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Philosophy Pre-Law Certificate

The Department of Philosophy offers a philosophy-based Pre-Law Certificate that is primarily guided by the published recommendations of the American Bar Association (A.B.A.).1 The A.B.A. encourages prospective law students to pursue classes that cultivate a set of skills that will enhance the study of law. To this end, Philosophy’s Pre-law Certification requires that students take classes that typically cultivate the A.B.A’s recommended skill set:

  1. Problem Solving involves “courses and other experiences that will engage [students] in critical thinking about important issues, challenge …  beliefs and improve … tolerance for uncertainty and criticism.”1
  2. Critical Reading involves “close reading and critical analysis of complex textual material.”1
  3. Writing and Editing involves “preparing original pieces of substantial length and revising written work in response to constructive criticism.  […] Language is the most important tool of a lawyer, and lawyers must learn how to express themselves clearly and concisely.”1
  4. Oral Communication and Listening involves “the ability to speak clearly and persuasively… and excellent listening skills.”1
  5. Research involves “undertaking a project that requires significant library research and the analysis of large amounts of information obtained from that research.”1

Philosophy Pre-Law Certificate Program Details

The certificate consists of 12 hours of coursework, plus a 0-credit research enrollment in the semester after you complete certificate program coursework; students may also enroll in the last semester of their coursework, if it is their last semester.

Certificate Requirements

    • COMM 203: Public Speaking or COMM 243: Argumentation & Debate
    • PHIL 240: Introduction to Logic
    • Choose 6 hours of the following coursework:
      • PHIL 332: Social and Political Philosophy
      • PHIL 334: Philosophy of Law
      • PHIL 336: Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Law
      • PHIL 470: Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law
    • PHIL 491 (0 credit): The 491 requirement for PHIL Pre-Law (PPLW) certificate students is NOT a credit-bearing course and cannot be fulfilled with another PHIL 491 or research experience. To fulfill the PHIL 491 requirement for the certificate, you’ll enroll in a specific section of PHIL 491 for 0 credit hours either 1) the semester after you complete the rest of the coursework for the certificate OR 2) your last semester, even if you’re still completing the other coursework. The section of 491 for which you’re enrolled cannot be increased from 0 credit hours and does not have course meeting times. The Philosophy advisor will send out information to all current pre-law certificate students, with information on enrolling in the PPLW-specific section of PHIL 491 during pre-registration each term.

Adding the Philosophy Pre-Law Certificate

In order to add the Pre-Law certificate, students must 1) have less than 105 completed credit hours; 2) have completed at least 1 course towards the certificate program; and 3) have an overall TAMU GPA of at least 2.0.

Because the certificate program is an additional academic program, students should speak with their primary major advisor to ensure they will approve the addition of the certificate.

Students who wish to add the Philosophy Pre-Law Certificate can request approval through this online form. Please allow at least 10 business days processing time for a response. During high-volume advising times (the week before classes begin, the first week of classes, and pre-registration), certificate requests will be suspended.

Program Contact

Ziena Miller, Undergraduate Academic Advisor for Philosophy