Special Public Service Announcement on Advising by Commonthread


									                  Special Public Service Announcement on Advising

         If you are in your junior or senior year at MTSU, you should fill out an upper-
division form, get it signed by your major and minor advisors, and turn it in to the
Records Office in Cope. Upper division forms outline the courses that you need in order
to graduate from MTSU with separate sections for general studies requirements, the
major, and coursework for cognates (pre-law students), minors, and/or foreign languages.
         MTSU professors are not likely contact you for advising. It is therefore important
that you seek them out. Pam Davis, the departmental secretary, can tell you who your
advisor is. You are free to change advisors if you choose. Dr. Clyde Willis, Dr. Robb
McDaniel, and I do most of the pre-law advising within the Department. Others
specialize in advising students in International Relations, Public Administration, and the
like. It is especially important to seek advice if you have transferred credit from another
college or university, if you have switched majors or minors, or if you have had to take
developmental classes (which do not count in the 120 hours now needed to graduate from
MTSU). Students who transfer from other colleges often find that classes there may have
the same number but different content from the classes offered here—we cannot give you
credit for the same class taken under different numbers at two different colleges!
         Most advisors do their best, but the ultimate responsibility for seeing that you
meet graduation requirements rests with you. Political students need to know that to
graduate in political science they need: 120 hours of credit exclusive of developmental
courses; 33 hours in the major, spread out over required courses and subfields; two
minors or (in pre-law) a minor and a cognate (for the B.S.), or one minor or cognate and
12 consecutive hours of foreign language (for the B.A., not available in International
Relations); 60 hours at a four-year university; and 42 or more hours of upper-division
credit (3000 or 4000 level); a completed upper-division form with signatures from
major and minor advisors; and an intent to graduate form.
         Students planning to attend law school should take the Law School Admissions
Test (LSAT) no later than December of their senior year, and preferably sooner; similar
rules apply for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Most law schools chiefly rely on
grades and LSAT scores in choosing their classes. If you have repeated classes at
MTSU, the LSDAS report will give you a lower average than MTSU. Similarly, if you
have repeated the LSAT, some schools will credit you with the highest score, but others
will average them together. Few students get into law school without a 3.0 grade point
average, and students with this average often fail to get into the school of their choosing.
         Most students should apply to at least one school that they are fairly certain of
getting into, at least one or two schools better than they think they can get into, and at
least one or two backup schools. Schools sometimes have different application deadlines.
Most require three letters of recommendation. Although some scholarships are available
for really good students, most aid to students attending law schools is in the form of
loans. State schools, particularly in-state schools, are often priced significantly lower
than private schools. Tennessee law schools include the University of Tennessee, the
University of Memphis, the Nashville School of Law (not accredited outside the state),
and Vanderbilt (private).
         I hope this proves a useful starting point for you, but I encourage you to contact
your advisor directly and to seek other sources of information.

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