Law, Societies & Justice

College of Arts and Sciences

Law, Societies and Justice (LSJ) offers opportunities for students to understand the complex roles of law in society. Law takes multiple forms and performs a wide array of important functions. At the same time, the work of law is shaped by numerous political, economic, social, cultural and geographic factors. As a result, law on the books is not the same as law in action. Students in the LSJ major develop a deep appreciation for the variety of dynamics that shape the translation of law into outcomes. Coursework emphasizes close reading of key texts, active classroom engagement with complex ideas and the development of the capacity to articulate arguments in oral and written communication. Beyond its interdisciplinary orientation, LSJ emphasizes the importance of analyzing socio-legal dynamics in comparative perspective. Courses explore legal traditions and transformations in Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East, as well as North America. Attention also falls on the increasing development of global regimes of law and regulation. Graduates of this degree pursue careers in fields such as business, government, nonprofit, law, media and communication, policy and education.

Major category: Capacity-constrained

Minor available

Topic: Social sciences

Applicant type


Freshmen can apply to the UW to begin autumn quarter or winter quarter (U.S. applicants only)

Read more about applying to the UW as a freshman, including details for programs that provide high school students with college credit (like Running Start).


Preparation for the major is a factor in transfer admission. Use the information below to help you prepare for this degree

Department admission information

  • Departmental application deadline: April 5 for Autumn 2023 (Pilot Program), Second Friday of Autumn Quarter for Winter
  • Please contact the department for details about the application process.

This major is capacity-constrained. Completion of prerequisites does not guarantee admission.

Admission is based on:

  • GPA (minimum UW GPA of 2.5 required), with emphasis on the courses required for admission and for completion of major requirements
  • personal statement representing the student’s interest in and commitment to becoming a LSJ major
  • other evidence of a commitment to the study of society, justice and law
  • Admitted applicants often show evidence of success in social science courses
  • Learn more about transferring into LSJ and find a list of recommended social science courses on the department’s website.
LSJ is piloting a Direct-to-Major Transfer application for autumn 2023. For more information about admissions criteria for this program, visit the department’s website. Application deadline is April 5th.

Courses required for the major:

  • English composition C

Two of the following courses:

  • LSJ 200 SSc – Intro to Law, Societies and Justice
  • LSJ/POL S 363 SSc – Law in Society
  • LSJ 320/POL S 368 SSc – The Politics and Law of International Human Rights
  • LSJ 321/ANTH 323 SSc – Human Rights Law in Culture and Practice
  • LSJ 322/JSIS A 324 SSc – Human Rights in Latin America
  • LSJ 329 SSc – Immigration, Citizenship, and Rights
  • LSJ/JSIS B 366 SSc – Comp. Law & Legal Cultures
  • LSJ/POL S 367 SSc – Comparative Law & Courts


  • With few exceptions, LSJ-specific prerequisites are completed at the UW after admission to the University and before admission to the major.
  • Most transfer students complete major prerequisites in the first or second quarter at UW, and then apply to the major in the following quarter.
  • Evidence of writing skills, particularly in the social sciences, is encouraged.

Entering transfer information:

Total undergraduates: 141
Total from Washington community colleges: 18

Entering transfer GPA (from WA community colleges):

3.75 – 4.00: 9
3.50 – 3.74: 3
3.25 – 3.49: 4
3.00 – 3.24: 2
2.75 – 2.99: 0
2.50 – 2.74: 0
2.49 and below: 0

Career outcomes