Nov 28, 2023  
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2014-15 
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2014-15 [Archived Catalog]

History—Prelaw Major (B.A.)

Major code BA4214

College of Arts and Sciences 
History Department
Bentley Annex 452
Phone: 740.593.4334
Fax: 740.593.0259

Brian Schoen, contact person

Program Overview

History’s emphasis on reading and interpreting evidence, appreciating context, and writing makes it an ideal major for students preparing for law school.  The specific intra- and extra-departmental requirements of our program have been tailored to provide the knowledge base, intellectual rigor, and academic skills necessary to prepare you for law school and a legal career.

Admissions Information

Freshman/First-Year Admission

No requirements beyond University admission requirements.

Change of Program Policy

No selective or limited admission requirements.

Opportunities Upon Graduation

Our pre-law students have been admitted to the top law programs nationwide and within Ohio.  After graduation, other pre-law majors have pursued work as paralegals or in business, education, government, and for non-profit organizations.


Universitywide Graduation Requirements

To complete this program, students must meet all Universitywide graduation requirements .

Liberal Arts and Sciences Distribution Requirement

View the A&S - College Level Requirements (A&S CLR) .

History Prelaw Hours Requirement

Complete a total of 36 semester credit hours of HIST coursework, including all of the requirements below.

United States History Introductory Courses

Complete the following courses:

Historical Research and Writing

Complete the following course at the beginning of the junior year:

Chronological History Course Requirement

Courses taken above the 2020-level to meet the Chronological History Course requirements will also count toward the elective requirements. Complete one course from two of the three following components.

Component 2: Early Modern History

Component 3: Modern History

Geographical History Course Requirement

Courses taken above the 2020-level to meet the Geographical History Course requirements will also count toward the elective requirements. Complete one course from two of the three following components.

Component 1: European History

Component 2: North American History

Component 3: World History

History Electives

Complete a total of 21 hours of history courses above 2010. This requirement will be partially satisfied by those courses taken to fulfill the Chronological and Geographical requirements.

Prelaw History Major Intradepartmental Course Requirements

Complete two of the following courses. They may also satisfy the Chronological and Geographical requirements for your major.

Prelaw History Major Extradepartmental Requirements

Complete two of the following courses. Most of them will also fulfill your Arts and Sciences breadth requirements.

Preparation for Law

If you plan to enter law school after earning an undergraduate degree, it is prudent to choose a major that reflects your true academic interest. Law schools draw students from a variety of majors, and history has proven to be one of the most successful in launching students toward successful careers in law. This is because our courses provide an understanding of the context within which the western legal tradition emerged.  They explain the impact that laws and courts have had on shaping society and, conversely, how societal change has reshaped legal practice. As critically the habits of a historian teach students to read and contextualize evidence, to consider multiple perspectives, and to frame and express arguments, skills that numerous lawyers and administrators of law schools suggest are the closest approximation of legal practice that can be simulated in an undergraduate curriculum.   

Additional information about the history department’s prelaw program is available at:

In addition to our diverse array of history courses, you are advised to use your general electives to take other courses helpful in enhancing your analytical abilities. Those may include courses from English composition and literature, American literature, political science, economics, sociology, philosophy (include ethics and logic), accounting, psychology, and a foreign language. Courses in speech, and training in expression, as well as activities that develop the capacity for independent thought and action, are recommended.

The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that to enter law school you must be able to show possession of an undergraduate degree from an approved college if you wish to take the Ohio Bar Examination. Law schools in the State of Ohio require the degree of all entering students, regardless of the state in which they plan to take the bar examination. More general information regarding prelaw can be found at: www,