Prelaw*

Introduction

*UCSC does not offer "prelaw" as an undergraduate major.

The nation’s top law schools have accepted many UC Santa Cruz graduates. UCSC does not have a major title of "Prelaw." We offer a legal studies major and a politics major. It is a popular misconception that students must major in prelaw, legal studies, or politics in order to get into law school. This simply is not the case. Law schools accept students from a variety of majors including, but not limited to, sociology, literature, philosophy, psychology, biology, anthropology, physics, economics, chemistry, mathematics, and engineering. Law schools are primarily interested in students who possess strong analytical and communication skills. They prefer students who have a diverse educational background to those who have a narrow academic focus.

Students do not necessarily need to enter law school immediately after graduation. Many law schools prefer to accept students who have some work experience and maturity. The ages of first-year law students range from 21 to 50 years, with the median around 26. Diversity in academic background and employment or internship experiences enhance the law school experience for all students.

Degrees Offered

  • Pre-professional program; no undergraduate degree available

Study and Research Opportunities

Students from diverse majors do equally well in both law school and law practice. Although the major is not important, courses in fields such as philosophy, logic, history, economics, computer science, math, and the physical and social sciences may be helpful. Courses should be demanding, requiring analytical and critical thought, writing, and deductive and abstract reasoning. Development of the following skills is recommended: advanced reading comprehension, writing competence gained through writing courses requiring research papers, and intellectual discipline.

Students who have been active in leadership activities and internships improve their chances of acceptance.

Information for First-Year Students (Freshmen)

The Career Center Pre-Law Coach can help suggest courses, extracurricular activities, and special programs to develop skills needed for law school. Sign up for the Pre-Law list serve to receive information on programs, events, and resources: careers.ucsc.edu/student/ConsiderGraduateorProfessionalSchool/law_school1/index.html. Meet with a Pre-Law Peer Coach to get started on the process. UC Santa Cruz has a 3+3 B.A./J.D. Program, an accelerated program with UC Hastings Law School that allows you to start law school one year earlier. There is no required major for applying to law school. The only requirement is to finish your undergraduate degree! Attend a Choose a Major workshop if you need to decide on a major.

Information for Transfers

Interested in law school? Schedule a time to meet with an adviser right away. Find out the criteria to be a strong candidate and how to best prepare yourself. Since any major can apply to law school, complete your undergraduate degree, aiming for a strong GPA. Speak with a major or college adviser to make sure you are on track in completing your academic requirements.

Department Website

More Information

Sheila Rodriguez
Pre Law Coach
sheilar@ucsc.edu  •  831 459-2184
305 Bay Tree Bldg. 3rd Floor

University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064