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 Four students with notebooks sitting on the lawn under a tree with the sun shining through the tree branches.

There is no officially recommended pre-law major here at Cal and law schools do not require or prefer any particular major; they look for an undergraduate educational background that sharpens analytical reasoning and writing skills.

So, you can study any major and still apply to law school. However, it is recommended that you choose a major that reflects your own interests, skills, and ability. Since your GPA is a major factor in law school admission, choose a major that you enjoy. It stands to reason that the more you enjoy your major, the better you will perform in terms of grades.

Here are some common majors pursued by our students:

  • Economics
  • English
  • Ethnic Studies
  • Gender & Women Studies
  • History
  • Legal Studies
  • Linguistics
  • Philosophy
  • Political Economy
  • Political Science
  • Rhetoric

Double Majors and Minors

Double majors will not give you an advantage in the admissions process. Law school admissions is a holistic review so it is important to balance everything wisely. Obtaining a minor is optional but there can be many benefits if you’re interested in going into law school such as demonstrating that you are passionate about a specific topic or supplementing your knowledge in an area. To declare a minor, one must typically take 4-5 Upper Division courses in your area of study. Some minors to explore include:

  • Computer Science
  • Education
  • English
  • Ethnic Studies
  • Gender and Women’s Studies
  • Global Poverty and Practice
  • Global Studies
  • History
  • Public Policy
  • Race and the Law
  • Sustainability

Academic Coursework:

Admissions officials look for solid academic courses taken as part of a rigorous undergraduate program. A solid knowledge of the English language and good writing skills should be developed. Likewise, courses that stress the ability to reason logically, systematically, and analytically are necessary. Courses that provide a general understanding of the business world and economics are quite helpful. A broad understanding of human institutions will provide knowledge of the social context of legal problems as well. Classes that inspire debate or require oral presentations will provide additional preparation.

Pass/No Pass:

Although you may take some courses P/NP, you should realize that the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) converts a NP to an “F” and calculates it into your GPA as a zero. The “P” is given no value and is not factored into the GPA. Therefore, if you are considering applying to law school, be selective when using the P/NP grading option. Whenever possible, choose courses that engage your interests and take them for letter grades.