Courses

For a list of our current courses, please refer to the Yearly Course Planner.

To read descriptions of our courses, please refer to the Course Descriptions page.

To see the list of courses that are approved for Legal Studies credit, please refer to the Electives page.

Frequently asked questions about our courses

What are the adjunct major, standalone major, and minor course requirements?
How should I choose my classes?

The usual starting point for Legal Studies students is LEGAL ST 206 "Law and Society", offered twice each academic year. We strongly encourage students to take Law & Society early in their program.

Otherwise, students are encouraged to select courses in their areas of interest from our electives list as long as they satisfy the Legal Studies distribution requirements.

Students with an adjunct major/major in Legal Studies take the Advanced Research Seminar (LEGAL ST 398-1,2) as a consecutive sequence during the Fall and Winter of their junior or senior year.

How can I find out which Legal Studies courses will be offered over the next few quarters?

Late in Winter quarter, we prepare a tentative list of courses for the next academic year. This Yearly Planner is posted on the Program's website as soon as it is available.

As revisions occur, we update the website, so check back for more information.

My primary major is not in WCAS. What are my requirements for the Legal Studies adjunct major/standalone major/minor?

Legal Studies requirements are the same for WCAS and non-WCAS majors. Non-WCAS majors do not need to fulfill WCAS language and distribution requirements.

Do Freshman/First Year Seminars count towards the adjunct major, standalone major, or minor?
Legal Studies will count one First Year Seminar taken through the Legal Studies program toward the Legal Studies requirements. We will not count First Year seminars taken in other departments.
Do Chicago Field Studies classes count towards the adjunct major/standalone major/minor?

Yes. Legal Studies approves all CFS courses to count for up to one approved elective, and students can receive two Legal Studies credits (one in Area C; the other TBD) for the following courses:

CFS 391 (formerly CFS 293) - Field Studies in Social Justice

CFS 394 - Legal Field Studies

CFS 396 - Field Studies in Community Research

CFS 397 - Field Studies in Civic Engagement

You may also petition for credit for Business Field Studies or Field Studies in the Modern Workplace; these petitions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

What restrictions does the program have on double-counting?
For adjunct majors in Weinberg College: students may double count TWO of their required courses from their primary major. Related courses and distribution courses can be double-counted without limit.

For standalone majors in Weinberg College: students may NOT double-count courses from any other major or minor. Related courses and distribution courses, however, can be double-counted without limit.

For minors in Weinberg College: students may NOT double-count courses from any other major or minor. Related courses and distribution courses, however, can be double-counted without limit.

Non-Weinberg students should consult the following rules.

More information about Weinberg's double counting rules can be found on their website.

Can my Legal Studies courses be used to satisfy WCAS distribution requirements?
Yes, if they are on the list of WCAS-approved courses that meet distribution requirements.
Can I use a class not in the elective list toward my Legal Studies requirements?
If you believe that a class should be considered a Legal Studies elective, please fill out a petition for elective credit and attach the relevant syllabus.

Petitions for elective credit should be submitted to the Director of Undergraduate Studies and are considered on a case-by-case basis. Petitions should be submitted during the quarter the student is enrolled in the course. If a class is accepted for elective credit, it will be added to our list of Legal Studies electives.

Can I get credit for an internship program?
The Legal Studies Program has no internship program and does not typically give credit for internships. However, you may petition for credit for your internship if you believe it is applicable to your Legal Studies adjunct major or minor.

In some instances, a student might arrange an independent study in conjunction with an internship in which a research project is undertaken that draws on the internship experience. In such a case, credit would be awarded for the work completed in the 399, not merely for the practical experience of the internship. Each case must be weighed individually, however. If you have an internship opportunity for which you would like to receive major credit, you should consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies well in advance of the start of the program. A final decision about Legal Studies credit cannot be made until you have completed the internship. The standing exception to this rule is the Chicago Field Studies program, as described above.

How do I receive credit for courses from Study Abroad?
Before leaving for study abroad, you should meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies for approval. Though the Director does not preapprove courses for credit, you can discuss which courses may receive credit. After completing your study abroad program, bring a syllabus from your class and other course materials along with a petition for credit for courses taken abroad form (available through the Study Abroad office) to the Director of Undergraduate Studies in order to receive credit. Exceptions to these rules are study abroad programs run directly by Northwestern, including the European Union Studies Program in Paris. All courses taken in these programs can be counted towards the major and they do not require a Petition for Credit from Study Abroad. For more information, visit the Study Abroad office.
What kind of Study Abroad courses can I get credit for?
Northwestern University Registrar's Office does not grant any kind of credit for courses taken abroad in subjects that we do not teach here at the undergraduate level. Unlike many foreign institutions, American universities, with Northwestern included, do not offer an undergraduate law degree. Therefore, if you wish to receive credit toward your Northwestern degree, please make sure that the courses are taught at the level of Northwestern’s law-related courses, cover similar types of materials, and utilize similar tools.

For more information, visit the Study Abroad office.

What is the process for achieving approval for courses taken at other U.S. universities?
Consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies about getting approval for these courses. A syllabus and completed work are typically necessary to receive credit; you will need to fill out the Petition for Elective Credit.
Can I take courses offered in Summer Session or in Northwestern's School of Professional Studies for Legal Studies Credit?
Courses offered by the School of Professional Studies program are not generally acceptable toward the Program's requirements. Exceptions to this policy will only be considered in rare cases of hardship and with the express consent of the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Courses taken during Northwestern’s Summer Session automatically count toward Legal Studies if they are on the approved list of electives. If you believe that a class not already listed should be considered a Legal Studies elective, please fill out a petition for elective credit and attach the relevant syllabus.

Petitions for elective credit should be submitted to the Director of Undergraduate Studies and are considered on a case-by-case basis. Petitions should be submitted during the quarter the student is enrolled in the course. If a class is accepted for elective credit, it will be added to our list of Legal Studies electives.

Can I get credit for courses taken online?
No. Legal Studies does not count online courses toward Legal Studies requirements.
Do AP credits count toward the Legal Studies adjunct major, standalone major, or minor?
No. Legal Studies does not count AP courses toward Legal Studies requirements.
Can I get credit for participating in mock trial?

No. As of Fall 2014, Legal Studies does not count mock trial participation toward the adjunct major, standalone major, or minor.