If you are at another college or university and wish to transfer to the University of Washington’s Law, Societies, and Justice undergraduate major, the first step is to apply to the university itself. After you are admitted to UW, you can finish any of your remaining LSJ major prerequisites and then apply to the major. Students are not admitted to this major at the point of admission to the UW. Most transfer students apply to this program in their second or third quarter after admission to UW.
Applying to the University of Washington
The University of Washington Admissions website has answers to most questions about application to the university. When you fill out an application to UW you will be asked about your intended major as part of the application process. You should definitely mention your intention to major in LSJ, but keep in mind that you will be applying to the major separately, after starting at the University of Washington as a student. It is also a good idea to talk in your UW application essay about the topics and ideas you want to study at UW and in the Law, Societies, and Justice major. The strongest applicants to the UW are those who not only show evidence of previous academic success, but those who have also made the case in their personal statement for their interest in specific academic fields of study offered by UW.
Many students ask the LSJ adviser to evaluate their transcripts to determine how their courses will count at UW or to figure out what they should take in the quarters preceding their admission to UW. Transcripts are evaluated officially by the UW Admissions Office only when a student applies to the university. If you are transferring from a Washington area community college, you can determine the way your classes transfer to UW by using the Admission Office’s Transfer Equivalency Guide. Since the majority of LSJ major classes are junior and senior level and offered only at UW, it is wise to try not to take “major” coursework before you get to UW.
Vocational/ Technical Courses
There are a lot of students interested in this major as a stepping-stone to a very specific career (for instance: law enforcement officer, legal assistant, lawyer, or policy advocate), but it is important to realize what the goals of the LSJ major are and how they will be of a benefit to specific jobs and careers. LSJ is not a vocational training degree for one particular job category. Rather, it is a means to train students to think, communicate, adapt, learn, and otherwise develop skills that can be used in a broad range of careers. Our classes use the study of law, societies, and justice to train skills like: logical thinking, analysis, critical thinking, writing, research, verbal communication, and understanding of the social/political world around us. Whereas a student who focuses on education in a single vocational area will be well trained for that area, a student who focuses on a breadth of the most important skills needed in any part of the workforce will be better prepared for a wide range of employment opportunities. For students transferring from universities or colleges with heavily vocational degrees, it is important to note that transfer credits completed in administration of justice, law enforcement, and paralegal programs are accepted on a limited basis at the UW.
Important Note About New LSJ Major and Minor Requirements
Starting Autumn 2011, the requirements for applying to the LSJ major and for completing the LSJ major and minor will change. Students transferring to UW should know that they will no longer need to complete a Research Methods course as a prerequisite for applying to LSJ. They will still need to complete an English Composition course and one LSJ Core course. The Composition course is easy to take at other institutions, but transfer students will almost definitely have to take the LSJ Core course at UW in the first or second quarter after being admitted to the university.
In addition to the change in admission requirements, there will now only be two LSJ Subfields in the major and minor. Courses have been merged into only two subfields rather than the previous three. This has not reduced the number or type of courses that count for LSJ in any way. It has just altered how these courses fit into requirements. These requirements were designed to work with transfer students in mind. They should not slow admission to the major after transferring to the UW. Students will still be able to apply to the major two or three quarters after being admitted to UW, just as before.