For those students who are planning to enter law school, it is strongly recommended to double major in political science and philosophy. The Department of History and Government also offers this pre-law certificate program and provides a full range of counseling services in preparation for law school. The pre-law certificate offers a specific series of courses intended to prepare students for both the LSAT and law school. The pre-law certificate is issued by the Office of the University Registrar upon student request and completion of the below courses. Students can also receive active advice for the LSAT examination.
Certificate Requirements (36 units)
Lower Division Requirements
The course provides an introductory overview of the American political system. It begins with a discussion of the principles of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights and an examination of their impact on the country. It also covers the avenues and means of democratic citizenship and political influence in American politics. The course further examines the major political institutions in the United States: Congress, Presidency, Bureaucracy, and Courts. In order to assess the impact of government on society, the course concludes with an exploration of public policy. (Meets state requirement in United States Constitution and California Government.) (3 units; Fall/Spring)
Mitchell, Joel Scot
|01/09/2023||TTh||8:45 AM - 10:15 AM||Yeager Center B111|
Mannion, Trevor Vincent
|01/09/2023||MWF||9:30 AM - 10:30 AM||Yeager Center B112|
This course studies the place and responsibilities of state and local governments in the United States and how they relate with other units of government. This includes an assessment of the citizenship and participation in state and local politics, both at the individual and collective level; and then an examination of state political institutions, such as governors, state legislatures, state courts, and administration. The course also covers city and county governments, and other local units of government. Although it is comparative, special attention is given to California politics. (3 units; Fall/Spring & OPS)
Groves, Beth A.
|01/09/2023||MWF||8:15 AM - 9:15 AM||Yeager Center B221|
Upper Division Requirements
This course examines the place and impact of executive agencies on the formation and implementation of administrative law and regulation in the United States. This includes an overview of the administrative process, a discussion of administrative power, and bureaucratic organization. The course then examines the steps, stages, and participants of the administrative process, such as delegation of authority, administrative rule making, agency adjudication, and judicial review. The course concludes with a discussion of tort liability and sovereign immunity, the relationship between the bureaucracy and the other branches, and administrative reform. (Spring even years & OPS; 3 units).
A systematized study of the canons and criteria of validity in thought and its rational expression by considering the processes of reasoning and inference with applications in propositional logic, natural deduction, predicate logic, and induction. Prerequisite: PHI 213 or WLD 181. (3 units; Fall)
Leonard, Matthew J
|09/05/2023||TTh||2:00 PM - 3:30 PM||Health Science Campus M260|
This course is an appraisal of the major metaethical positions within Western philosophy such as deontological, utilitarian, and virtue ethics in light of the Christian worldview for the purpose of analyzing and synthesizing theories regarding human conduct. Attention is given to major figures in the history of ethics as well as the nature of ethical language and the concept of value. Prerequisite: PHI 213 or WLD 181. (3 units; Fall, even years)
Cochran, Gregory C.
|09/05/2023||TTh||12:15 PM - 1:45 PM||Yeager Center B219|
An exploration of the application of various metaethical theories to ethical questions and issues that arise in various arenas of life. The study involves both the examination of methods as well as cases. (3 units; Fall, odd years)
This course is designed to examine the role and function of narrative in law, and the role and function of law in major works of literature, to understand better both law and literature. (3 units; Fall, odd years)
Students enrolled in this course will gain the professional experience valued by employers by utilizing knowledge acquired as Political Science majors in volunteer or paid internship positions. Students will perform relevant tasks under the direction of the Internship Site Supervisor. Students will identify and explore connections between their internship experiences and academic coursework. (This course does not meet the POL general education requirement.) Prerequisites: Permission of Department Chair and Junior/Senior status. (1-3 units; Fall/Spring/Summer)
McHorney, Chris A.
|01/09/2023||-||Other Non-Site Locations OTHR|
The course facilitates an understanding of the Constitution and its relationship to the three branches of government and their functions and a greater appreciation of the role of the court in affecting their balances. Included aspects of study are the court system, judicial review, presidential power, Congress and commerce, Federalism, contracts, due process, and civil liberties. (3 units; Fall, even years)
Complete 6 upper division elective units from the following:
This course is a study of the basic questions regarding reality as they have developed within Western philosophy. The study will examine such topics as matter, form, substance, and existence, and such movements as idealism, nominalism, realism, and materialism. Prerequisite: PHI 213 or WLD 181. (3 units; Spring, even years)
This course examines the origin of Western political, social, and legal thought in order to understand the present through the great political works of the past. It begins in ancient Greece in early democratic Athens and moves through Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. From there, the course explores classical Rome, focusing on Polybius and Cicero. Since the advent of Christianity shapes the development of medieval political thought, the political thought of St. Augustine, John of Salisbury, St. Thomas Aquinas, Marsilio of Padua, Dante, and Thomas More are discussed. (3 units; Fall, odd years)
This course entails a comparative study of modern social, legal, and political philosophy, from the Renaissance toward the present by focusing on the great works of the Western traditions, including Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Montesqueie, Kant, Hegel, Bentham, Marx, Mill. The course examines the relationship between these various political philosophers and the modern political world. (3 units; Spring, even years)
This course examines 20th century responses to modernity and its political and social theories. It focuses on continental philosophers and relates their ideas to contemporary society and politics. It begins with the Frankfurt School of critical theory and its criticisms of modern culture, and then moves from Nietzschean and Heideggerian thought to the hermeneutic theory of Gadamer and Ricoeur. After this, the course assesses the political relevance of the poststructuralism of Foucault, Derrida, and Lyotard. It concludes with Habermas' discourse ethics and deliberative democracy. (3 units; Spring, odd years)
Complete one course from the following that is not included in the student’s general education core curriculum:
An intensive study of a particular area of world literature in translation (e.g., Greek drama, or the literature of Existentialism). See the instructor for the area currently being studied. May be offered as a dual-language topic such as Latin American authors. Prerequisite: ENG 123. (3 units; As offered & OPS)
The literature of women and ethnic minorities. Recommended for Liberal Studies majors. At least one literature survey course recommended. Prerequisite: ENG 123. (3 units; Spring & OPS)
Lu, James J.
|01/09/2023||MWF||10:45 AM - 11:45 AM||James Complex 192|
The Metaphysical and cavalier Poets, and the prose of John Milton, in historical context. Prerequisite: ENG 123. (3 units; Fall, odd years)
Schneider, Thomas R.
|09/05/2023||MWF||10:45 AM - 11:45 AM||TBA|
Neoclassical, Romantic, and Victorian literature in historical context. Prerequisite: ENG 123. (3 units; As offered & OPS)
American literature and thought, 1800-1914, with emphasis on Poe, Hawthorne, Emerson, Dickinson, Douglass, Whitman, Melville, Stowe, and Twain. Prerequisite: ENG 123. (3 units; Spring, odd years)
|01/09/2023||MW||1:15 PM - 2:15 PM||James Complex ONLN|
Selected poems and plays are studied in their historical contexts. A variety of critical approaches are incorporated. Includes comedies, history plays, and tragedies. Prerequisite: ENG 123. (3 units; Fall & OPS)
|09/05/2023||M||4:00 PM - 7:00 PM||Yeager Center|
Major fiction and poetry from 1900 to World War II. Prerequisite: ENG 123. (3 units; Fall, even years, & OPS)
Major fiction and poetry from World War II to the present. Prerequisite: ENG 123. (3 units; Spring, even years)
Prose, fiction, poetry, and drama from 1890 to the present, with emphasis on the Modernist writers. Prerequisite: ENG 123. (3 units; Spring, even years)