On This Page
- Prospective Students
- Application Information
- Application Workshops
- Prerequisites for the LSJ Major
- Admissions Considerations
Prospective Student Advising
During the first four weeks of the quarter, LSJ Advisers only meet with prospective students during drop in advising. Individual appointments for prospective students will open during Week 5. Additionally, students may attend a prospective student information session to learn more about the major or an application workshop if they are applying in the next application cycle. Prospective students re-applying to the major can make appointments two (2) weeks following the day of the admissions decision.
Note: Prospective student advising is currently directed to phone, email, and Zoom options.
LSJ Advising Office Drop-In Hours | No drop-in hours during summer quarter!
Schedule an Advising Appointment
Prospective Student Information Sessions: View our recorded session here.
The department seeks to admit students who: (a) are capable of succeeding in LSJ coursework as demonstrated by a competitive GPA; (b) display a clear understanding of the LSJ major's overarching themes, as well as its emphases on human rights and legal institutions; and (c) can contribute to a dynamic learning community, in some cases by providing a unique perspective based on their life experiences and academic interests.
LSJ accepts applications during Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters. Applications are always due by 4pm on the second Friday of the quarter (Autumn Application is due October 9th at 4:00 pm). The application is in a Google Form - you must be logged into your UW email address to access the application.
Given the recent concerns of COVID-19 and its effect on higher education institutions, the LSJ Department has adapted its undergraduate admissions policy for LSJ courses where an S grade was earned during a designated UW Extraordinary Circumstances Quarter (ECQ): Spring 2020, Summer 2020, and Autumn 2020. An S grade will not negatively impact a student's application. To be eligible for admission to the LSJ Department, at least one (1) LSJ course must have a numerical grade (4.0 scale).
Personal Statement Prompt (750 words): The Law, Societies, and Justice Department offers undergraduate students a dynamic and engaged interdisciplinary liberal arts education focused on law, rights, and justice. LSJ courses analyze the meaning of justice, the methods used in efforts to realize it, the politics of rights, and the complex roles that law and legal institutions play in structuring social life. One of our goals in assessing each applicant to the LSJ major is to understand precisely what motivates each applicant's interest in the major. In 750 words or less please describe what intellectual questions or social issues underlie your interest in our major. Explain how courses you have already taken have informed your interest, and how you expect future courses will enable you to explore that interest further.
Optional Hardship Statement (250 words): Describe any personal or economic hardships or barriers and explain how they directly affected your ability to be successful in college, as reflected in your transcript. As hardships may occur throughout your life, be specific about when you encountered these hardships and how long they lasted.
Apply Now - Due October 9th at 4pm
**The following requirements will be effective AUT 2020**
To be eligible to apply to the Law, Societies, and Justice major (LSJ), students must meet the following prerequisite criteria, including minimum grades and the successful completion of prerequisite coursework.
1. A minimum cumulative UW GPA of no less than 2.50.
2. One course from the UW English Composition list (5 credits).
3. Two courses from two different LSJ Core Categories (10 credits), although more courses are encouraged (for Autumn 2020, LSJ 375 will count as a core course for admissions purposes only). LSJ Core courses lay the foundations for understanding how law interacts with human society and institutions on a local, national and global level. Because of the uniqueness of the LSJ major, taking two of these core classes is a vital tool for helping students understand the educational goals of this major before applying.
These LSJ Core classes should all be considered “introductory.”
- LSJ 200 (Introduction to Law, Societies, and Justice) OR LSJ/POL S 363 (Law in Society)
- LSJ 320/POL S 368 (The Politics & Law of International Human Rights) OR LSJ 321/ANTH 323 (Human Rights Law in Culture and Practice) OR LSJ 322/JSIS A 324 (Human Rights in Latin America) OR LSJ 329 (Immigration, Citizenship, and Rights)
- LSJ/JSIS B 366 (Comparative Law and Legal Cultures) OR LSJ/POL S 367 (Comparative Law and Courts)
Note: Students must have all prerequisite requirements completed and graded in order to be considered for admission.
- The personal statement representing the student’s interest in and commitment to study of Law, Societies, and Justice as an academic field
- Evidence of writing, analytical thinking and academic skills suitable to success in upper-level classes in the department
- Evidence of ability to communicate intelligently about material covered in LSJ courses taken by the time of application
- GPA, with emphasis on grades received in courses required for admission, in other LSJ courses, and in social science courses in general
All applicants will receive email notification of their admission decision by the Friday of the 5th week of the quarter in which they apply. Students admitted to the major will attend the LSJ New Major Workshop, during which the necessary paperwork to formally declare the major will be completed. Your acceptance to the major cannot be formalized unless these forms are filled out, signed, and turned in to the Registrar’s Office.
Frequently Asked Questions
How competitive is LSJ?
Answer: Applicants admitted to LSJ are usually strong students, but what makes a student strong is rather complex. Because this is an academic program that explores law in social science perspectives, students should show particular aptitude in social science courses. They should also be able to communicate clearly and concisely, and show an interest in the academic topics and social issues discussed in LSJ classes. Admission is based on a student’s academic record and his/her essay. The number of admitted students varies by quarter, based on the characteristics of each applicant pool and the number of students the program can admit. All students who have completed the minimum requirements and who are interested in the major are strongly encouraged to apply.
LSJ is competitive because we cannot admit all who seek to pursue the major. Students are welcome to apply up to two times, but in deciding a second submission should have a parallel plan in case they are not admitted to LSJ. The best plan will vary depending on student interests, but it should be a major that has either open admission or minimum requirement admission.
I am transferring to the UW from another institution, how can I improve my chances of getting into LSJ as a major?
Answer: The first task is getting into the University of Washington so that you can complete the last prerequisite course(s) before applying to the major. When applying to the university, you should certainly mention your interest in this major, even if you still have prerequisite courses to complete. The Admissions staff knows that one of the LSJ prerequisites has to be completed after being admitted, so not having it completed will not keep you from getting into UW.
Transfer students who are admitted to LSJ usually have good grades, but they also show a genuine interest in the study of law and justice. Our program is built on the research and scholarly goals of our faculty rather than on a certain career field. As a result, any evidence of commitment to the academic field carries more weight than a student’s wish for a certain career after college.
I am not yet an LSJ major and I am about to register for classes. What classes will be the best choices now?
Answer: It is fine to take LSJ classes before being admitted to the major. Students should try to give preference to the classes in the LSJ Core Course list over those in the subfields. The Core Courses are meant to ground the knowledge covered in more detail in the subfield courses, so taking them first improves your chance of doing well in the upper level coursework.
If you are looking for non-LSJ classes that will complement your LSJ studies, consider taking classes that explore a part of the world you know nothing about. You might also consider a class that expands your knowledge of modern history, politics, international relations, philosophy, geography, culture, gender, race, or ethnicity.
Do you have a graduate program in LSJ?
Answer: The Law, Societies, and Justice Department does not offer graduate degrees, however, we do have a Graduate Certificate. The details of which are available under the Programs and Courses tab on this website.