Oct 02, 2022  
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2022-23 
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2022-23

History—Prelaw Major (B.A.)

Major code BA4214

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

Joshua Hill, Undergraduate Chair
Kevin Uhalde, History Prelaw Major

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

Students who study History - Prelaw at Ohio University have been admitted to top law programs nationwide and within Ohio.  For those interested in pursuing a career upon graduation, history majors have gone on to successful careers in business, government service, publishing, teaching, consulting, medicine, law, and museum work. Several recent generous donations given to the department by former students further testify to the fact that pursuing a degree in history at Ohio University can lead to future success.

Browse through dozens of internship opportunities and full-time job postings for Ohio University students and alumni on Handshake, OHIO’s key resource for researching jobs, employers, workshops, and professional development events.


Universitywide Graduation Requirements

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

Liberal Arts and Sciences Distribution Requirement

View the College and Liberal Arts and Sciences Distribution Requirements .

History Prelaw Hours Requirement

Complete a total of 33 semester credit hours of HIST coursework, including all of the requirements below.

Introductory History Courses

Complete ONE course from each of the following three geographical areas:

Historical Research and Writing

Complete the following course during the junior year:

History Major Part II:

Section I- Elective Courses

Complete a total of 21 hours of history courses at 3000 and above. Courses taken at and above 3000 to meet the Chronological and Geographical requirements will also count toward the elective requirement. Some courses may meet both a Chronological and Geographical requirement.

Chronological History Course Requirement

Courses taken at or above 3000 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 C: Modern History

Geographical History Course Requirement

Courses taken at or above 3000 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 A: World History

Component B: European History

Component C: North American History

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: https://www.ohio.edu/cas/history/undergraduate/pre-law-major.

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: https://www.ohio.edu/cas/undergraduate/pre-law.