These are the 10 Best Majors for Law Schools

Ryan Morris
by Ryan Morris
Major-Specific, Rankings - 2 years ago
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Getting into a four-year college is tough enough on its own, but getting into law school can be an acid test of wild proportions.

Most law schools require a completed bachelor’s degree, a certain GPA, and an LSAT score. While these schools tend to be pretty specific about what level of undergraduate GPAs and LSATs they’re looking for — hint: it’s kind of high — they are much less specific about the bachelor’s degree.

Theoretically, a person with any degree should have a fair shake at getting into law school. Realistically, of course, certain majors tend to be picked more frequently over others.

The most commonly accepted majors are what you’d probably expect — political science, psychology, history, English, and criminal justice majors all get top billing there.

So we at Zippia wondered: which undergraduate majors had the highest law school acceptance rates?

The full list can be found below, but first here’s a quick top ten:

  1. Inter-American Relations
  2. Nuclear Engineering
  3. Marine Studies
  4. Classics
  5. Environmental Sciences
  6. Insurance and Risk Management
  7. Literature
  8. Policy Studies
  9. Linguistics
  10. Industrial Relations

Here’s the thing about laws: there’s a ton of them, and they’re about basically everything. Odds are that no matter what you major in, there will be some sort of law you can practice that’s related to your field.

Some of these picks are pretty straightforward, but I’m still waiting for someone to tell me what the h*ck Nuclear Engineering and Marine Studies are doing on here.

How We Determined the Best Majors for Law School

Using 2015-2016 data from the Law School Admission Council, we looked at all the majors accepted to ABA-approved law schools.

Whether one major is “better” than another for entering law school is debatable, and can vary widely depending on the preferences of individuals or programs. Some majors are more likely to give you a leg up than others on the competition, but for the most part, which major is the best for an individual is largely subjective.

What’s not subjective, however, is the percentage of certain undergraduate majors who were accepted into these law schools, so we used that data to rank each major. In the event of a tie, the major with the highest number of applicants admitted was ranked the highest.

That’s all for this one — you’ll find a more detailed top ten list below.

1. Inter-American Relations


Acceptance Rate:Number of Applicants Admitted: 7
Percentage of Applicants Enrolled: 71.43%
Number of Applicants Enrolled: 5

This major gives you a great background in American history from a sociological standpoint. Who talks to who, and how they do so, is pretty essential information when it comes to understanding and interpreting American law.

2. Nuclear Engineering


Acceptance Rate: 92.86%
Number of Applicants Admitted: 13
Percentage of Applicants Enrolled: 78.57%
Number of Applicants Enrolled: 11

Nuclear Engineering Majors learn trigonometry, calculus, and physics — they learn how to do things like design power plants and propulsion systems.

So like, I guess they’re smart or something? And lawyers are … also smart?

Also, patent lawyers are a thing, many of which have an engineering background, so that might be related.

3. Marine Studies


Acceptance Rate: 92.86%
Number of Applicants Admitted: 13
Percentage of Applicants Enrolled: 71.43%
Number of Applicants Enrolled: 10

Another big mind boggler here. As a Marine Studies Major, you’ll learn about marine biology and ecology, oceanography, meteorology, and spend just oodles of time doing lab work.

All useful things for law school, if your clients happen to be fish. Or, I guess, if your specialty is maritime law.

4. Classics


Acceptance Rate: 90.56%
Number of Applicants Admitted: 259
Percentage of Applicants Enrolled: 80.07%
Number of Applicants Enrolled: 229

This is a little more understandable, albeit in a boring sort of way. Classical Studies is a liberal arts major focusing on classic texts or languages, which can be awful handy when it comes to parsing out the meaning of archaic laws or rulings.

It also has the added benefit of making you totally insufferable at parties, where you will not be able to stop yourself from explaining the etymology of common words to crowds of uncaring — and most likely drunk — people.

5. Environmental Sciences


Acceptance Rate: 89.07%
Number of Applicants Admitted: 326
Percentage of Applicants Enrolled: 75.41%
Number of Applicants Enrolled: 276

Environmental Sciences is a more mixed science major that combines basic scientific thought with climate and earth sciences in order to give students a general understanding of how people affect the environment.

This can be great for environmental lawyers specifically, or for the one barista at my local coffee shop that won’t let me throw away the cardboard holder.

6. Insurance and Risk Management


Acceptance Rate: 88.10%
Number of Applicants Admitted: 37
Percentage of Applicants Enrolled: 73.81%
Number of Applicants Enrolled: 31

Insurance and Risk Management Majors learn about exactly what their name implies, with their classes prepping them mostly for positions in insurance, finance, or production-related fields.

They are, of course, also well suited to risk management and insurance law.

7. Literature


Acceptance Rate: 87.92%
Number of Applicants Admitted: 211
Percentage of Applicants Enrolled: 77.08%
Number of Applicants Enrolled: 185

Again, liberal arts majors are just well-suited in general to poring over old books and retaining minute details from them, an attribute that any lawyer or attorney ought to have in spades.

In particular, as part of their studies Literature Majors have to apply literary theories to books or various pieces of culture in order to come up with some sort of interpretation — a skill that is easily transferable to lawyering.

8. Policy Studies


Acceptance Rate: 87.64%
Number of Applicants Admitted: 241
Percentage of Applicants Enrolled: 76.36%
Number of Applicants Enrolled: 210

This is another one of those majors where the particular undergraduate subject you’ve majored in is likely to have a big effect on what sort of law you’ll be studying.

Policy Studies Majors tend to focus on public affairs, the sort of laws that affect the public at large rather than the environment or nuclear bombs or sharks with laser beams or whatever the heck else was on this list.

9. Linguistics


Acceptance Rate: 87.50%
Number of Applicants Admitted: 105
Percentage of Applicants Enrolled: 70.00%
Number of Applicants Enrolled: 84

Linguistics is an excellent major for lawyers, as it gives them an excellent base for understanding how language itself operates — a fundamental piece of deconstructing or interpreting laws.

Much like Classics Majors, they are also annoying at parties. However, they are much less stuffy, which is something, at least.

10. Industrial Relations


Acceptance Rate: 87.50%
Number of Applicants Admitted: 35
Percentage of Applicants Enrolled: 65.00%
Number of Applicants Enrolled: 26

Industrial Relations Majors are trained to manage personnel and resolve disputes, particularly those related to working conditions. As a lawyer, you’ll find yourself representing these people instead of managing them, or perhaps — if you’ve sold your soul to the Man — you’ll be representing the companies that are presumably suing them.

Putting It All Together

That’s all we’ve got. Below you’ll find the full list. Be sure to also check out our pages for the majors on this list, especially if you’re on the job hunt.

You might just find something that piques your interest.

Detailed Ranking of the Best Majors for Law School

Major Median Gpa Median Lsat # Of Applicants % Of Total Applicants # Of Admitted Applicants % Of Applicants Admitted # Of Applicants Enrolled % Of Applicants Enrolled
INTER AMERICAN
RELATIONS
3 154 7 0.01% 7 100.00% 5 71.43%
NUCLEAR
ENGINEERING
3 161 14 0.02% 13 92.86% 11 78.57%
MARINE STUDIES 3 159 14 0.02% 13 92.86% 10 71.43%
CLASSICS 3 160 286 0.41% 259 90.56% 229 80.07%
ENVIRONMENTAL
SCIENCES
3 156 366 0.52% 326 89.07% 276 75.41%
INSURANCE AND RISK
MANAGEMENT
3 155 42 0.06% 37 88.10% 31 73.81%
LITERATURE 3 156 240 0.34% 211 87.92% 185 77.08%
POLICY STUDIES 3 159 275 0.39% 241 87.64% 210 76.36%
LINGUISTICS 3 159 120 0.17% 105 87.50% 84 70.00%
INDUSTRIAL
RELATIONS
3 159 40 0.06% 35 87.50% 26 65.00%
SYSTEMS CONTROL
ENGINEERING
3 158 8 0.01% 7 87.50% 5 62.50%
AVIATION SCIENCE 3 150 8 0.01% 7 87.50% 5 62.50%
FORESTRY 2 154 8 0.01% 7 87.50% 7 87.50%
THEOLOGY 3 157 84 0.12% 73 86.90% 56 66.67%
FRENCH 3 156 343 0.49% 298 86.88% 258 75.22%
RECREATION
MANAGEMENT
3 150 45 0.06% 39 86.67% 31 68.89%
PHILOSOPHY 3 157 2,294 3.27% 1,982 86.40% 1,736 75.68%
MEXICAN AMERICAN
STUDIES
3 151 29 0.04% 25 86.21% 22 75.86%
BIO/BIOMEDICAL 3 160 94 0.13% 81 86.17% 69 73.40%
FOREIGN
LANGUAGES
3 156 349 0.50% 300 85.96% 244 69.91%
RUSSIAN 3 159 85 0.12% 73 85.88% 58 68.24%
RELIGION/RELIGIOUS
STUDIES
3 156 352 0.50% 302 85.80% 252 71.59%
PRACTICAL ARTS 3 149 7 0.01% 6 85.71% 4 57.14%
INTERNATIONAL
RELATIONS
3 157 1,026 1.46% 878 85.58% 754 73.49%
ECONOMICS 3 158 2,717 3.88% 2,322 85.46% 1,943 71.51%
AMERICAN
CIVILIZATION
3 159 41 0.06% 35 85.37% 32 78.05%
MATHEMATICS 3 161 271 0.39% 230 84.87% 182 67.16%
HISTORY 3 156 3,472 4.96% 2,942 84.74% 2,561 73.76%
ENGINEERING –
OTHER
3 157 72 0.10% 61 84.72% 51 70.83%
TRANSPORTATION
AND COMMERCE
3 155 26 0.04% 22 84.62% 17 65.38%
SPANISH 3 154 906 1.29% 763 84.22% 659 72.74%
ENVIRONMENTAL
ENGINEERING
3 155 19 0.03% 16 84.21% 10 52.63%
SECONDARY
EDUCATION
3 151 87 0.12% 73 83.91% 61 70.11%
WOMENS STUDIES 3 155 210 0.30% 176 83.81% 155 73.81%
ART HISTORY 3 156 253 0.36% 212 83.79% 179 70.75%
PHYSICS, GENERAL 3 160 97 0.14% 81 83.51% 63 64.95%
INTERNATIONAL
STUDIES
3 157 712 1.02% 592 83.15% 518 72.75%
AGRICULTURE 3 151 89 0.13% 74 83.15% 61 68.54%
CHEMICAL
ENGINEERING
3 159 106 0.15% 88 83.02% 72 67.92%
MECHANICAL
ENGINEERING
3 157 192 0.27% 159 82.81% 132 68.75%
GEOGRAPHY 3 154 102 0.15% 84 82.35% 73 71.57%
ANTHROPOLOGY 3 155 433 0.62% 356 82.22% 299 69.05%
NATURAL SCIENCES –
OTHER
3 153 171 0.24% 140 81.87% 108 63.16%
POLITICAL SCIENCE 3 153 12,693 18.12% 10,332 81.40% 9,030 71.14%
GOVERNMENT/
SERVICE
3 156 513 0.73% 417 81.29% 361 70.37%
BIOLOGY, GENERAL 3 153 744 1.06% 604 81.18% 497 66.80%
BIOLOGY,
SPECIALIZATION
3 157 371 0.53% 301 81.13% 254 68.46%
ADVERTISING 3 151 74 0.11% 60 81.08% 53 71.62%
CHEMISTRY,
SPECIALIZATION
3 153 37 0.05% 30 81.08% 28 75.68%
ARTS & HUMANITIES –
OTHER
3 153 2,135 3.05% 1,715 80.33% 1,444 67.63%
GERMAN 3 157 125 0.18% 100 80.00% 86 68.80%
ANIMAL SCIENCES/
VETERINARY
MEDICINE
3 152 15 0.02% 12 80.00% 10 66.67%
ARCHEOLOGY 3 156 10 0.01% 8 80.00% 6 60.00%
ENGLISH 3 154 3,549 5.07% 2,839 79.99% 2,437 68.67%
MUSIC 3 155 322 0.46% 257 79.81% 220 68.32%
FINANCE 3 154 1,468 2.10% 1,171 79.77% 980 66.76%
ARCHITECTURE/
ENVIRONMENTAL
DESIGN
3 155 29 0.04% 23 79.31% 18 62.07%
ASIAN AMERICAN
STUDIES
3 156 24 0.03% 19 79.17% 18 75.00%
JOURNALISM 3 153 657 0.94% 520 79.15% 439 66.82%
SPECIAL ED/
DISABILITIES/
HANDICAPPED
3 150 19 0.03% 15 78.95% 14 73.68%
COMMUNICATIONS 3 151 1,809 2.58% 1,426 78.83% 1,195 66.06%
HEALTH/
KINESIOLOGY
3 150 145 0.21% 114 78.62% 85 58.62%
SPEECH 3 148 42 0.06% 33 78.57% 25 59.52%
ELECTRICAL
ENGINEERING
3 155 186 0.27% 146 78.49% 110 59.14%
INDUSTRIAL
ENGINEERING
3 155 37 0.05% 29 78.38% 24 64.86%
PSYCHOLOGY 3 152 3,778 5.39% 2,960 78.35% 2,564 67.87%
BIOCHEMISTRY 3 157 151 0.22% 118 78.15% 99 65.56%
INTERDISCIPLINARY
STUDIES
3 154 538 0.77% 419 77.88% 340 63.20%
FILM PRODUCTION 3 154 167 0.24% 130 77.84% 105 62.87%
DRAMA/THEATRE
ARTS
3 154 198 0.28% 154 77.78% 131 66.16%
SPEECH
PATHOLOGY/
AUDIOLOGY
3 150 18 0.03% 14 77.78% 14 77.78%
POLICE
ADMINISTRATION
3 146 9 0.01% 7 77.78% 5 55.56%
CIVIL ENGINEERING 3 154 85 0.12% 66 77.65% 53 62.35%
ZOOLOGY 2 152 22 0.03% 17 77.27% 12 54.55%
MARKETING 3 151 902 1.29% 695 77.05% 591 65.52%
PREMEDICAL/
MEDICINE
3 152 94 0.13% 72 76.60% 58 61.70%
FINE ARTS 3 151 64 0.09% 49 76.56% 36 56.25%
CHEMISTRY,
GENERAL
3 155 264 0.38% 202 76.52% 170 64.39%
HOSPITAL/HEALTH
CARE
ADMINISTRATION
3 148 85 0.12% 65 76.47% 57 67.06%
PHYSICS,
SPECIALIZATION
3 161 17 0.02% 13 76.47% 8 47.06%
SOCIAL SCIENCES –
OTHER
3 152 631 0.90% 481 76.23% 410 64.98%
STATISTICS 3 164 25 0.04% 19 76.00% 14 56.00%
ART/DESIGN 3 150 111 0.16% 84 75.68% 72 64.86%
PERFORMING ARTS 3 153 77 0.11% 58 75.32% 54 70.13%
GEOLOGY/EARTH
SCIENCES
3 155 52 0.07% 39 75.00% 36 69.23%
BUSINESS
EDUCATION
3 150 24 0.03% 18 75.00% 14 58.33%
SALES/RETAIL 3 153 12 0.02% 9 75.00% 7 58.33%
MILITARY SCIENCE 3 153 12 0.02% 9 75.00% 3 25.00%
ARCHITECTURAL
ENGINEERING
2 149 8 0.01% 6 75.00% 4 50.00%
PETROLEUM
ENGINEERING
3 152 8 0.01% 6 75.00% 5 62.50%
PHYSICAL SCIENCES 2 152 8 0.01% 6 75.00% 2 25.00%
EDUCATIONAL
PSYCHOLOGY
3 154 8 0.01% 6 75.00% 6 75.00%
EDUCATION,
GENERAL
3 150 149 0.21% 111 74.50% 89 59.73%
HOTEL/RESTAURANT
MANAGEMENT
3 150 78 0.11% 58 74.36% 47 60.26%
URBAN STUDIES/
REGIONAL PLANNING
3 153 70 0.10% 52 74.29% 40 57.14%
INTERNATIONAL
BUSINESS
3 151 380 0.54% 281 73.95% 234 61.58%
COMPUTER SCIENCE,
GENERAL
3 156 126 0.18% 93 73.81% 75 59.52%
BUSINESS AND
MANAGEMENT –
OTHER
3 150 585 0.84% 431 73.68% 373 63.76%
ACCOUNTING 3 151 962 1.37% 705 73.28% 561 58.32%
CRIMINOLOGY 3 149 931 1.33% 682 73.25% 562 60.37%
BUSINESS AND
COMMERCE,
GENERAL
3 152 129 0.18% 94 72.87% 78 60.47%
SOCIOLOGY 3 150 2,055 2.93% 1,491 72.55% 1,266 61.61%
LIBERAL ARTS 3 150 1,311 1.87% 936 71.40% 775 59.12%
PHARMACY 3 149 41 0.06% 29 70.73% 22 53.66%
ELEMENTARY
EDUCATION
3 148 98 0.14% 69 70.41% 54 55.10%
LIBRARY STUDIES 3 145 20 0.03% 14 70.00% 12 60.00%
PHYSICAL THERAPY 2 148 10 0.01% 7 70.00% 6 60.00%
EDUCATION/
ADMINISTRATION
3 146 10 0.01% 7 70.00% 5 50.00%
BUSINESS
MANAGEMENT
3 149 1,085 1.55% 750 69.12% 624 57.51%
PUBLIC AFFAIRS/
SERVICES/ADMIN
3 149 219 0.31% 151 68.95% 133 60.73%
REAL ESTATE 3 150 48 0.07% 33 68.75% 27 56.25%
COMPUTER
PROGRAMMING
3 148 16 0.02% 11 68.75% 7 43.75%
ANY AREA NOT
LISTED – OTHER
3 147 942 1.34% 642 68.15% 542 57.54%
MANAGEMENT
INFORMATION
SYSTEMS
3 152 53 0.08% 36 67.92% 24 45.28%
FAMILY RELATIONS/
CHILD DEVELOPMENT
3 150 109 0.16% 74 67.89% 64 58.72%
AEROSPACE AND
AERONAUTICAL
3 156 34 0.05% 23 67.65% 16 47.06%
BUSINESS
ADMINISTRATION
3 148 1,554 2.22% 1,047 67.37% 850 54.70%
COMPUTER
ENGINEERING
3 154 45 0.06% 30 66.67% 21 46.67%
VISUAL ARTS/
GRAPHICS
3 151 35 0.05% 23 65.71% 18 51.43%
DIETETICS/
NUTRITIONAL
SCIENCE
3 149 29 0.04% 19 65.52% 15 51.72%
CRIMINAL JUSTICE 3 145 3,857 5.51% 2,518 65.28% 2,106 54.60%
HEALTH
PROFESSIONS –
OTHER
3 148 211 0.30% 137 64.93% 111 52.61%
INDIAN STUDIES 3 150 14 0.02% 9 64.29% 7 50.00%
BUSINESS
MANAGEMENT/
ADMINISTRATION
3 147 394 0.56% 253 64.21% 190 48.22%
ANY AREA NOT
LISTED – OTHER
3 147 5,159 7.36% 3,310 64.16% 2,757 53.44%
PHYSICAL
EDUCATION
3 143 11 0.02% 7 63.64% 3 27.27%
CONSTRUCTION
ENGINEERING
2 148 18 0.03% 11 61.11% 9 50.00%
NURSING 3 145 113 0.16% 69 61.06% 50 44.25%
RECREATION AND
LEISURE SERVICES
3 149 15 0.02% 9 60.00% 9 60.00%
ASTRONOMY 3 161 5 0.01% 3 60.00% 3 60.00%
BOTANY 2 151 5 0.01% 3 60.00% 3 60.00%
SOCIAL WORK 3 146 266 0.38% 157 59.02% 130 48.87%
AFRICAN AMERICAN
STUDIES
3 147 107 0.15% 63 58.88% 48 44.86%
COMPUTER
SCIENCE – OTHER
3 147 32 0.05% 18 56.25% 14 43.75%
INFORMATION
SCIENCES
3 146 27 0.04% 15 55.56% 11 40.74%
MEDICAL LAB
TECHNOLOGY/
RADIOLOGY
3 144 11 0.02% 6 54.55% 5 45.45%
HOME ECONOMICS 3 146 10 0.01% 5 50.00% 3 30.00%
COMPUTER
INFORMATION
SYSTEMS
3 145 87 0.12% 42 48.28% 32 36.78%
PERSONNEL
MANAGEMENT
2 141 24 0.03% 11 45.83% 9 37.50%
PREDENTISTRY/
DENTISTRY
2 139 5 0.01% 2 40.00% 1 20.00%
ELECTRONIC
ENGINEERING
3 146 9 0.01% 3 33.33% 2 22.22%
INDUSTRIAL
MANAGEMENT
2 142 13 0.02% 4 30.77% 3 23.08%
ENGINEERING
TECHNOLOGIES/
DESIGN
2 144 17 0.02% 5 29.41% 4 23.53%
GUIDANCE/
COUNSELING
2 139 7 0.01% 2 28.57% 1 14.29%