Law & Society Major Resources

The Law and Society major is designed to enhance students’ knowledge of politics, policy, governance, and government ranging from a global to a local perspective. It will help them become knowledgeable citizens capable of reasoned judgments on political issues and ideas.

Here you will find:

  • Key information about your major
  • How and when to meet with your major advisor
  • Planning tools that will help you track your progress in the major
  • Ways to explore career opportunities related to the Law and Society major

Take a few moments to look at the information below. It will help you plan effectively and avoid surprises during your studies at John Jay. Please visit the Political Science Department's website for information, resources, and opportunities!

LWS Requirements

You are responsible for the major requirements that were in effect when you declared the major. To confirm the requirements you should be following, go to the Undergraduate Bulletin for that academic year. For example, if you declared the Law and Society major in Fall 2015 or Spring 2016, you would click on the 2015-2016 Undergraduate Bulletin. If you declared the major and then left the College for more than one full semester, you’re responsible for the major requirements in effect when you return, if they have changed. Not sure when you declared the major? Find out here.

Below, find the Undergraduate Bulletin that was in effect when you declared the major.

Each of the following LWS courses can count toward your major requirements and toward your General Education requirements:

U.S. Experience: POL 101 (LWS prerequisite)

Individual & Society: SOC 101  (LWS prerequisite)

College Option 300 level justice: LLS 322, PHI 302, PHI 317, POL 318, POL 320.

LWS major advising can be done remotely or in person in Fall 2024. Please have a copy of both your CUNYfirst unofficial transcript and your Degree Audit on hand to prepare for your appointment. The Political Science Department has created a department email specifically for LWS advising questions:    

Fall 2024 LWS major advisors:
Professor Michael Yarbrough
Professor Ke Li

You can also schedule appointments with major advisors using Navigate; be sure to select “Department of Political Science” to see available appointments with the major’s faculty and academic advisors. Advising, resources, student opportunities, and other information can be found at the Political Science Department homepage


Tatyanna Fall 2024 advising hours:

Mondays:  9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. (virtual)
Tuesdays: 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (in person)
Wednesdays: 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. (virtual; includes walk-in hours from 11:15-2:45)
Thursdays: 9:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.  (virtual)

Students can make LWS major advising appointments with Tatyanna using Navigate!


LWS majors who need advising during Summer session (June 3- August 27) 2024 can email Professor Maxwell Mak (

Sophomores with 45-59 credits may have a major hold placed on their registration. The hold will be removed when they have an appointment with a Law and Society major advisor. This meeting will encourage wise planning and allow students to ask any questions they may have about the major. Students must bring a copy of their current transcript  (unofficial is fine) and most recent degree audit. How do you know if you have a major hold? Go to CUNYfirst and complete the following steps:

  1. Check the Holds box of your CUNYfirst Student Center. If "Advisement Required" appears, click on “details.”
  1. Click on “Advisement Required.”
  1. See which type of advisement you need. If you must see a major advisor, then make a major advising appointment following the steps preferred by this department.

Major Advising

Plan Ahead: Graduate on Time

Prerequisites for Law and Society are SOC 101 and POL 101, so students should take these courses early. Both are prerequisites to the first course in the major, LWS 200.

Other important considerations:

  • There are many 200/300/400 level Political Science course options in this major, so it is important to complete the POL 101 prerequisite as soon as possible.
  • Many 300 level major course options require junior standing (at least 60 credits earned).
  • Part Three of the major requires that you complete TWO 300-level courses. One of the 300-level courses must be from Category A (POL 301 or POL 308). The second 300-level course can be fulfilled with either a Category B class (ANT 315 or POL 320) or a Category C class (SOC 302).
  • If you are interested in pursuing an internship that can also give you credit towards the major, consult early with a major advisor about internship options and see if one of them would be a good fit for your interests and goals.
  • Transfer students should plan to take LWS 200 as soon as possible upon enrolling at John Jay.
  • Remember that you will need at least a 2.0 in the major and at least an overall 2.0 GPA to graduate.
  • DegreeWorks degree audit - Use this online planning tool to track your overall progress toward graduation. You will see which of your general education and major requirements are completed, in progress, or still needed.  Refer to the DegreeWorks FAQs to better understand how to use this helpful tool. Note: be sure to confirm the accuracy of your degree audit with a general advisor and major advisor.
  • Law and Society Major Checklist - Fill out this printable worksheet to keep track of which major requirements you have completed and which ones you still need.
  • Sample Four Year Plan - See an example of how you could complete all your degree requirements (major, general education, electives) and graduate in four years! Remember that this sample plan shows just one possible way to combine your requirements. Transfer students in particular should work with advisors to determine a plan that works best for them.

A General Academic Advisor will confirm what general academic requirements you still need, make suggestions about smart course planning that will help you graduate without delays, discuss your interest in adding a minor or second major, inform you about opportunities such as study abroad, discuss general questions and concerns, and make helpful referrals. Visit the Academic Advisement Center's webpage for more information.

LWS and Careers

Many LWS majors plan to attend law school and become practicing lawyers. You can find information about the process of planning for law school admission at John Jay’s Pre-Law Institute (PLI).

Many students choose to pursue other graduate-level work in public policy, social work, business, and any number of academic disciplines. PLI is part of the Center for Post-Graduate Opportunities, an excellent resource for students who wish to pursue graduate studies of any kind.

We also encourage qualified students to learn more about pursuing a Ph.D. through the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, which focuses on preparing first generation college students for that path.

Law and Society is a versatile major that has provided a strong foundation for alums in careers including law, business, education, and non-profits. While each of these paths has its own requirements and expectations, the LWS major prepares undergraduates for a wide variety of professions through its emphasis on critical thinking, writing, and analysis of the many ways in which law and society create one another. Listen to Professor Jamie Longazel talk about what this major is, how it's great for students who want to be change-makers, and how Law and Society prepares students for a range of careers, whatever their professional goals may happen to be.

For personalized guidance concerning internships, jobs, and careers, visit John Jay’s Center for Career and Professional Development. CCPD staff are available to meet individually with students and alumni in L72.00 New Building. To request an appointment with a CCPD advisor, log on to John Jay Careers Online. 15-minute drop-in sessions are also available Mon-Fri 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. in New Building 72.00. Stop by in person earlier the same day to make a drop-in appointment.