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The minor in Legal Studies exposes students to a range of course offerings in Legal Studies. The minor is situated in Weinberg College, but is open to undergraduates in all schools. Unlike the major, there is no application process to be a minor, nor is the Advanced Research Seminar required.

Before declaring the Legal Studies minor, students must have taken (or be in the process of taking) LEGAL ST 206 "Law and Society"; a second course (either offered by Legal Studies or on the approved list electives) is recommended.

To complete the minor, students must take 206 and five other law-related electives approved by the program. (These may be Legal Studies courses, or those on our list of approved electives.) At least three of these courses must be at the 300-level. 

Students interested in declaring a minor in Legal Studies should contact Ann Kelchner, the Program Assistant for the Center for Legal Studies, at to schedule a time to fill out the required paperwork.

Legal Studies Minor Requirements (as of Fall 2016)

To declare: LEGAL ST 206 (also taught as SOCIOL 206) is required; 1 other elective requested.

6 total courses required for the minor;

No courses may be double-counted.*

*Requirements listed as “related courses” in another major may be double‐counted towards the minor. Our electives are not considered "related courses". Double counting rules can be complicated; review these FAQs on the Weinberg website.

Students can easily track their progress by completing the appropriate minor worksheet:

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Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I know which set of requirements apply to me?

Regardless of when you declare the minor, Weinberg College guidelines stipulate that students can follow any set of requirements in effect during their undergraduate years. For example, if you entered Northwestern in 2014, you can choose to follow the requirements from the 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, or the 2017-18 Undergraduate Catalogs — but you can’t pick and choose the requirements you like best from each.

Legal Studies highly recommends all students follow the newest version of the minor, which was updated in Fall 2016, and has been the same since.

Why are the new requirements recommended over the old?

The new requirements (as of Fall 2016) are easier to complete! The older rules required 8 total classes andarea categories which can be difficult to fulfill. The revamped version of the minor only has 6 total classes and does away with area categories - this is a no-brainer!

How do I tell you which set of requirements I want to complete?

You will indicate your choice of requirements on your petition to graduate. We are happy to discuss your options with you and help you work out a plan.

How do I Petition to Graduate with a minor in Legal Studies?

You must first complete the appropriate minor worksheet (see options below) then make an appointment with Ann Kelchner, the undergraduate program assistant, to review the worksheet and get your petition forms signed.

  • Minor worksheet 16-17 (For Students following the 2016-17, 2017-18 Catalog Requirements) These are the recommended requirements for all students
  • Minor worksheet 15-16 (For Students following the 2014-15 or 2015-16 Catalog Requirements)

It is recommended you petition about a year before you plan to graduate. For the forms, deadlines, and more information about petitioning to graduate, please visit the Registrar’s website.

Do I need to apply for the minor?

No. Once you have completed (or are in the process of taking) LEGAL ST 206 (or SOCIOL 206), you can make an appointment to declare the minor.

Is a thesis required for the minor?

No. Only majors take the LEGAL ST 398 thesis writing sequence.

How do I drop the minor or switch from a major to a minor, or vice versa?

To drop the minor, or to switch from an adjunct major or major to a minor, simply make an appointment with Ann Kelchner, the undergraduate program assistant. You'll have to get a Declaration form signed - you’ll then take the form to the Weinberg Office of Undergraduate Advising at 1922 Sheridan Ave so they can update your record.

In order to switch from a minor to the adjunct major or major, you'll have to go through the major application process.

Note that the double-counting rules for courses change a lot when you switch between the adjunct major, standalone major, and the minor. Review those rules on the Weinberg website.

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