Whether you’re fascinated by politics or intrigued by the law, the study of law and politics at SNHU will provide you with the knowledge and skills essential for success across a broad spectrum of careers that lie at the intersection of these two dynamic and exciting fields.
Our unique interdisciplinary program provides you with not only a solid foundation in the art and science of politics, but also with insight into what it means to "think like a lawyer," both in the United States and around the world. Furthermore, through the Law and Politics (Pre-J.D. Accelerated) program, you’ll be able to earn both a B.A. from SNHU and a J.D. from an ABA-approved school in just six years, rather than the usual seven.
Not available for international students.
SNHU's law and politics program emphasizes the development of critical thinking and analytical skills in legal and political contexts, as well as the ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, on topics of legal and political concern. These skills are essential for legal and political professionals, and are transferable to many other professional fields, but are especially useful for students who plan to apply to law school as a stepping-stone to a career in the practice of law.
The B.A. in Law and Politics (Pre-J.D. Accelerated) at SNHU offers qualified students a unique opportunity to earn both a bachelor's degree from SNHU and a J.D. from any of certain ABA-approved law schools in six years rather than the usual (and more expensive) seven years.
As a private, nonprofit university, SNHU has one mission - to help you see yourself succeed. The benefits of majoring in law and politics at SNHU include:
The Law and Politics (Pre-J.D. Accelerated) program at SNHU puts you on the fast track to earn both a bachelor’s degree and a J.D. a full year ahead of schedule, giving you a jump on your peers and preparing you to begin your career that much sooner. The range of career options for students with both degrees is very broad, encompassing careers in law firms, government, politics, diplomacy, consulting, and many other fields.
SNHU is also a great place to study law and politics because of New Hampshire's unique role as host of the first-in-the-nation presidential primary election, which often is the most crucial stop for those seeking the presidential office, such as Hillary Clinton in 2016. Candidates start their primary election campaigns as early as 18 months before the general election, meeting face-to-face with ordinary voters throughout New Hampshire in their homes and workplaces, in restaurants and diners, and on the street. In 2007, Barack Obama delivered the commencement speech at SNHU's graduation ceremony shortly before launching his own presidential bid.
Learning how to “think like a lawyer” is the key to success in law school and the practice of law. In the Law and Politics (Pre-J.D. Accelerated) program at SNHU, you’ll acquire a wide-ranging set of skills that will serve you well in that endeavor and beyond.
Collaborative agreements between SNHU and certain ABA-approved law schools allow students to count a year's worth of law-school courses toward the requirements of the B.A., thus shortening the time normally required to earn both degrees by a full year. Students enrolled in the B.A. in Law and Politics (Pre-J.D. Accelerated) apply as juniors rather than as seniors for admission to their choice of law schools participating in the program.
If admitted, students spend what otherwise would have been their senior year at SNHU taking courses at the law school. After successfully completing those courses, students are awarded the B.A. in Law and Politics (Pre-J.D. Accelerated) at SNHU, then spend two more years at the law school fulfilling the remaining J.D. requirements. Although students fulfill the final 30 credits of their B.A. requirements at the law school, they must earn at least 60 of the credits counted toward the B.A. at SNHU. Students also must maintain a 3.25 GPA while enrolled in the program at SNHU in order to matriculate at one of the participating law schools on an accelerated basis.
A skills-oriented introduction to the study of history for majors and non-majors alike. Through the study of a key episode or event in the Modern period, students will develop foundational historical skills: reading, writing, analysis, creative and critical thinking, and problem solving. Students will learn how to handle both primary and secondary historical sources, to evaluate historical evidence, and to analyze historical arguments.
This course examines the implications of global location and topography for the people of planet Earth. Students will explore how geography shapes the dynamics of human societies, with an emphasis on the geoenvironmental, geopolitical, and geosocial phenomena that help to define the modern world.
This course offers a broad introduction to the structure and function of the American political system at the national level, including the roles played by the president, Congress, the courts, the bureaucracy, political parties, interest groups and the mass media in the policy- making and electoral processes. This course places special emphasis on how the efforts of the framers of the Constitution to solve what they saw as the political problems of their day continue to shape American national politics in ours.
This course offers a broad introduction to the study and practice of international relations, including the roles played by states and nations, non-state actors, national interests, power, morality and international law. This course places special emphasis on realism and idealism as alternative approaches to the study and practice of international relations and on their implications for ongoing efforts to construct a peaceful and prosperous global political system in the aftermath of the Cold War.
This course offers a broad introduction to the American legal tradition, including the structure and function of the courts, the legal profession, legal education, and the politics of judicial selection. As an introduction to what it means to "think like a lawyer" in the United States, students learn how to write parts of a predictive legal memorandum of the type that first-year law students learn how to write, in which they analyze a legal issue of concern to hypothetical clients by applying the reasoning and conclusions in selected judicial opinions to the facts of the clients' case.
This course explores the history and contemporary significance of the world's major legal traditions, including the common law, civil law, and other municipal legal traditions, and the international law tradition. Students compare and contrast the essential features of these traditions, and explore how they shape what it means to "think like a lawyer" in the United States, in many foreign countries, and internationally.
This course offers a broad introduction to research methods in the social sciences, including surveys, case studies, experiments, and quasi-experiments. Students learn to spot design flaws in research intended to generate scientifically sound conclusions about social phenomena, and to evaluate critically the interpretations of social science research results by third-party observers, such as reporters. Students also learn how to draft a research proposal that would satisfy the requirements of peer review within the community of professional social scientists.
This is a fundamental course in the application of statistics. In this course, students will learn to apply statistical techniques to a variety of applications in business and the social sciences. Students will learn how to solve statistical problems by hand and through the use of computer software. Topics include probability distribution functions, sampling distributions, estimation, hypothesis testing and linear regression.
This colloquium serves as the capstone course for students in the sociology, law and politics, and environmental management majors. Students learn from their instructor and from each other as they apply the knowledge and skills acquired in their other course work to a directed research project in the appropriate discipline or field.
Select one of the following:
Select one of the following:
This course investigates the trajectory of European hegemony in the 20th century. Special attention is devoted to the effects of the two major conflicts that were fought on European soil. Not available every semester.
This course will introduce students to the history of warfare in the modern world. It will focus on the modernization of military technique and technology among Western societies, and also on the various that ways non-Western societies encountered this new and evolving way of war- either falling victim to it or importing and emulating it with varying degrees of success.
This course examines the origins, development, and consequences of the Cold War as an ideological, cultural, economic, military and political struggles that concentrated the energies of two nuclear "superpowers" while fundamentally reshaping the way that scores of nations interacted with each other. As the Cold War often manifested itself in any number of proxy conflicts, this course approaches the topic from a global perspective, paying special attention to the Cold War as an international phenomenon.
An examination of the United States in its rise to global power in the aftermath of World War II. Central to the course are the international and domestic realities of the Cold War, particularly the struggle for equal civil rights within the United States. The course will examine the post-Cold War world as well, examining the transition to the domestic and international challenges of the 21st century.
This course is designed to offer the student a historical and cultural understanding of Africa, India, China and Japan, in their interactions with the western world. Recommended for majors in History and Social Studies Education with a concentration in History.
This course will introduce students to case studies in key revolutions of the modern era. Examples will vary from semester to semester-and may involve the direct comparison of different revolutions-but each offering of the course will focus on a major transformative moment or process. At the instructor's discretion, "revolution" may be interpreted in its traditional sense of political upheaval (including, but not limited to, the American, French, Russian, and Chinese revolutions), but more abstract forms of socio-economic or cultural/intellectual transition may be considered as well (such as scientific, industrial, sexual, or digital revolutions, to name only a few possibilities).
This course will acquaint students in depth with examples of major dictatorships selected from the history of the 20th and 21st centuries. During this era, certain regimes have come to exercise unprecedented levels of control over their populations. What developments created the preconditions for these new forms of government? What historical impact have such governments had? The regimes under consideration will vary from year to year; possible case studies may include, but are not restricted to, Soviet Russia; Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany; Imperial Japan, Maoist China, and North Korea; and Latin American dictatorships, such as Cuba under Castro or Argentina under Pinochet.
How sustainable are modern human lifestyles? What would the world be like if they were more sustainable? How could we create such a world through the choices that we make as citizens, professionals, and consumers? Students leave traditional academic disciplines behind as they seek answers to these questions in this more than merely interdisciplinary course. By exploring how human systems and environmental systems interact in the context of everyday human activities, students learn how they can make choices that support both stewardship of the natural environment and long-term improvement in the quality of life for human individuals and communities.
This course provides an introduction to the scientific aspects of the environmental field. The first part of the course introduces students to the foundations of environmental science, while the second part concentrates on the application of these foundations to real life environmental problems. Therefore, the course not only engages the fundamentals of environmental science but also shows students how science informs sustainability, environmental policies, economics and personal choice.
This course covers a variety of environmental topics in a manner specifically designed for the non-science major. It provides a fundamental understanding of the various processes necessary to support life on Earth and examines how human activities and attitudes (individual, traditional, cultural and others) generate environmental issues that threaten these processes. Topics include ecology, populations, agriculture, desertification and deforestation, water and ocean pollution, air pollution including ozone depletion and acid rain, global climate change, natural resource depletion, solid and hazardous wastes, energy including fossil fuels and nuclear power, economics and sustainability.
Select four (4) courses from the following:
Select four (4) courses from the following:
This course examines the tools, goals, and patterns of U.S. foreign policy. It evaluates how domestic actors, ideology, and the international system have shaped specific policies and political-military strategies, including isolationism, selective engagement, containment, and preemption. It assesses key U.S. foreign policy challenges, from geopolitical rivalries, terrorism, and the spread of weapons of mass destruction to global governance, climate change, and economic globalization.
This course explores the structure and function of state and local governments in the United States, with an emphasis on their roles as partners with the federal government in a system of cooperative federalism. Students spend much of the course playing and critiquing their own performance in Camelot, a role-playing simulation game in which they assume the roles of civic leaders, representatives of organized interests, and other interested parties in a hypothetical city to try to resolve controversial policy dilemmas like the ones with which local communities are confronted routinely in the United States.
This course explores the diversity of conceptions of the individual, the state, and "the good life" that animate contemporary societies and their critics, with an emphasis on the contributions of Western political theorists of both ancient and modern times to contemporary currents of political thought. This course places special emphasis on the social and cultural contexts in which these theorists lived and worked as factors that helped to shape their political ideas. The theorists covered may vary from semester to semester. Writing intensive course.
Campaigns and elections are central features of the American democratic process. This course will provide students with a deeper appreciation of how campaigns and elections set the rhythm of American political life and shape the functioning of our governmental system. Students will develop an in-depth understanding of the mechanics of political campaigns, with a special emphasis on electoral strategy, media relations, and voter mobilization. Students will use these concepts to analyze key elections during pivotal moments in our nation's political history. The course will also include considerable discussion of the role that our own New Hampshire Primary plays in the electoral process.
How can businesses, governments, and public interest groups achieve environmental sustainability goals in legal and political contexts that were designed with other goals in mind? This interdisciplinary course explores the options in the United States, and provides a comprehensive point of comparison for topics explored in POL 329 and POL 349. Students spend about half of the course learning how to spot facts that give rise to compliance issues for businesses and other private parties under a full spectrum of federal environmental laws, and to identify opportunities for achieving broader sustainability goals within the constraints imposed by the law. In the other half, students learn both how to predict environmental law and policy outcomes and how to shape them adaptively in pursuit of sustainability goals in a fragmented system of governance that was designed to privilege special interests and to favor the status quo.
How can businesses, governments, and civil society organizations work together to build environmentally sustainable economies and livable local communities in an increasingly crowded and globalized world? [sic] Students in this interdisciplinary course use insights drawn from the social sciences to identify assumptions about human nature and nurture that lead to environmentally unsustainable economic and development practices, then apply those insights to the practical problems of building robust national economies and healthy local communities worldwide, with an emphasis on less developed countries. Students spend part of the course playing and critiquing their own performance in Stratagem, a computer-assisted simulation game, in which they assume the roles of government ministers in a less developed country and try to chart a course of environmentally sustainable development for that country over more than half a century.
This course explores the structure and function of the Congress of the United States, with an emphasis on its role as a legislative body in a system of government characterized by the separation of powers and checks and balances. The topics covered include the congressional leadership structure, the committee system, major rules and procedures, legislative-executive relations, congressional elections, and representation, and may vary from semester to semester.
This course aims to dispel some of the myths about lawyers as advocates that are perpetuated by popular culture and the mass media in the United States. Students spend much of the course exploring case studies that illustrate the ethical dilemmas faced by lawyers as advocates in the American legal system, the ethical rules that govern their behavior as a condition of their license to practice law, and the fates that befall them when they fail to fulfill their ethical obligations. In addition, students learn how to write parts of an appellate legal brief of the type that first-year law students in American law schools learn how to write, and how to make an appellate oral argument on behalf of hypothetical clients in a moot court setting.
How effective is environmental law as a strategy for achieving sustainable development? How does its diversity across countries and cultures constrain the ability of businesses, governments, and civil society organizations to achieve environmental sustainability goals in an increasingly globalized world? This interdisciplinary course examines the many legal, political, cultural, and other factors that shape the answer to these questions, using China, India, Russia, and the United States as illustrative examples. Students explore the implications of these factors not only for businesses, governments, and civil society organizations pursuing sustainability goals within their own countries, but also for their counterparts in other countries to whom the former are linked through bilateral trade relationships and global supply chains.
This course highlights central themes in the historical development, organization, and functioning of the American presidency. From the origins of our Constitution through two centuries of institutional development and up to the present day, this course will provide students with an in-depth understanding of the dynamics of presidential behavior. Special emphasis will be placed on the growth of presidential power in both foreign and domestic policy and on the central role that presidential elections play in our national politics. Students will learn to view the American presidency as a complex institution, one that requires the president to simultaneously play multiple political roles, including commander-in-chief, legislator, communicator, civic leader and candidate.
This course will explore the significance of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons to US foreign policy and world politics, including the nuclear rivalry between the US and USSR during the Cold War and more recent international security threats related to the spread of these so-called weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Special attention will be paid to the complex policy and technical challenges concerning these weapons. This course will also examine the politics of arms control and disarmament as they relate to WMD.
This course is a comparative study of genocide. It is divided into three parts. The first part examines the definition, causes, typologies, and antecedents of modern genocide. The second part analyzes six cases of modern genocide, including the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust, the Cambodian genocide, ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, the Rwandan genocide, and the Darfur (Sudan) genocide. The third and last part evaluates efforts by the international community to punish genocide's perpetrators and to prevent future mass atrocities.
This course examines the role of intelligence in U.S. national security policy making and implementation. It defines key intelligence concepts, agencies and actors; and explores the evolving forms and functions of intelligence. Emphasis is placed on how effectively the intelligence community addresses specific national security challenges, including terrorism, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and cyber espionage and warfare. Students will evaluate the success and failure of various intelligence operations and debate what the proper role of intelligence should be in a liberal democracy.
Choose one of the following:*
Any 30 credits of courses from the J.D. program at Vermont Law School
Any 30 credits of courses from the J.D. program at Western New England University School of Law
*Students count the first three credits of the option chosen toward the requirements of the major, and the rest as free electives.
Free Elective Credits: 6
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