Undergraduate Programming

UW School of Law has an increasingly robust catalog of undergraduate course offerings. Taught by law school faculty, these courses are designed to provide undergraduate students with an understanding of the law and its applicability in and impact on virtually every major field of study. Our classes are designed to be accessible, generally have no prerequisite courses and are open to students in all schools, departments and majors.

Dedicated Undergraduate Law Courses

The law school's portfolio of dedicated undergraduate law courses corresponds to areas of interest and strengths of the University of Washington and its students.

Introduction to American Law

The UW School of Law cornerstone undergraduate offering is the Introduction to American Law course, which is offered as a three-credit lecture course with two accompanying two credit options, one for a freshman interest group (FIG) and the other, an Honors section. Offered in fall term, this course provides a strong foundation for our other law offerings as well as law-related offerings provided through political science, law, society and justice, and public affairs.

This course provides an introduction to fundamental concepts in the American legal system. It is designed to provide undergraduate students entering the University with an understanding of law and its relevance in government, industry and social order. The focus is on three aspects of the American legal system: the overarching structure of the American legal system and how laws are made; a survey of key doctrinal areas of the law in order to understand fundamental legal concepts; and how the law functions and evolves over time, including legal issues and decision-making related to statutory and/or common law.

Land, American Culture and Law

The law school's portfolio of dedicated law undergraduate courses corresponds to areas of interest and strengths of the University of Washington and its students. The Land, American Culture and Law course speaks to the strong interests of our students in environmental regulation and indigenous rights.

This course offers an examination of North American attitudes toward land, nature and natural resources, and the relationships between those attitudes and the creation of laws and public policies. This course will explore a number of topics, including ideas of ownership and political identity in relationship to land; the public policies and laws that give expression to those ideas; the set of moral, ecological and aesthetic imperatives that have developed to shape how land and nature are used; and the tensions between public and private good and individual and collective flourishing that are central to the history of land ownership and use in the United States. Readings from varied sources will focus attention on the ways that culture and ideals shape attitudes towards use and ownership of the natural environment and define relationships of human societies to the land.

Global Health and Justice

Students interested in global health, medicine and human rights are served by the Global Health and Justice course in the spring term.

The Global Health and Justice course explores health as a human right, focusing on injustices that occur around the world resulting in disease, disability and death. Using a justice framework, the course will consider social determinants of health and vulnerabilities that exist among populations and sub-populations, such as women, children, people with disabilities or HIV and the poor. Special attention will be given to low- and middle-income country health problems and struggles to attain healthy populations. Students will learn about the Millennium Development Goals, international human rights law and the pivotal role that law and legal infrastructure play in addressing injustices in health.

Other courses available to undergraduate students

Other School of Law course offerings are sometimes open to undergraduate students, with instructor permission and space allowing. Please see the Course Catalog for current offerings and contact the Academic Services Office with inquiries (mylaw@uw.edu).