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.

Autumn 2017 Application Dropbox

Autumn 2017 application deadline: Friday, October 6th, 2017 at 4:00 pm.
Autumn 2017 notification date: October 27th at 5pm

All questions about the application should be directed to

***LSJ Major Application Workshops***
Thursday, September 7th12:30-1:30pm
Thursday, September 28th2:30-3:30pm
Monday, October 2nd12:30-1:30pm

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 must meet the following prerequisite criteria, including minimum grades and the successful completion of prerequisite coursework.

Minimum Grades:

All LSJ major applicants must have at least a 2.5 cumulative UW grade point average to apply. Since LSJ is a competitive admission major, most successful applicants have a higher GPA than 2.5. Grades are not the only criteria considered, so every student who meets at least the minimum criteria is encouraged to apply.

Prerequisite Coursework:

Three 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 two 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 Law, Societies & Justice Advising to discuss options:

Admission decisions are 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 encouraged to apply in their sophomore or junior year.

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 following quarter. Students who have applied prior to Autumn 2017 are eligible to apply to the major up to three times. Students who apply for the first time beginning Autumn 2017 or later may only apply to the major twice.

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 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.  Two courses from two different LSJ Core Categories (10 credits), although more courses are encourageed.  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.”

Category 1: 

  • LSJ 200 (Introduction to Law, Societies, and Justice) OR LSJ/POL S 363 (Law in Society)

Category 2: 

  • 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)

Category 3: 

  • LSJ/JSIS B 366 (Comparative Law and Legal Cultures) OR LSJ/POL S 367 (Comparative Law and Courts)

Category 4:

  • LSJ 375/SOC 372 (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 application are on the Student Forms page of the LSJ website.

Admission is competitive.  Our average acceptance rate over the last two years is 49%. The LSJ Admissions Committee considers the following criteria when making admissions 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

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. 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.