)

                IR 372 International Law (2)

                PHIL 318 Philosophy of Law (2)

                PSCI 341 Church & State (2)

                PSCI 348 American Political Thought (4)

                PSCI 381 Constitutional Law (4)

                PSCI 387 Law and Religion (4)

                SOC 367 Crime and Delinquency (4)


Supporting Elective Courses (From at least two departments, one of which is not elected under Law-Related Courses, eight hours total):

                COMM 252 Argumentation and Debate (4)

                COMM 353 Advanced Speech Performance (4)

                COMM 362 Group Dynamics (2)

                COMM 363 Persuasion (4)

                B EC 226 or 227 Principles of Accounting I or II (4)

                B EC 328x Business Ethics (2)

                ENGW 214 Discursive Writing (2)

                HIST 351 or 352 American History (4)

                HIST 377 British History to 1688 (4)

                HIST 455 American Urban History (4)

                HIST 483 History of Christianity in North America (4)

                PHIL 243 Introduction to Logic (2)

                PHIL 494-3 Ethical Theory (4)

                PSCI 135 American Politics and Government (4)

                PSCI 345 Between Athens and Jerusalem: Classical and Medieval Political Thought (4)

                PSCI 346 Renaissance and Modern Political Philosophy (4)

                SOC 337 Racial and Ethnic Relations (4)

                SOC 356 The Family (4)

                SOC 376 Sociological Theory (4)


LAW 496. PreLaw Internship. General elective credit for an internship with a practicing legal professional. Prerequisites: (i) junior or senior standing; (ii) a minimum of 16 hours of courses in the student's department major and 8 hours of required or elective courses toward the Prelaw Studies Certificate; (iii) the internship is for the Prelaw Studies Certificate, and the student is unable to secure approval for a Major Department 496 Internship; and (iv) approval of the Pre-Law Advisor. Graded pass/fail. (4)

Revision Date: June 1, 2015



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Wheaton College

501 College Ave.

Wheaton, IL 60187


(630) 752-5000