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PRE-LAW.

B.A. Degree in Politics
(Pre-Law Concentration)

Pre-Law Concentration / Pre Law Major - Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Politics)

take the first step on your path to law school success.

While there is no one academic path to a successful admittance to law school, most students consider majoring in Politics as a core foundation of gaining the requisite knowledge needed for success in law school. Students interested in pursuing law school can select the Pre-Law Concentration to add to their Politics studies. Catawba’s Pre-Law Concentration provides the core knowledge that the American Bar Association (ABA) recommends to achieve success in law school.

Catawba College students who major in Politics with the Pre-Law concentration consistently have been admitted to at least one law school after their Catawba graduation. Coursework includes Judicial Process, Constitutional Law, English Grammar, Professional & Technical Writing, Economics, Accounting, and Ethics.

Earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics from Catawba College has its merits. U.S. News ranks Catawba as #4 among the Best Regional Colleges in the South and The Princeton Review perennially includes Catawba among the nation’s top institutions in its annual Best Colleges guidebook.

In small classes, taught by inspiring and knowledgeable faculty who carefully advise their students, Politics majors focus on their interests and their future career and professional goals.

 

POLITICS PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

Catawba College's Politics Bachelor of Arts degree program offers a broad-based approach to the study of politics valued by potential employers because it provides students with a comprehensive understanding of political systems; communication skills; critical thinking skills; analytical problem-solving skills; decision-making skills; and research skills. Under the guidance of the department’s engaged and inspiring faculty, Politics majors at Catawba accept responsibility for the development of their own educational careers.

Students at NASA Academy for internships
Internships in Politics.

Catawba Politics majors have recently pursued a variety of internships including opportunities at local law firms to social service agencies, and at local, state and federal government offices.

Catawba College Student presenting research.
Undergraduate Research in Politics.

Politics majors at Catawba College are able to conduct and present their own research, often born of projects completed for specific classes with Politics Department faculty. This research may be presented at the annual campus Interdisciplinary Creativity and Research Symposium, at the State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research and Creativity Research Symposium, or at other professional and honors conferences.

Catawba Students Studying Abroad
Study Politics Abroad.

Study Abroad opportunities for Catawba's Politics majors are often associated with course-specific offerings and also through the College Honors Program.

Related Bachelor Degree Programs

Outcomes

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CAREERS.

Catawba Politics majors are making their mark in the following positions:

    • Political Campaign Staff
    • Lobbyist
    • Public Relations Specialist
    • Urban/Regional Planner
    • Teacher/Professor
    • Pollster/Survey Researcher
    • Attorney/Lawyer

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GRADUATE SCHOOLS.

Politics alumni from Catawba College have gone on to earn degrees at the following schools:

    • Florida State University School of Law
    • University of Georgia Master of Public Administration Program
    • Catholic University Columbus School of Law
    • UNC-Chapel Hill Ph.D. Program in Political Science
    • Drake University School of Law
    • Duquesne University School of Law
    • University of Tulsa School of Law

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"I chose the Politics major with a concentration in Pre-Law because it is a challenging and interesting course load, and I enjoy studying the inner workings of government and the law."

Joseph Peterson '13 
Politics Major (Pre-Law); Graduate of Campbell University’s Wiggins School of Law

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PARTICIPATE.

The Catawba Political Science Association (CPSA) serves as an academic and professional focal point for students majoring, minoring, and/or interested in Politics and Political Science as disciplines or areas for related careers. Members meet regularly for scholastic and social activities. Delegations regularly attend such professional meetings as the American Political Science Association, the Southern Political Science Association, and the North Carolina Political Science Association. Membership is open to all Political Science Majors and Minors.

Faculty

Dr. J. Michael Bitzer

Dr. J. Michael Bitzer, chair and professor of Politics, is a recognized expert on North Carolina politics, having written two recent book chapters on the state and the 2016 elections, as well as being interviewed by numerous international, national and regional media outlets.  Dr. Bitzer’s expertise covers U.S. government institutions, campaigns and elections, Southern politics, the law, and many other areas of American Politics.  He serves as Catawba’s Pre-Law advisor.

Dr. Norris Feeney

Dr. Norris Feeney, an assistant professor of Politics, has expertise in both Comparative and International Politics. The questions he likes to explore touch on the deeper questions of the nature of man and why we interact with one another the way we do. He works closely with Catawba’s Ethics Bowl team each year as they compete at the state level against teams from other private institutions in the North Carolina Independent College and University’s (NCICU) Ethics Bowl.

Curriculum

Required Courses for Pre-Law Concentration
Required Courses for Pre-Law Concentration

POLS 1101: Introduction to American Politics

3

POLS 1105: Introduction to Comparative Politics

3

SOC 2301: Social Science Research

4

Select one of the following two:

3

  • POLS 2200: State & Local Politics

  • POLS 2210: International Relations

 

Select one of the following (Political Theory):

3

  • POLS 2300: Ancient Political Theory

  • POLS 2310: Modern Political Theory

 

Select one of the following (Institutions):

3

  • POLS 3300: Legislative Politics

  • POLS 3310: Executive Politics

  • POLS 3320: Bureaucratic Politics

  • POLS 3330: Judicial Process

 

Select one of the following (Behavior):

3

  • POLS 3110: Political Parties & Interest Groups

  • POLS 3115: U.S. Campaigns & Elections

  • POLS 3150: Southern Politics

 

Select one of the following (Policy):

3

  • POLS 3500: Politics & Policy

  • POLS 3510: U.S. Constitutional Law: Powers & Federalism

  • POLS 3520: U.S. Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties & Rights

  • POLS 3530: International Law

  • POLS 3540: Political Economy

  • POLS 3550: U.S. Foreign Policy

 

POLS Electives (at or above 2000 level)

12

 

Total:

37

 

Pre-Law Concentration 

Hours

ACCT 1901: Principles of Accounting I

3

ECON 1902: Principles of Microeconomics

3

ENGL 3201: English Grammar

3

HIST 1114: The Contemporary World

3

HIST 1202: Survey of American History II

3

PHIL 1166: Critical Thinking                
OR

PHIL 1155: Introduction to Logic

3

PHIL 2170: Ethics

3

SOC 1501: Social Problems

3

 

Total:

24

Course Descriptions
Course Descriptions

1100 INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL SCIENCE (3 hours)
An introduction to the political theories, political institutions, political behavior, and operations and policies of the national government of the United States.

1101 INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN POLITICS (3 hours)
An introduction to the theories, institutions, political behavior, and operations of the national government of the United States. (Typically offered every semester.)

1105 INTRODUCTION TO COMPARATIVE POLITICS (3 hours)
An introduction to comparative political methodology and a study of cross-national political processes, functions, and institutions of modern and developing political systems. (Typically offered every fall semester.)

2110 ELEMENTARY TOPICS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE (NON-WESTERN) (3 hours)
Topics selected by the department focusing on specialized interests within the discipline and with an emphasis on non-Western themes.

2111 ELEMENTARY TOPICS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE (1-3 hours) Topics selected by the department focusing on specialized interests within the discipline and interests of department majors and non-majors with little or no background in political science.

2200 STATE AND LOCAL POLITICS (3 hours)
An overview of the theories, institutions, political behavior, and operations of state and local government in the United States, with a focus on national-state-local relations and public policies at the state and local level. Prerequisite: POLS 1101. (Typically offered in spring semesters.)

2210 INTERNATIONAL POLITICS (3 hours)
An examination of international and transnational politics and the basic elements of the international political system, to include the concepts of war, peace, power, alliances, and diplomacy.

2300 ANCIENT POLITICAL THEORY (3 hours)
A critical analysis of the basic political writings of selected modern authors important to the development of western civilization, e.g., Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine and St. Thomas. (Same as PHIL 2060 and HIST 2301) (Typically offered fall semester of odd-numbered years.)

2310 MODERN POLITICAL THEORY (3 hours)
A critical analysis of the basic political writings of selected modern authors important to the development of western civilization and political thought, e.g., Machiavelli, Bodin, Hobbes, Harrington, Locke and Rousseau. (Same as HIST 2310 and PHIL 2400). 

3101 ADVANCED TOPICS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE (3 hours)
Topics selected by the department focusing on specialized interests within the discipline and interests of department majors.

3110 POLITICAL PARTIES AND INTEREST GROUPS (3 hours)
An analysis of the roles played by political parties and interst groups, with a focus on the organization, electoral activities, and influence on public policies. Prerequisite: POLS 1101. (Offered in spring semester of even-numbered years)

3115 U.S. CAMPAIGNS AND ELECTIONS (3 hours)
An analysis of campaigns and elections within the American political system, including a study of modern day campaign organizations and strategies at the national, state, and local levels, electoral behavior by the voters, and the role and impact of the media on campaigns and elections. Prerequisite: POLS 1101. (Typically offered fall semester of even-numbered years)

3150 SOUTHERN POLITICS (3 hours)A comparative study of the politics of the modern South since World War 11, with a focus on the evolution from a one-party dominated region to a competitive two-party region and the effects on the national political environment, the impact of the modern civil rights movement on Southern politics, and analyses of Southern political identification and behavior in electoral politics. Prerequisite: POLS 1101. (Typically offered fall semesters of odd-numbered years.)

3300 LEGISLATIVE POLITICS (3 hours)
An analysis of the U.S. Congress, with a focus on legislative organization and powers, the law making process, relations with other branches of government, the electoral process as it relates to the legislature, and the legislature's influence on public policy. Prerequisite: POLS 1101. (Typically offered fall semester of even-numbered years.)

 3310 PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS (3 hours)
An analysis of the role of the Presidency, with a focus on executive organization and powers, relations with other branches of government, the electoral process as it relates to the presidency, and the executive branch’s influence on public policy. Prerequisite: POLS 1101. (Typically offered spring semester of odd-numbered years.)

3320 BUREAUCRATIC POLITICS (3 hours)
A study of public administration and the bureaucracy in the American governing system, with a focus on the bureaucratic powers and responsibilities, interactions between the political branches and the bureaucracy, staffing and funding the bureaucracy, and government operations and management. Prerequisite: POLS 1101. (Offered in spring semester of even-numbered years)

3330 JUDICIAL PROCESSES (3 hours)
An analysis of the structure and functions of federal and state courts as they relate to the operation of the American political system with an emphasis on the role of judges, juries, police and other actors in the adjudication process. Prerequisite: POLS 1101. (Typically offered in fall semester of odd-numbered yearrs.)

3500 POLITICS & PUBLIC POLICY (3 hours)
An examination of the public policy process in the United States, with a focus on the development, enactment, and implementation of public policy through governmental institutions. Topics will include substantive policy areas (e.g., education, social welfare, environmental, and other policy topcis). Prerequisite: POLS 1101. (Offered in spring semester of odd-numbered years)

3510 U.S. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: POWERS & FEDERALISM (3 hours)
A study of constitutional law as developed by the U.S. Supreme Court and its political impact on national and state governments and U.S. citizens, with a focus on questions of federalism, separation of governmental powers, economic regulation, and civil and political rights. Prerequisite: POLS 1101. (Typically offered in fall semester of odd-numbered years.)

3520 U.S. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: CIVIL LIBERTIES & RIGHTS (3 hours)
A study of the constitutional law as developed by the U.S. Supreme Court, with an emphasis on the Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment and a focus on freedoms of speech, religion, the media, and civil rights. Prerequisite: POLS 1101. (Typically offered in fall semester of even-numbered years.)

3525 AMERICAN CIVIL WRONGS AND RIGHTS (3 hours)
A study of the eras of slavery, emancipation and the Reconstruction era, segregation, and the Jim Crow era, and the 20th Century civil rights movement in the United States, with a focus on the political, legal, and social dimensions. Same as POLS 3525.

3530 INTERNATIONAL LAW (3 hours)
A study of sources, schools of thought, major cases and applications of public international law, focusing on the laws of war, diplomacy, the sea, space, and nationality. Prerequisite: POLS 2210.

3540 POLITICAL ECONOMY (3 hours)
An analysis of the relationships between politics and economics, exploring how political institutions, the political environment, and economic systems influence each other. Topics include the development of U.S. capitalism, the U.S. federal fiscal and monetary policy processes, and the development of globalization. Prerequisite: POLS 1101. (Offered in alternate years)

3550 U.S. FOREIGN POLICY (3 hours)
A critical analysis of American global security interests and contemporary decision making by elements of the government responsible for foreign policy. Prerequisite: POLS 1101. (Typically offered in spring semester of even-numbered years)

4201 PRACTICUM IN POLITICAL SCIENCE (3-12 hours)
A supervised application of theory to practice in a functional area related to Political Science.

4301 INDEPENDENT STUDY (1-4 hours)
Self-directed study following a contractual plan initiated by the student and accepted by the staff.