Pre-Law Degree

Psychology and Social Science Bachelor’s Degree Programs

As a pre-law major at BVU, you’ll gain a competitive edge through engaging courses taught by expert faculty, co-curricular activities, internships, leadership opportunities, and unique professional development experiences. BVU’s pre-law school program emphasizes not only substantive knowledge of the law, but develops the skills most important to success in law school including logical and analytical reasoning, research, critical thinking, and communication skills.

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Take Me To

Why should I earn a pre-law degree?

Prestigious Connections

Prepare for law school at one of the only institutions in the country to have a dedicated legal studies track. Take advantage of partnerships with the University of Iowa College of Law and Creighton University School of Law.


Pre-law students complete a credit-bearing Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and a mock trial preparation course.

Accelerated Options

The “3+3” program allows you to finish your bachelor’s and graduate law degree in less time with a smoother transition to post-graduate coursework. 

What I Can Do With a Pre-Law Degree

  • Law school or graduate school
  • Law offices
  • Government agencies or public-sector jobs
  • Non-profit organizations or private businesses
  • Political campaigns

    On Campus

    On Campus

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    Why pursue pre-law studies at BVU?

    Dedicated Professors

    A dedicated pre-law advisor assists you as you prepare for law school or professional life.

    100% Acceptance

    BVU’s pre-law students who receive faculty recommendations have a 100 percent law school acceptance rate.

    Dual Degree Programs

    Qualified students can take advantage of BVU’s “3+3” Accelerated Entry to Law School Program. In this program, students can apply for admission to law school with one of BVU’s partner institutions and earn both their Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor in six years.

    Past Internships for Pre-Law Students

    • Iowa Secretary of State
    • Iowa District Court
    • U.S. House of Representatives
    • Law firms
    • Government agencies

    Job Placements of Pre-Law Graduates

    • Assistant legal counsel to Wisconsin governor  
    • United States congressional staff
    • United States Department of Defense staff      
    • County attorneys
    • Political Campaigns

    Past Graduate School Placements

    • University of Iowa
    • Wake Forest University
    • Syracuse University
    • University of Kentucky
    • Creighton University

    Internships in Washington, D.C.

    BVU has a long-standing relationship with The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, which is an organization that matches students with internships in Washington, D.C. The Washington Center has placed BVU pre-law majors in the White House, the U.S. Congress, law firms, policy think tanks, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and various law enforcement agencies.

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    Join a Welcoming Community.
    Share Remarkable Experiences.

    TAYLOR LOY, Class of 2019

    Taylor acquired a wealth of hands-on experience when she interned with the Buena Vista County Attorney’s Office. Her primary responsibilities were to prepare the weekly magistrate court docket, review police reports and witness testimony, and conduct legal research in preparation for trial. Today Taylor is exploring summer internship and clerkship opportunities to further hone her skills as an aspiring attorney.

    I gained a better understanding of what a prosecutor does on a day-to-day basis, and how to navigate some of the legal databases currently in use.

    Pre-Law Courses

    • Major in Political Science - Legal Studies Track (40 Credit Hours)

      Required support work

      • PSCN 110 Introduction to American Government
      • PSCN 115 Introduction to Politics
      • PHIL 130 Logic

      Legal Studies Core

      • PSCN 205 Introduction to Political Philosophy
      • PSCN 245 Introduction to American Law
      • PSCN 370 Legal Research and Writing
      • PSCN 400 Pre-Professional Seminar
      • PSCN 401 LSAT Preparation
      • PSCN 460 Constitutional Law
      • PSPA 320 State and Local Politics OR PSPA 360 Introduction to Public Affairs


      Complete Option A, B, or C

      Option A (choose four)

      • CRIM 340 Criminal Law OR CRIM 371 Criminal Procedure
      • MGMT 315 Business Law I
      • PSCN 240 Judicial Process
      • PSCN 465 Civil Liberties
      • PSCN 485 Special Topics in Political Science
      • PSCN 495 Political Science Internship
      • PSCN or PSPA course at 300 level or higher not previously completed to satisfy a PSCN requirement

      Option B

      • PSCN 490 Washington Center Internship Program

      Option C

      This option is available to students in the “3+3” Accelerated Law School Entry dual degree program.

      Electives (choose two)

      • CRIM 340 Criminal Law OR CRIM 371 Criminal Procedure
      • MGMT 315 Business Law I
      • PSCN 465 Civil Liberties
      • PSCN 495 Political Science Internship
      • PSCN or PSPA course at 300 level or higher not previously completed to satisfy a PSCN requirement

      AND admission to the "3+3" Accelerated Law School Entry Program & successful completion of the first year of full-time study in partner law school's Juris Doctor program.

      Buena Vista University 3+3 partners include the University of Iowa College of Law and Creighton University
      School of Law (“partner law schools”). Eligibility for the “3+3” Accelerated Law School Entry Program is
      contingent on satisfaction of the following criteria:

      • ACT of 24 (or above) or SAT of 1110 (or above) at time of admission to BVU
      • Successful completion of:
      • A minimum of 98 credit hours
      • the Legal Studies Track – “Support Work,” “Core Courses,” and “Electives”
      • BVU Foundations of Collegiate Learning and Liberal Arts Core requirements and IDST 400
      • Favorable recommendation from BVU’s designated Pre-Law Advisor.
      • Successful admission to a partner law school.
      • Successful completion of one year of full-time study (30 semester hours) in the partner law school’s Juris Doctor program

      A full description of the dual degree program is available from BVU’s designated pre-law advisor and in the academic catalog.

    Financial Aid & Scholarships

    We’ll help you figure out your options for financial assistance and possible scholarships.

    Learn More

    Pre-Law Faculty

    Our instructors are committed to helping you build the future of Iowa and beyond.

    See Our Faculty

    Transfer Your Credits

    Do you have previously earned credits or an associate degree? BVU accepts most —if not all — of your credits so you don’t have to retake courses.

    View Course Equivalencies

    Earn a Master’s Degree Faster with Our Accelerated Program

    With BVU's Plus One program, you can earn your special education, teaching English as a second language, or organizational leadership master's within one year of graduating with your bachelor’s degree. 

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