Skip to main content.
UMassD overlooking quad towards LARTS

Philosophy Pre-Law

The pre-law concentration in the philosophy (BA) major provides students the opportunity to prepare for the law school entrance exams, law school applications, and legal careers. Philosophy majors who know they want to pursue a career in law may add a pre-law concentration to their degree to add additional focus on legal studies and entrance exam preparation in their coursework while requiring the same number of credits as the regular philosophy major.

Your courses will focus on philosophical proficiency, critical analysis, legal reasoning integration, effective communication, and ethical sensitivity. A background in law prepares you not only for the practice of law, but also for rewarding careers in advocacy, business, and education.

Students interested in law school or legal careers may also explore the political science major with a pre-law concentration, or a minor in legal studies.

Our curriculum focuses on four areas:

  • moral, social, or political philosophy
  • history of philosophy
  • metaphysics and epistemology
  • critical philosophy

For the major, you'll complete 33 credits, consisting of five core courses and electives from the above areas for an overall total of 120 credits.

Core courses

Pre-law students take the same foundation courses as other PHL majors (18 Credits)

  • PHL 110: Principles of Critical Thinking (3 credits)
  • One 3-credit course from moral, social, or political philosophy
  • One 3-credit course from history of philosophy
  • One 3-credit course from metaphysics and epistemology
  • One 3-credit course from critical philosophy
  • PHL 409: Seminar 3-Credit Course

Philosophy majors with a pre-law concentration will complete two required courses (6 credits) and three electives (9 credits).

Pre-law required courses

  • LEG 201: Introduction to Legal Studies (3 credits)
  • PHL 215: Introduction to Ethics (3 credits)

Pre-law electives

One course from each of the following categories:

  • Advanced reasoning (ex: PHL 301: Theories of Knowledge)
  • Ethical inquiry (ex: PHL 331: Ethics and Public Policy)
  • Communication skills (ex: LEG 298: Legal Studies in Practice)

Enrollment in the 3+3 joint degree program with UMass Law offers an accelerated pathway to an undergraduate and law degree, enabling qualifying students to substitute the first year of law school for the final year of their undergraduate program, thereby earning both a bachelor’s degree from UMass Dartmouth and a Juris Doctor from UMass Law in six rather than seven years.

UMassD advantages

  • Pre-law advising: Receive advising on which courses to take to prepare for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and law school.
  • 3+3 Law degree: UMass Law’s accelerated program allows you to receive both an undergraduate degree and a law degree in 6 rather than 7 years. In your fourth year, you would matriculate at UMass Law as a first-year law student.
  • Get involved by joining the Philosophy Association and our chapter of Phi Sigma Tau, the Philosophy Honors Society
  • Join faculty in their research or consider becoming a tutor for your peers.

Philosophy Pre-Law faculty

Jennifer Mulnix Profile Picture
Jennifer Mulnix, PhD
Picture of Keota Fields black and white image
Keota Fields, PhD
Maureen Eckert
Maureen Eckert, PhD
Timothy Nulty, PhD
Back to top of screen