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California State University, Long Beach
Department of Criminal Justice
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Suggested Coursework to Help Prepare for Success in Law School

As stated on our pre-law advising home page, there is no set curriculum required for admission to law school. There are, however, sets of skills that students should develop over their college careers that will help them prepare for the LSAT and for success in their law school classes. The Department of Criminal Justice requires a number of such courses both within the Department's core curriculum and through its cognate courses in related fields. In addition, there are a number of courses in other departments that pre-law students should take as electives to further develop their critical reasoning and writing abilities.

  • Required Courses within the CJ Major

    • Required Courses. The following courses are required for all students majoring in criminal justice. The substantive knowledge and skill sets you will gain from taking them will help prepare you for law school:
      • CRJU 110: Introduction to Justice Research, Writing, and Reasoning
      • CRJU 301: Criminal Courts and Judicial Processes
      • CRJU 340: Substantive Criminal Law
      • CRJU 350: Constitutional Criminal Procedure
    • Cognates. The following cognate courses are required for all students majoring in criminal justice. They will help you understand the theoretical foundations of law and our justice system:

      • SOC 100: Principles of Sociology
      • PSY 100: General Psychology
      • PSY 370: Abnormal Psychology
      • POSC 100: Introduction to American Government
      • PHIL 170: Critical Reasoning
      • PHIL 352I: Philosophy of Law
      • PHIL 451I: Liberty and Justice: Race, Ethnicity & Gender in American Law
  • Elective Courses

    • While not required, pre-law students are strongly encouraged to take as many of the classes listed below as possible, as they will help to hone analytical and logical thinking skills, as well as critical and persuasive writing abilities. Courses in bold (ENGL 300 and PHIL 270) are particularly important; all pre-law students, regardless of their major, should take these bolded courses.

      • Africana Studies
        • AFRS 332: Civil Rights and the Law
      • Asian American Studies
        • ASAM 346: Asian Americans and the Law
      • Business
        • BLAW 220: Introduction to Law and Business Transactions
        • BLAW 309: The Consumer in the Legal & Economic Environment
        • BLAW 320: Legal and Regulatory Environment of Business
      • Child Development and Family Studies
        • CDFS 402: Child and Family Law
      • Communications
        • COMM 441I: Issues in Freedom of Communication
      • Criminology and Criminal Justice
        • CRJU 301: Criminal Courts and Judicial Processes
        • CRJU 340: Substantive Criminal Law
        • CRJU 350: Constitutional Criminal Procedure
        • CRJU 420: Legal Aspects of Corrections
        • CRJU 430: Criminal Evidence and Trials (Mock Trial)
        • CRJU 442: Forensic Psychology
      • Economics
        • ECON 300: Fundamentals of Economics
        • ECON 355: Law and Economics
      • English
        • ENGL 102: Critical Reading and Writing
        • ENGL 300: Advanced Composition
      • Environmental Science and Policy
        • ES P 300I: Environmental Law and Policy
      • Health Care Administration
        • HCA 340: Legal Aspects of Health Administration
      • History
        • HIST 308I: Law and Civilization
        • HIST 479: Origins and Early HIstory of the U.S. Constitution
        • HIST 480: Law and Fundamental Rights in American History
        • HIST 489: Topics in the Legal History of the United States
      • Philosophy
        • PHIL 270: Symbolic Logic
        • PHIL 351I: Political Philosophy
        • PHIL 352I: Philosophy of Law
        • PHIL 451I: Liberty and Justice: Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in American Law
        • PHIL 452I: Law, Philosophy, and the Humanities
      • Political Science
        • POSC 311: Constitutional Law I - Power
        • POSC 312: Constitutional Law II - Rights
        • POSC 376: International Law
        • POSC 412: Law and Social Change
        • POSC 414: Jurisprudence
        • POSC 417: Legal Practices (Moot Court)
        • POSC 418: Legal/Judicial Apprenticeship
        • POSC 419: Senior Seminar in Public Law
      • Psychology
        • PSY 351: Social Psychology
        • PSY 495: Psychology and the Law
      • Social Work
        • SW 350: Social Policy: Law and Court Decisions
      • Sociology
        • SOC 440: Sociology of Deviance
        • SOC 491: Special Topics in Deviance and Social Control
      • Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
        • WGSS 308: Women and the Law