Law and Jurisprudence Minor


The Law and Jurisprudence minor (known colloquially as the "Pre-Law" minor) offers students a theoretical and practical introduction to law, legal reasoning, and a diverse array of legal subjects. Open to all majors, the Law and Jurisprudence minor is interdisciplinary, giving students the flexibility to choose from numerous law-related course offerings in Political Science, Criminology & Criminal Justice, History, and Philosophy, among other disciplines. Through a sequence of six courses, the Law and Jurisprudence minor is designed to ensure that students achieve core competencies, including:

  • Foundational knowledge about law, legal institutions, and legal methodology
  • Expertise in major areas of law and across a range of legal and policy issues
  • Proficiency in critical thinking, analysis of complex subject matter, and effective oral and written communication—skills that are essential in law and related disciplines
  • Demonstrated ability to examine and understand how legal rules affect individuals and groups in society, especially persons facing bias, discrimination, or oppression

The Law and Jurisprudence minor provides essential preparation for students considering law school or legal careers. Equally, the Law and Jurisprudence minor builds core competencies whose value is transferable to other fields of study, to varied careers, and to the duties of modern citizenship. 

Summary of Minor

The Law and Jurisprudence minor is an interdisciplinary minor requiring students to complete a total of six courses, with three of these courses chosen from the law-related courses in Political Science and the three remaining courses from other departments.

Course Requirements

The Law and Jurisprudence minor requires students to complete three law-related courses in Political Science—listed in Area One and Area Two below—and three law-related courses from outside the Political Science department—listed in Area Three below.

        Area One

  • POL 203—Introduction to Law (SS): this course is required for all Law and Jurisprudence minors.

        Area Two

        Law and Jurisprudence minors must complete two additional law-related Political Science courses, chosen from the options listed below.

  • POL 220—Women and the Law (SS) (CD)
  • POL 354—Constitutional Law (SS)
  • POL 355—Civil Liberties (SS)
  • POL 358—American Judicial Process (SS)
  • POL 386—International Law (SS)
  • POL 398—[Civil Rights (SS), Mental Health Law (SS), Healthcare Law and Policy (SS), and Environmental Law (SS), or another law-related topics course]

        Area Three

        Law and Jurisprudence minors must complete three law-related courses outside Political Science, chosen from the options listed below.         

  • CMS 395—Mass Communications Law (SS)
  • CRJ 265—Principles of Justice (SS)
  • CRJ 350—Criminal Law (SS)
  • CRJ 360—Criminal Procedure (SS)
  • CRJ 380—Sentencing (SS)
  • HIS 305—History of England to 1688 (H)
  • HIS 306—Modern Britain (H)
  • HIS 346—Black Freedom Movement (CD) (H)
  • PHI 300—Logic (H)
  • PHI 304—Social and Political Philosophy (H)
  • PHI 325—Philosophy of Law (H)
  • SPK 101—Public Speaking (AS) 

A special topics course on law-related issues may be substituted for one of the three required Area Three courses listed above. Substitutions must be approved in advance by the Director of the Pre-Law Advisement Program.

Additional Resources

Students may declare a minor in Law and Jurisprudence through myNU (the online form is available under the "Academics" tab). Declared Law and Jurisprudence minors gain access to Niagara's Pre-Law Canvas site, where students can learn about:

  • guest speakers from the legal community
  • legal internships and job opportunities
  • course offerings in Law and Jurisprudence
  • updates from Prof. Hinkley on developments in the law
  • the Pre-Law Student Association's meetings and activities—including the club's annual visit to the U.S. Supreme Court
  • induction into Phi Delta Phi, the International Legal Honor Society
  • resources to help students navigate the path to law school—including free LSAT prep materials; and much more!

Questions? For more information about the Law and Jurisprudence minor or the Pre-Law Advisement program, please contact Pre-Law Advisor Kevin Hinkley