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Social Justice

Social Change 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 required and elective courses to satisfy the 34-credit and minimum-of-10 course requirement. You must take SOJ 1000, a capstone class and participate in 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