Many people decide to obtain a degree in political science for law school preparation. Not only is this a popular route, but the degree has helped applicants get accepted to law programs.
If you’re considering political science to help you prepare for law school, some stats and considerations can help you decide. Follow along to consider some of these figures and your overall degree options.
How Political Science Majors Perform on the LSAT
The Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) is one of two primary indicators that law schools use to admit students. And it’s often seen as more reliable than your GPA, given its consistency.
According to the American Institute of Physics Research Center (PDF), the average LSAT score in 2012 was 153.6. Political science majors had an average score of 154.3 and ranked in the top 10 for all majors.
When you extend data to include GPA, political science remains a top performer. In a look at 2013 law school matriculants by major, LSAT and undergraduate GPA from Professor Derek T. Muller of Pepperdine University School of Law, political science majors had a 155.2 on the LSAT and a 3.352 GPA on average. It again represented the most common major.
The Relevance of Political Science to Law School
The American Bar Association (ABA) outlines some of the most common core skills, values, knowledge and experience for students to focus on in order to prepare for law school:
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- Problem solving
- Critical reading
- Writing and editing
- Oral communication and listening
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- Organization and management
- Public service and promotion of justice
- Relationship-building and collaboration
- Background knowledge
- Exposure to the law
A number of these skills are highlights of a political science degree. You’ll receive preparation in the research and analytical skills that are vital for a legal education. And since the degree is so focused on the context of law, the systems that surround it and leadership within public service, it’s a strong fit.
If you decide to pursue a political science degree, you’ll get a lot of experience exercising critical thinking and communication skills that are foundational to your future law education.
Law School Degree Options
It’s possible to get accepted to law school with a wide range of majors.
Here’s the ABA’s take on selecting a major: “The ABA does not recommend any undergraduate majors or group of courses to prepare for a legal education. Students are admitted to law school from almost every academic discipline.”
It’s important that you select a major that interests you. Your application to law school will involve a close look at your LSAT and GPA figures, as well as your leadership experience, your reason for attending law school and your recommendations.
Perhaps political science is right for you and can allow you to enjoy your studies and build your application for law school. But most other majors can apply—you might choose accounting, business, psychology or some other subject of interest.
If you’re interested in a political science degree, you can earn this credential without making sacrifices to your work or personal schedule. Take a look at our online B.A. in Political Science to learn more.