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Undergraduate Degrees for Law School

As a prospective law student, you’ve probably heard how tough it is to get accepted to law school—and how difficult law school is once you get there. Students who are currently pursuing an undergraduate education might wonder:

  • Do some undergraduate degrees look better on a law school application than others?
  • Are some degree programs discouraged for prospective law students?
  • Which degrees will help me be successful in law school?

Your Undergraduate Degree and Your Law School Application


Your law school application has many components; your transcript is just one. While admissions committees are certainly very interested in your undergraduate degree, and the specific courses you took, they are also looking at the broader picture. Your law school application includes:

  • Application form
  • Undergraduate and graduate school transcripts
  • LSAT scores
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal Essay
  • Resume

Law schools want to know that you’ve spent the years prior to your application getting ready to succeed. They look for:

  • Strong academic performance
  • High LSAT scores
  • Compelling letters of recommendation
  • A resume that highlights your particular experience, ambitions and achievements
  • Diverse personal pursuits

Your undergraduate degree comes into play in many of these application components, because:


1) Admissions committees will look for challenging coursework on your transcript, along with high grades. A student who earned a “B” in a Quantum Physics course might well appear more academically successful than one who earned an “A” in a basic Communications survey course.

2) Your undergraduate studies help you succeed on the LSAT. The LSAT tests your ability to communicate well in writing, assesses your reading comprehension and challenges your ability to use logic and reasoning when making arguments. Degree programs and courses that hone these skills are invaluable.

3) Undergraduate degrees that allow you to gain experience or work closely with professors help bolster your letters of recommendation and resume.

The Law Schools’ Perspectives

Law school admissions committees don’t spend a lot of time worrying about the focus of your undergraduate program. Here are some comments from some of the top law schools in the country:


“The Admissions Committee looks for a showing of thorough learning in a field of your choice, such as history, economics, government, philosophy, mathematics, science, literature or the classics (and many others), rather than a concentration in courses given primarily as vocational training.” - Harvard Law School


“We accept students with a wide variety of majors, from political science to drama to biochemistry.” Yale Law School


“We like to see that you have taken a well-rounded, challenging course load. We do not prefer any set curriculum or particular major. The most important thing is that you have demonstrated intellectual curiosity, a commitment to academics, and that you have done well.” University of Chicago Law School


“Columbia Law School does not require or prefer any specific major or minor. A recent review of our entering class finds the following undergraduate majors substantially represented: Political Science/Government, Literature/English, History, Economics, Social Sciences (other), Science/Engineering/Mathematics.” - Columbia Law School

Undergraduate Degrees


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