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Law, Societies & Justice

College of Arts & 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

Topic(s): Social sciences

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Degree requirements

Applicant type

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).

Law, Societies & Justice is a capacity-constrained major. An additional application is required after you enroll at the UW, and admission may be competitive. Visit the department website for more information.

Quarters of general admisson to UW: autumn / winter (U.S. applicants only) / spring / summer

Preparation for the major is a factor in transfer admission.

  • Use the information below to help you prepare for this degree
  • Visit MyPlan to run a degree audit.
  • Use the UW Equivalency Guide to find out how courses taken at a Washington state community or technical college will transfer to the UW.
  • UW college and school graduation requirements

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.

Read more about applying to the UW as a transfer student.

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

Entering transfer information:

Total undergraduates: 196
Total from Washington community colleges: 25

Entering transfer GPA (from WA community colleges):

3.75 – 4.00: 10
3.50 – 3.74: <5
3.25 – 3.49: 6
3.00 – 3.24: <5
2.75 – 2.99: <5
2.50 – 2.74: <5
2.49 and below: <5

Career outcomes


See list of all majors