Advocacy Minor



Do you have a passion to see justice served? Are you interested to improve your skills as an advocate and to learn the methods of community-based research? Are you considering law school, a master’s degree in public administration or nonprofit management? If so, the advocacy minor is for you!

The minor consists of six courses: two required courses and four electives.

Students must select one of three concentrations: 

  • law
  • public administration
  • nonprofit management

The required courses consist of the core course (required of all concentrations) and a concentration-appropriate application course (one required in each of the three). Students will take three electives within their concentration and may select a fourth elective from one of the two other concentrations or from the list of electives common to the minor. Students must take at least two courses at the 300 level or above. Required and elective course details follow.

Core course:

PSCI 202 Engagement and the City: Millennials and the New Citizenship (required)

Course offerings in the three concentrations:


Application: BUS 349 Seminar in Management: Trial Class (required)

Concentration Electives: PSCI 244 Voting, Voice, and Virtual Freedom in the Internet Age; Phil 305 Philosophy of Law; PSCI 307 Constitutional Law: Judicial Review and Constitutional Interpretation; BUS 355 Business Law I; BUS 356 Business Law II.

Nonprofit management

Application: PSCI/SOC 395 Action Research Seminar (required)

Concentration Electives:  SOC 240 The Profession of Social Work; SOC 362 Social Welfare and Human Services;  BUS 332 Marketing in Service Industries and Not-for-Profit management; PSCI/SOC 396 Internship Seminar; PSCI 397/SOC Internship in Administration; PSCI/SOC 398 Grant Writing.

Public administration

Application: PSCI 396 City Internship (required)

Concentration Electives:  PSCI 101 American National Government; PSCI 201 State and Local Government; SOC 227 Social Statistics; SOC 314 Communities and Urban Sociology; PSCI 392 Empirical Political Research; PSCI/SOC 398 Grant Writing. (Students in the public administration concentration should be sure that in selecting their electives they end up with a total of at least two 300 level courses overall.)


Electives common the Minor:

ENST 200 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

PSCI 281 American Social Policy

ECON 100 Introduction to Economics


Advocacy Minor Details

Aristotle wrote his classic Rhetoric for the generally educated citizen. He defined advocacy quite broadly and focused on training civic advocates because he realized that in a democracy persuasion is a form of power. It is the most authoritative and justified form of power because it works by changing minds. The advocacy minor at IWU is aimed at training civic advocates for the twenty-first century.

The required core course, PSCI 202 Engagement and the City: Millennials and the New Citizenship, is a Citizenship 101 practicum. It introduces the student to various debates and theories about citizenship and advocacy, and then opens students to West Bloomington as a laboratory where they can apply and practice their skills of civic engagement. The course also introduces students to the methodology followed by the Action Research Center. At the same time, it is a standalone course addressing the purposes and functions of citizenship and the tools of community-based research.

The advocacy minor will serve as a curricular foundation and home for three pre-professional programs: pre-law, pre-public administration, and pre-nonprofit management.  Pre-law has always been popular at IWU, but increasingly students here have also been drawn to the numerous careers and life paths within public administration and the nonprofit sector. The three form a coherent whole in that they each cross the state and civil society distinction that runs through contemporary liberal democracies. State legislatures and judiciaries create laws and the executive branch implements them, but many attorneys work in the areas of contracts, property, and tort law which operate somewhat autonomously in civic society. Nonprofits are mainly civil society-based organizations, but they frequently work with and in some case on behalf of governments. And public administrators work with attorneys and nonprofits on a routine basis.

A narrow focus on either the state or civil society alone is especially inappropriate for students interested in law school. Attorneys often represent the state, but just as often they represent the marginalized in society. Pre-law education should be understood as requiring a broad training in reading, writing, and reasoning on a variety of public interested topics. Majors like English, history, economics, philosophy, sociology, and political science are all typical “pre-law” majors and the law schools at places like Harvard and Yale frequently take students from art, chemistry, mathematics, religion, and indeed all liberal arts majors. The advocacy minor with a pre-law concentration is thus a natural pair with any liberal arts major.

The advocacy minor’s concentrations will allow students to signal their pre-professional interests to prospective programs. Under the minor, each concentration—pre-law, pre-public administration, and pre-nonprofit management—will be entered on student transcripts.