Are some majors better prepared for the LSAT than others? While law schools don’t require students to have any particular major, Derek T. Muller, Associate Professor of Law at Pepperdine University School of Law, set out to find the answer.
Muller requested data from the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) for all 2013 applicants to law school. Applicants self-identified their major(s) from 142 majors, and Muller calculated the average GPAs and average LSAT scores by major.
Muller found that Classics majors are the best law school applicants, numbers-wise; this small group of students earned both the highest average LSAT (159.8) and the highest average GPA (3.477).
Photo courtesy of excessofdemocracy.com.
Source: Derek T. Muller, Excess of Democracy: “The Best Prospective Law Students Read Homer”
Muller also identified a correlation between LSAT and GPA, though there were some exceptions. Science majors, for example, typically reported high LSAT scores but low GPAs. In contrast, students majoring in accounting, law, social work, and Spanish generally earned low LSAT scores but high GPAs.
Average LSAT Scores by Major in 2018
For an updated look at this analysis, here are the LSAT scores and GPAs by major for 2017-2018 law school applicants based on numbers reported by the LSAC. The general trends identified by Muller remain the same with one notable difference—Math majors’ LSAT scores and GPAs are now the highest among all the majors!
|Major||Number of Applicants||LSAT Score||GPA|
|Arts & Humanities||3,151||154.8||3.44|
|Business & Management- Other||2,757||158.99||3.49|
|Social Sciences - Other||626||154.5||3.49|
|Any area not listed - other||4537||148.41||3.23|
Source: Law School Admissions Council, Applicants by Major: “2017–2018”
What does this data mean?
It could mean some majors prepare their students for the content on the LSAT better than others. Or it could mean students who select certain majors already have a set of academic strengths and weaknesses that affect performance on the LSAT. While there is generally a correlation between major and LSAT, take the data with a grain of salt – these data points are self-identified, and some of these students choose other career options outside of law and don’t matriculate in law school.
Do you know what the average LSAT score is across all test takers?