Major in Social Justice
Starting in Fall 2014, students at Merrimack College will have the chance to turn their passion for change, human rights, and a more just world into a career through the major in Social Justice. This interdisciplinary program has been designed to prepare students for the demands of a world where our awareness of inequality and capacity to address social issues have become globally interconnected. Through a variety of courses, chosen from among all the disciplines in the Liberal Arts, students will receive the theoretical, analytical, and experiential knowledge that will prepare them for advocacy and human rights work with local community organizations, as well as national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and institutions such as the United Nations. The major in Social Justice is designed to combine a strong theoretical understanding of ideas of social justice with experiential learning through practical application, and it includes a required internship in a community-based organization or NGO.
Due to the unique nature of Social Justice and the diversity of the fields it connects, the program is structured to give students the option of customizing their major in order to focus on the issues or areas that most appeal to them. Although the program offers a variety of concentrations, the director of the program, together with selected advisors, will work closely with each student, so that his/her interests shape an individual experience as a path to a meaningful future. The flexibility of the program, too, allows for students to successfully double major, thus enabling them to pursue their social concerns while learning other valuable skills and knowledge.
The requirements for the major in Social Justice include completing the Liberal Studies Core Curriculum, a minimum of 34 credits in the major and nine (9) courses, as specified below, and an internship.
Core Social Justice Requirements
- SOJ1000 Introduction to Social Justice in Theory and Practice
- Social Justice Capstone
- Internship (An approved credit or non-credit internship completed before the final semester of senior year)
Students must select seven (7) courses from the courses approved for the SJ major, with at least one course (1) from each of the following four areas:
- Global Justice
- Ethics and Theory
- Legal, Political or Economic Perspectives
- Historical or Cultural Perspectives
A minimum of two (2) of these seven courses must be at the 3000 level or above. A maximum of five (5) of these seven courses or 20 credits (whichever is greater) may be taken in one department.
The major in Social Justice offers students the possibility of preparing for exciting work in a variety of fields. Career opportunities include employment in government agencies, colleges and universities, consulting firms, research institutes, corporations, domestic and international non-governmental organizations including community and environmental organizations, human rights organizations (e.g., Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch), the United Nations, and international development organizations. Social Justice graduates are also employable as international environmental journalists, writers, media producers and organizers.