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Bachelor of Science in Social Justice Studies

Program Overview

Forget the common “What do you want to do as a career?” quandary.

A newly approved bachelor’s degree program in Social Justice Studies (SJS) asks instead, “Who do you want to be and what role do you want to play in developing a more just world?”

Social Justice Studies explores the important terrain between ideals of justice and the everyday local and global expressions of injustice. With a strong commitment to applied study, the major educates critical thinkers fluent in the rich and interdisciplinary histories and theories of social justice and injustice. The Social Justice Studies major encourages creative and committed thinking from various interdisciplinary perspectives, with the goal of creating an informed global and local citizenship committed to strategic, committed, accountable, and reflexive engagement in social justice work.

The Social Justice Studies (SJS) degree differs from a Criminal Justice and Criminology degree in several ways.   First and foremost, SJS contends that the study of “justice” must go beyond the study of crime, law, and the criminal justice system. That is, crime, law, and criminal justice are considered as constitutive parts of larger issues of justice, conflict and social change.  Second, the SJS program focuses on situating a multitude of local contestations over “justice” within a more expansive economic, political, and social context.   This entails serious consideration of struggles for “social justice,” by which we mean conflicts and struggles about a diversity of social issues where human dignity, equality, and solidarity are at stake: economic inequality and poverty; institutional racism, classism, sexism, and heterosexism; corporate and state power; colonialism and imperialism; war and state violence; environmental harm; consumerism and commodification; corporate media influence; and struggles over space, place, and territory.   

Click here to find out what you can do with a degree in Social Justice Studies

Program Course Requirements

Core (18 hours)

SJS 101: Understanding Social Justice and Human Struggle

SJS 250S: Service Learning in Justice, Conflict and Social Change

SJS 301: Theories of Social Justice

SJS 313: Mobilizing for Social Justice

SJS 396 Researching and Writing for Change

SJS 450S: Learning through Civic Engagement


Electives (15 hours)

SJS 322: Social Justice and Media.

SJS 325: Social Justice and Film.

SJS 401: Conflict, Resistance, and Nonviolent Struggle

SJS 467: States of Violence

SJS 470: Critical Carceral Studies

SJS 480: Ethnography for Social Change

SJS 490: Identity, Culture, and Power


Supporting Courses (12 hours)

In completing supporting course requirements, students will need to complete hours in at least two of the following areas: APP, CRJ, POL, SOC, WGS. Courses should be chosen after consultation with the student’s major advisor.


Total Hours:45

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