Simulation of the US Supreme Court 

Students in Dr. Christine Pappas' Civil Rights and Liberties I complete their simulation of the United States Supreme Court.  In the simulation, each student sits as a judge and decides a real case based on the appellate briefs, oral argument, and judicial conference.
The simulation is a highlight of the course.

Welcome to the

Department of Political Science & Legal Studies


Thank you for visiting our page. Our Department is the home of two very different and dynamic programs of study. In both political science and legal studies, our faculty is devoted to providing educational experiences that will prepare you for life in the real world. Our goal is for as many students as possible to participate in active learning, such as simulations, and internships, in addition to your service learning requirement. Many of our students also present their original research in off-campus academic conferences such as Oklahoma Research Day and the Oklahoma Political Science Association Annual Meeting. Please consider becoming a part of our community of scholars!

Should you Choose Political Science or Legal Studies?

Students seem to become interested in our department for three reasons. First, they seek training to work in a law office as a legal assistant. Second, they want to go to law school and become an attorney. Third, they simply love politics. If any of these descriptions fit you, you have come to the right place. Next you need to decide if you should major in political science or legal studies. Many of our students wrestle with the decision about which is the best path for them. The truth is that ECU has prepared many successful law students in each program. Legal Studies is more legally technical. If you wish to work in become a legal assistant, this is the major for you. Political Science is more conceptual so people who love ideas or arguing about politics will feel more at home with this major. Many students major in one, and minor in the other. Graduates of ECU's ABA accredited Legal Studies program are immediately employable in a law office as a paralegal or legal assistant.

Success in any career today demands flexibility based in three skill areas: the ability to think critically, the ability to analyze information from a variety of sources and apply that analysis to solving problems, and the ability to communicate that analysis to others. These skills are particularly critical for careers in law, government, business, teaching, medicine, as well as for success in graduate or professional school. Both political science and legal studies equip students in these three areas.

Do you wish you could major in PRE-LAW?

While Pre-Law is a major at many colleges and universities, at ECU, we channel students either into political science or legal studies. While you will not have to decide right away, we suggest that you make a decision by your Sophomore year so you can take the recommended General Education classes for your major and get on the right track. For more information or advice, contact Dr. Christine Pappas, Pre-Law Advisor, at


May 2010 PS & LS Grads & Fac

May 2010 Political Science and Legal Studies Graduates and Faculty 
Political Science students participate in Oklahoma Undergraduate Research Day every fall.

 research day photo

Political Science & Legal Studies Department Faculty from left to right:
Dr. Jenna Owens, Dr. Christine Pappas, Dr. Charles Peaden, and Dr. John Ulrich