Applying to the LSJ Major

LSJ accepts applications during Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters. Applications are always due by 4pm on the second Friday of the quarter.

Winter Quarter 2017 applications are due Friday, January 13th at 4:00pm.

The link to the application dropbox will be posted here in December.

All questions about the application should be directed to

***LSJ Major Application Workshops***
Wednesday, December 14th, 2:30-3:30pm
Wednesday, January 4th, 2:30-3:30pm

Smith Hall M261 (on the mezzanine level of Smith, in between the 2nd and 3rd floors)
No RSVP required.
Learn more about LSJ requirements, course offerings, admissions prerequisites, and the application process (including walking through the application step by step!). The second half of the session will provide tips for writing the personal statement portion of the application (including time to brainstorm ideas for your statement!), as well as a Q&A session with the LSJ Advisers. This workshop is meant to help you submit a strong and successful personal statement! All are welcome.

Please read this whole page carefully before applying to the Law, Societies, and Justice major.  Click here for a handout with instructions for submitting your application to LSJ via our online application process. If you are a transfer student not yet admitted to UW, you should also read the Transferring into LSJ page of our website.

Prerequisites for the Law, Societies, and Justice major.

To be eligible to apply to the Law, Societies, and Justice major (LSJ), students have to meet the following prerequisite criteria: the minimum grades and the successful completion of prerequisite coursework.

Minimum Grades:

All LSJ major applicants need to have at least a 2.5 cumulative UW grade point average to apply (raised from the prior minimum of 2.0). Since this is a competitive admission major, most successful applicants have a higher gpa than 2.5. Since grades are not the only criteria being considered, every student who meets at least the minimum criteria is encouraged to apply.

Prerequisite Coursework:

Two prerequisite courses also need to be completed and graded before a student’s application can be considered for this major: one class from the University of Washington’s English Composition list and one from the list of LSJ Core Courses (see specifics below).  Many of these prerequisite courses fill quickly and are very popular, so plan ahead.  We make every effort to offer each prerequisite course as often as possible.  If you have questions about prerequisites or difficulty registering, email or visit the Law, Societies, and Justice adviser to discuss options:

Admission decisions will be made on a competitive basis from among those students who meet the minimum requirements.  Students who have completed the prerequisites and are interested in this field of study are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as they have met the prerequisites.  Delaying application to the major may make it more difficult to be admitted.

Applications are accepted during Autumn, Winter and Spring quarters. The application deadline is the second Friday of the quarter, at 4PM.  Admission decisions are made prior to the start of registration for the quarter following the one in which you applied.

Law, Societies, and Justice Prerequisite Checklist

1. A minimum cumulative UW GPA of no less than 2.50.

2. One course from the UW English Composition list (5 credits).  This list includes: C LIT 240, ENGL 109-110, ENGL 111, ENGL 121, ENGL 131, ENGL 197, ENGL 198, ENGL 199, ENGL 281, ENGL 297, ENGL 298, or ENGL 299.  This course is a prerequisite because the ability to write well-reasoned and well-supported research papers is of great value for success in the LSJ major.  ENGL 198 and ENGL 298 are recommended because they focus specifically on writing in the social sciences, but any course that fulfills the UW English Composition requirement will complete this requirement.

3. One course from the LSJ Core list (5 credits).  These 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 Program, taking one 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
  • LSJ 320/POL S 368 The Politics & Law of International Human Rights
  • LSJ 321/ ANTH 323 Human Rights Law in Culture and Practice
  • LSJ 322/JSIS A 324 Human Rights in Latin America
  • LSJ/POL S 363 Law in Society
  • LSJ/JSIS B 366 Comparative Law and Legal Cultures
  • LSJ/POL S 367 Comparative Law and Courts
  • SOC 372 Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • LSJ 375 Crime, Politics, and Justice

Note: Students must have all prerequisite requirements completed and graded in order to be considered for admission.

Full Instructions for the LSJ Major online applications are found on the Student Forms page of the LSJ website.

Admission is competitive.  When the LSJ Admissions Committee looks at each student’s application materials, they will be thinking about the following criteria in order to make decisions:

a) the personal statement representing the student’s interest in and commitment to study of Law, Societies, and Justice as an academic field

b) evidence of writing, analytical thinking and academic skills suitable to success in upper-level classes in the department

c) evidence of ability to communicate intelligently about material covered in LSJ courses taken by the time of application

d) gpa, with emphasis on grades received in courses required for admission, in other LSJ courses, and in social science courses in general

Applicants admitted to the major will receive email notification as soon as the LSJ Admissions Committee decisions are finalized.  After receiving such notification, students will attend the LSJ New Major Workshop. During this meeting, major requirements will be reviewed and 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. Students who cannot attend the workshop are encouraged to make an appointment as soon as possible after receiving the email indicating their acceptance to the major in order to facilitate registration for the following quarter.