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Lawyers are critical to the protection and promotion of justice in our society. To become a great lawyer requires a passion for–and mastery of–a legal specialty and an uncanny ability to advocate for your clients’ best interests.

Program Overview

Make your dreams of becoming a lawyer your reality.

The Pre-Law emphasis will prepare you for law school through coursework, advising and an abundance of opportunities beyond the classroom. To ensure that you are ready for the LSAT and law school admission, you’ll have the unique opportunity to work one-on-one with Professor Brian Bernhardt, a Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) adviser. Western graduates have attended law school at the University of Denver, University of Colorado Boulder, American University and Willamette University–among others. After law school, you’ll have the skills and experience to pursue a rewarding career as an environmental lawyer, state legislator, corporate lobbyist and more.

Taking the next step

Western’s Pre-Law program prepares aspiring lawyers for the requisites and demands of law school.

Program Requirements

At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

Program Requirements

A minimum of 60 credits is required including the following:

BUAD 210Legal Environment of Business3
BUAD 315Business Law3
POLS 117Introduction to Political Ideas (GT-SS1)3
POLS 180Introduction to American Politics (GT-SS1)3
POLS 300Constitutional Law I3
POLS 301Constitutional Law II3
POLS 309Political Theory I- Ancient to Early Modern3
POLS 310Political Theory II-Modern and Contemporary3
POLS 390Mock Trial (Mock Trial)3
Select one of the following:3
POLS 255
Introduction to Comparative Politics (GT-SS1)
POLS 260
Introduction to World Politics (GT-SS1)
POLS 282
Issues in State and Local Government
Select four of the following:12
BUAD 240
Strategic Negotiations
BUAD 342
Environmental Law
BUAD 410
Water Law
POLS 331
The Politics of the Presidency
POLS 340
Politics of Social Movements
POLS 350
Human Rights
POLS 360
American Foreign Policy
POLS 370
Political Economy
POLS 376
American Political Thought
POLS 390
Mock Trial (Mock Trial)
Select five of the following courses in at least three disciplines:15
ACC 201
Introduction to Financial Accounting
ACC 350
Income Tax
COM 371
Small Group and Conflict Management
COM 372
ECON 201
Macroeconomics (GT-SS1)
ECON 202
ECON 476
American Economic Development
ENG 237
Women and Literature
ENG 238
Literary Culture of the American West
ENG 255
Ancient World Literature (GT-AH2)
ENG 331
Literature and Ethnicity: Studies in:
HIST 333
American Revolution and the Early Republic
HIST 336
U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction
HIST 340
Emergence of the Modern U.S.
HIST 343
Depression and World War II
HIST 346
Recent American History
PHIL 101
Introduction to Philosophy (GT-AH3)
PHIL 200
Symbolic Logic
PHIL 201
PHIL 335
Advanced Ethics
PSY 368
SOC 259
Introduction to Criminal Justice
SOC 349
Law Enforcement
SOC 367
Select one of the following capstone courses:3
POLS 485
Studies in Political Theory:
POLS 486
Studies in American Politics:
POLS 487
Studies in International Relations:
POLS 488
Studies in Comparative Politics:
Total Credits60
Plan of Study Grid
Year One
POLS 117Introduction to Political Ideas (GT-SS1) (also Gen Ed)3
POLS 180Introduction to American Politics (GT-SS1)3
Gen Ed General Education Courses9
HWTR 100First Year Seminar1
POLS 260Introduction to World Politics (GT-SS1)3
BUAD 210Legal Environment of Business3
POLS Pre-Law Elective (1 of 5)3
Gen Ed General Education Courses6
Year Two
POLS 300Constitutional Law I3
POLS 309Political Theory I- Ancient to Early Modern3
BUAD/POLS BUAD/POLS Elective (1 of 4)3
Gen Ed General Education Courses6
POLS 301Constitutional Law II3
POLS 310Political Theory II-Modern and Contemporary3
BUAD/POLS BUAD/POLS Elective (2 of 4)3
Gen Ed General Education Courses6
Year Three
POLS 390Mock Trial3
BUAD/POLS BUAD/POLS Elective (3 of 4)3
POLS Pre-Law Electives (2 of 5)3
Gen Ed General Education Courses3
Elective Electives3
BUAD 315Business Law3
BUAD/POLS BUAD/POLS Elective (4 of 4)3
POLS Pre-Law Elective (3 of 5)3
Gen Ed General Education Courses3
Elective Electives 3
Year Four
POLS 390Mock Trial3
POLS Pre-Law Elective (4 of 5)3
Elective Electives9
POLS POLS Capstone3
POLS Pre-Law Elective (5 of 5)3
Elective Electives9
Total Credits121


Career preparation starts your first year at Western and is the primary focus of every degree.

Visit Career Services in Library 120 or online to discover your interests, define your goals, and land the career of your dreams.

The data below is automatically collected by Burning Glass Technologies, a firm that sources job market data and provides analytics. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.


Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship

The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.

Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.

  • This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
  • Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
  • GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).

Due date has been extended to April 15 for 2021. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Board, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.


Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

  • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
  • Nominee must be an incoming freshman or new transfer.
  • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
  • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
  • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found here (click). Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.


Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.


The Western Presidential Honors Scholarships, established by the Jack and Marilyn MacAllister Foundation shall be an elite class of scholarships awarded to Western’s highest achieving and most deserving students, celebrating the ideals of academic excellence and service to the campus and community. Recipients of the Scholarships will be members of the Western Colorado University Honors Program.

There are eight Presidential Honors Scholarships of $2500 each. Each year two new Presidential Honors Scholarships will be awarded to two incoming freshmen.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student’s GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

Expand your community and your network.

There are so many ways that you can maximize your educational experience at Western. Take advantage of these opportunities to advance your career.

  • Events: Global Justice Film Series, visiting speakers, political debates and voter registration.
  • Internships: Students intern with political candidates, elected officials, nonprofit organizations and legal professionals.
  • Mock Trial: Introduces students to real criminal or civil cases to prepare for trial after graduation.
  • Model United Nations: Competes in the National Model United Nations event in New York City.
  • Politics Club: A student-led club that tackles political topics, provides professional development opportunities and works to bring dynamic debate to campus.

Prepared for trial

Mock trial introduces students to real criminal or civil cases to prepare for trial after graduation.

News & Research

Western’s Mock Trial Team travels to Colorado Springs for competition

Western’s Mock Trial Team travels to Colorado Springs for competition

Read More about Western’s Mock Trial Team travels to Colorado Springs for competition
Western’s Model UN travels to NYC, brings home three awards

Western’s Model UN travels to NYC, brings home three awards

Read More about Western’s Model UN travels to NYC, brings home three awards

Department Chairperson

Greg Haase, Ph.D.

Professor of Sociology, Department Chair of Behavioral & Social Sciences Department

Administrative Assistant

Patricia McCarthy

BASS Administrative Assistant

Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Kelley Hall 240
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

Take the Next Step

Apply to Western

Apply to Western

We understand that applying to a university can be daunting, which is why we make our admission process as simple and straightforward as possible. Learn more about applying to your program of choice at Western.

Visit Western

Visit Western

The best way to find out what makes Western such a special place is to experience it for yourself. Our student-led tours give you an insider’s perspective on everything from academics to student life.

Alumni Community

Alumni Community

We keep the Mountaineer spirit going strong within our alumni community. Whether getting together with friends at an annual event, making a donation or mentoring a student, graduates continue to play an important role in the Western community.