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Social Justice

Social Change Concentration

In conjunction with their adviser, Social Justice majors are strongly encouraged to craft an area of concentration based on their interests. One sample concentration we have put together is in social change. 

Meet Your Concentration

As a social justice major with a concentration in social change, you’ll learn how to turn your passion for change into a successful career.

Through a combination of liberal arts, health science, and education coursework, you’ll explore many facets of human rights, social justice, and ethics.  

In the social change program, you will:

  • Investigate the literature and culture of resistance, advocacy, and organizing, and learn how to drive meaningful change at the local and global level.
  • Dive deeper into topics like civil rights, animal rights, environmental justice and economic development.
  • Delve into core social ethics concepts that motivate people’s beliefs and behavior.
  • Explore ways to speak and write persuasively to communicate your ideas and spark action.
  • Gain the theoretical, analytical and experiential knowledge that will prepare you for advocacy, social justice and human-rights work. 

Hands-On Learning

Outside the classroom, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in community-based or nongovernmental organization internships focusing on areas like economic disparity and at-risk youth. You can also get involved in Social Justice Week, an on-campus initiative that addresses inequality issues through high-profile speaker events and campuswide discussions.  

Career Options

Upon successful completion of the social change program, you’ll be well equipped to pursue a career in a community organization, research institute or government agency. Positions may include:

  • Community organizer
  • Human rights activist
  • Journalist
  • Non-profit director
  • Research consultant
  • Teacher

What You’ll Take

All social justice majors take a minimum of 34 credits in the major and nine (9) courses and an internship. 

If you are concentrating in social change, you will also take courses in the following areas: 

Elective Courses

Global Justice

One of the following courses:

SPA 4050 Literatures and Cultures of Resistance* 
WGS 3110                  Global Women’s Issues: Gender, Activism and Social Justice
Ethics and Theory

One of the following courses:

PHL 2500                      Theories of Justice†
RTS 2800  Social Ethics
WGS 3000 Thinking Green: Environmental Justice, Gender and Animal Rights 
Legal, Political or Economic Perspectives on Social Justice

One of the following courses:

POL 3510 Civil Liberties and Civil Rights*
SOC 3150 Social Movements*
Historical or Cultural Perspectives on Social Justice

One of the following courses:

PHL 2040 Introduction to Political Philosophy†
RTS 3800               Ethical Witnesses: Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton
WGS 2200 Gender and Social Movements
Additional Courses

Select three additional courses from those listed above or you may choose from the following options:  

COM 3331 Communications and Nonprofit Organizing**
ESS 1050         Environmental Studies Gateway
WRT 2020         Writing for Social Change

Note: Courses with more than one prerequisite are mainly options for students pursuing a minor or major in the same discipline.

†  =  One prerequisite, which is either PHL 1000 or ENG/WRT 1050
*  =   One prerequisite
** =   Two or more prerequisites 


More Info 

Luis Sáenz de Viguera Erkiaga
Director, Social Justice
Associate Professor, World Languages and Cultures