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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