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How to Apply

The application period to apply for the Legal Studies major occurs during the winter quarter of each year.

The Legal Studies major is open to undergraduates in all schools however, because demand for the required Advanced Research Seminar often exceeds the enrollment limits, admission to the major is by application only.

Before applying students must complete, or be in the process of completing, Legal Studies or SOCIOL 206: "Law and Society" and at least one other law-related course as approved by Legal Studies. Any class listed on our Electives page will meet the "law-related" course requirement. If you have questions about this requirement when you apply, please email us at legalstudies@northwestern.edu.

Your chance of admission is based on how many seats are available in the upcoming seminar sequences and the number of applications received. After the deadline, our faculty will meet to review the applications and choose the students who will be invited to declare the major.   Students will be notified of the results prior to registration for spring quarter classes. If you are a first-year student or sophomore and you are declined, you are encouraged to apply again the following year.






 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does the application process entail?

We ask you to fill out a simple one-page form asking about your research interests and the law-related classes you’ve taken. We also ask you to write a one-page essay about a law-related topic. Here is a copy of the 2019 application, but note that future versions may change.

Can I apply as a First Year?

Yes! So long as you satisfy the course requirements for the application, you may apply as a first-year student.

If I don’t get accepted, can I reapply the following year?

Yes! If you apply as a first-year or sophomore and you don't get in, you are encouraged to apply again. You might consider taking a writing course, making use of The Writing Place, or taking additional Legal Studies courses or electives before applying again. You may apply to the major as a junior, but we recommend that you have an alternative major in mind should you not get accepted.

I am studying abroad during fall or winter quarter of my junior year. Can I still apply to the major?

Yes! You can apply to the major and defer enrollment in the Advanced Research Seminar until your senior year.

I have to complete my Junior Residency for Medill. Can I still apply to the major?

Yes! You just need to make sure that you will be on campus in consecutive Fall and Winter quarters in order to complete the Advanced Research Seminar courses in sequence.