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Master of Social Sciences Program

Social Justice Track


MH: Dr. Margaret L. Woodhull

MHMSS/SJ Program Director: Dr. Jordan Hill

MSS: Dr. Omar Swartz

Anthropology: Dr. Marty Otañez

English: Dr. Catherine Wiley, Dr. Nancy Ciccone

Ethnic Studies: Dr. Donna Martinez 

History: Dr. Christopher Agee

Philosophy: Dr. David Hildebrand

Political Science: Dr. Jana Everett, Dr. Lucy McGuffey

Sociology: Dr. Candan Duran-Aydintug 


This interdisciplinary graduate track is available to students admitted to the Master of Humanities or Master of Social Science Program. It encourages graduate students to broaden and deepen their intellectual tools as well as their practical knowledge as to how democracy, education, consumerism, media, race, class, gender, policy, and law intersect. It expands students’ recognition of the many ways that they are already engaged as citizens and highlights their power to effect change through theoretical and moral education, critical thinking, and community engagement. The MH and MSS degrees each require 36 credit hours of coursework. Of these, 9 courses are core requirements; of the remaining 27 credit hours required for the degree, a minimum of 12 credit hours of Social Justice-themed, elective courses must be taken, and a final project or thesis (3-6 credit hours) on a Social Justice topic must completed. Students select courses in close consultation with a faculty advisor. 

The Social Justice Track is relevant for students who are interested in vocations or avocations with advocacy organizations, who plan to continue their education in professional school or Ph.D. programs, whose current careers will benefit from knowledge of social justice issues, and/or who are secondary school teachers in humanities and social studies.

​Required Core MSS Courses (9 credit hours):

  • SSCI 5020 Elements of Social Thought (every Fall)
  • SSCI 5103 Philosophical Problems in the Social Sciences and the Humanities (every Spring)
  • SSCI 5023 Research Perspectives in the Social Sciences (every Spring)

Social Justice Track Requirements

  • In addition to the program’s core requirements, a minimum of 12 credit hours of social justice related courses, and 
  • A final project or thesis on a social justice topic must be completed successfully.

It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that students in this track take at least one quantitative and/or one qualitative research methods course as part of their plan of study. There are quantitative and qualitative methods courses offered in Anthropology, Environmental Science, Political Science, Sociology, and Research, Evaluation, and Statistical Methodology (RESM), which can be approved by a student’s program. Pre-approved electives are listed below and may change depend on department offerings. Other courses may qualify but must be approved by the Directors of the Program.

  • ANTH 5070-Culture of Development and Globalization
  • ANTH 5180-The Nature of Power
  • ANTH 5200-Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • ANTH 5400-Archaeology of Power and Inequality
  • ANTH 6041-Human Genetics: Legal, Ethical and Social Issues (Cross-listed with HBSC 6320 and 7320)
  • BUSN 6540-Legal and Ethical Environment of Business
  • COMM 5040-Comunication, Prisons, and Social Justice
  • COMM 5250-Difference Matters and Organizational Communication
  • COMM 5268-Communication and Diversity in U.S. History
  • ENGL 5190 Special topics in Rhetoric and Writing (depending on topic; they change with instructor)
  • ENGL 5306-Survey of Feminist Thought
  • HBSC 5200-The Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic
  • HIST 5032-Globalization in World History Since 1945
  • HIST 5055-The Atlantic Slave Trade: Africa, Caribbean and U.S.
  • HIST 5225-Urban America: Colonial to Present
  • HIST 5303-Sex and Gender in Modern Britain
  • HIST 5307-History of Sexuality (Cross-listed with WGST 4307)
  • HIST 5308-Crime, Policing and Justice in American History
  • HIST 5345-Gender, Science and Medicine: 1600 to the Present
  • HIST 5412-Mexico and the United States: People and Politics on the Border
  • HIST 5414-Nationalism and State Building in Latin America
  • HIST 5415-Social Revolutions in Latin America
  • HIST 5455-African Struggle for Independence
  • HIST 5466-Teaching about Ethnicity, Race and Prejudice
  • HUMN 5650-Reflections on Modernity
  • HUMN 5720-Sexuality, Gender and their Visual Representation
  • HUMN 5750-Philosophical Psychology
  • PSCI 5025-Local Governance and Globalization
  • PSCI 5206-Social Movements, Democracy and Global Politics
  • PSCI 5225 Democracy and Democratization
  • PSCI 5245-Gender, Globalization and Development
  • PSCI 5274-Conflict Resolution and Public Consent Building
  • PSCI 5276-Conflicts and Rights in International Law
  • PSCI 5286-International Relations: War or Peace?
  • PSCI 5374-Public Priorities for the 21st Century
  • PSCI 5414-Organizational Change Agents
  • PSCI 5545-Immigration Politics
  • PSCI 5555-International Women’s Resistance
  • PSCI 5644-Ethical Responsibilities of Leaders
  • PSCI 5837-Contemporary Issues in Civil Liberties
  • SOCY 5440- Social Inequality
  • SOCY 5680-Hate Groups and Group Violence
  • SSCI 5650-Reflections on Modernity
  • SSCI 5750-Philosophical Psychology
  • SSCI 6010-Methods and Theories of Feminism and Gender Studies (Cross-listed with WGST 6010