List of All U.S. Colleges with a Legal Studies Major

For those who are passionate about politics and activism, Legal Studies can be an engaging subject that allows for an interdisciplinary exploration of these topics. Students will gain a better understanding of the legal systems that govern our everyday lives, and the nitty-gritty legal issues that crop up in many different fields. Legal Studies majors also learn to advocate for themselves and others, such as minority groups, using the law.   

 

Today, many colleges in the United States offer a Legal Studies major. Because the skills from the curriculum can apply to a wide range of legal careers, students in this major have many options post-graduation. With this major, you can explore a variety of topics and gain a solid foundation in legal entities, whether you want to work in politics, business, or another career field. Legal studies majors can go on to be paralegals, real estate agents, and social workers.

 

If a Legal Studies major sounds like it’s up your alley, read on to learn more about which schools offer this major and key factors you should look for in a program.

 

Overview of the Legal Studies Major

 

No matter where you attend school, Legal Studies majors can typically expect to encounter a number of core topics during their undergraduate studies. Some of these might include constitutional law, the first amendment, the judicial system, criminal justice, and civil rights. Often, Legal Studies majors can also take interdisciplinary courses in other social science departments.

 

As students enter their junior and senior year of college, they can take upper division courses that are much more niche in nature. These will allow you to get an in-depth look at the parts of the legal system that interest you the most. Some examples of upper division Legal Studies courses are “The Law and Economics of Innovation” (UC Berkeley), “Rules of War” (UMass), and “Science Fiction and Social Justice” (Northwestern).

 

For students who wish to pursue this major, a strong foundation in reading and writing is key. This is because you’ll probably have to pore over dense legal jargon, and then write a critical analysis on your findings. You’ll also need to have a strong backbone as you may be engaging in debates and receiving criticism on your work. 

 

Those with an interest in politics and activism might also gravitate towards this major, as the topics will relate to current events. You’ll need to know how to choose a stance and advocate for it in a persuasive and logical manner. But, you’ll also need a creative mindset as interpreting the law is not always black and white. 

 

As for graduate school, there is a misconception that all undergraduates majoring in Legal Studies go on to law school. While this is certainly the case for many, you could also attend graduate school to deepen your understanding of a specific subtopic, or you could go to business school and apply your knowledge in the corporate sphere. Though it is less common, medical school is also an option, as you could combine your knowledge to pursue an interdisciplinary career in medicine and law. 

 

Also keep in mind that pre-law students can major in anything, so don’t feel limited to Legal Studies. In fact, Legal Studies isn’t even on our list of the best pre-law majors. Law schools want to see you build up an interdisciplinary education that trains you to think critically and write clearly. 

 

There are a plethora of career options for students pursuing Legal Studies. Students can go on to work at a law firm, or in judicial administration, banking, legal research, human resources, and more. Most fields deal with the law, and once you find your passion within the field, you can pursue whatever niche avenue that leads you down. From privacy protection to public welfare, there is no shortage of job opportunities.

 

What to Look for in a College as a Legal Studies Major

 

Internship Opportunities

 

For those pursuing Legal Studies, the coursework can be very theory-heavy, providing a lot of background information on the legal system. Thus, if you want to apply this knowledge to a real-life practical situation, you’ll need internships or part-time work. You should look into the programs at colleges that offer Legal Studies and how easily they connect students to internship opportunities. Some of them have these positions built into the curriculum, and others may have programs specific to different pre-professional routes, such as law school. 

 

Living-Learning Community

 

Many schools have living-learning communities, which are dorm floors or entire residence halls dedicated to a particular topic. These spaces are for students with shared backgrounds, interests, and career aspirations. Housing administrations often hold events, like workshops and mixers, or provide resources like mentorship programs and academic advising. 

 

For Legal Studies, there are a variety of potential LLCs that could complement your course studies with an enriching living space. For example, the University of Kansas has a “Leadership, University & You” learning community where students can develop their career and leadership skills. The University of Denver has a “Social Justice” LLC where you can learn more about participating in grassroots activism. 

 

Interdisciplinary Studies

 

Legal studies can be very broad, and chances are you’ll want to explore how to apply your major to different subjects. Exploring other academic topics is a great way to learn more about your academic interests and help you hone in on your future career. When researching prospective universities, ensure that course selection and interdisciplinary options match the breadth of your own academic interests. For example, the University of Pittsburgh allows Legal Studies majors to take courses in political science, urban studies, and sociology. 

Discover your chances at hundreds of schools

Our free chancing engine takes into account your history, background, test scores, and extracurricular activities to show you your real chances of admission—and how to improve them.

List of All U.S. Colleges With a Legal Studies Major

 

School

City

State

Central Michigan University | CMU

Mount Pleasant

Michigan

Claremont McKenna College | CMC

Claremont

California

Harvey Mudd College | HMC

Claremont

California

Pitzer College

Claremont

California

Arizona State University | ASU

Tempe

Arizona

Northwestern University

Evanston

Illinois

Scripps College

Claremont

California

United States Military Academy | Army

West Point

New York

University of La Verne

La Verne

California

University of California, Santa Cruz | UCSC

Santa Cruz

California

University of California, Santa Barbara | UCSB

Santa Barbara

California

University of Kansas

Lawrence

Kansas

United States Air Force Academy | Air Force

USAF Academy

Colorado

St. John’s University

Queens

New York

Dickinson College

Carlisle

Pennsylvania

Suffolk University

Boston

Massachusetts

Lasell College | LC

Newton

Massachusetts

Lipscomb University

Nashville

Tennessee

University of Wisconsin-Madison | Wisconsin

Madison

Wisconsin

Ithaca College

Ithaca

New York

St. John Fisher College

Rochester

New York

University of California, Berkeley | UC Berkeley

Berkeley

California

University of Arkansas at Little Rock | UA Little Rock

Little Rock

Arkansas

Mercer University

Macon

Georgia

Western New England University | WNE

Springfield

Massachusetts

University of Massachusetts Amherst | UMass Amherst

Amherst

Massachusetts

University of Pittsburgh | Pitt

Pittsburgh

Pennsylvania

Point Park University

Pittsburgh

Pennsylvania

University of Central Florida | UCF

Orlando

Florida

Saint Louis University | SLU

Saint Louis

Missouri

Webster University

Saint Louis

Missouri

University of Miami

Coral Gables

Florida

University of Denver

Denver

Colorado

Oakland University

Rochester Hills

Michigan

Temple University

Philadelphia

Pennsylvania

University of Texas at San Antonio | UTSA

San Antonio

Texas

University of Washington

Seattle

Washington

Samford University

Birmingham

Alabama

University of New Haven | UNH

West Haven

Connecticut

American University

Washington

Washington DC

 

Notice a school that’s missing? Email us and let us know!

 

What Are Your Chances of Acceptance?

 

No matter what major you choose, when looking for the perfect school, you’ll need to see how you match up to other candidates. Many selective schools use a tool called the Academic Index to filter out applicants based on quantitative criteria like your GPA and test scores.

 

From there, you’ll want to demonstrate a qualitative fit with the school by looking into their campus culture, reputation, and values. Most schools have a specific “vibe” and are looking for students whose personalities resonate with this. You’ll want to demonstrate that you fit in with the school by making sure your extracurricular activities and essays match their brand.

 

To demonstrate your fit with Legal Studies, you’ll also want to pursue relevant activities, like Student Council, mock trial, or nonprofit work. 

 

For more information about your fit with a certain school, we recommend using our free Chancing Engine. Unlike other calculators, it takes into account a large portion of your individual profile, including your academic stats and more qualitative factors like your extracurriculars.

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Short Bio
Priya has been working at CollegeVine for two years in various capacities, including mentoring students, editing hundreds of essays, and creating blog content. She has also interned in healthcare consulting. She is extremely grateful for all the help she received as an applicant and wants to pay it forward by demystifying the admissions process for others.

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