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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


Social Justice

Social Justice Programs

This program has been designed to encourage our students to recognize how democracy, education, consumerism, media, race, class, and gender intersect. The Social Justice Signature Area’s degrees and event mean to recognize and foster the many ways that our students are already engaged as citizens, the desirable possibilities that remain unrealized and their power to effect that actualization.

Elements of the Minor

The minor consists of theoretical and problem-based courses and experiential learning projects including internships, volunteer work, and service learning and/or venues for the public dissemination for the work being done within the program.

In the minor, students begin with core courses (taught with an interdisciplinary perspective), move on to other courses (established in related departments), and finish with a capstone course.

The structure of the minor is as follows:

  1. One 3-hour introductory course
    • SSC 2000: Democratic Participation and Social Justice or
    • HUM 2000: Social Justice: Theories, Narratives, and Technologies
  2. 9 hours of upper division coursework in the humanities and social sciences (from at least 2 disciplines) from an approved list
  3. One 3-hour experiential learning component involving work in the community, a reflective component and some type of public dissemination.
  4. One capstone seminar SSC 4000 Social Justice Capstone Course that provides opportunities to further reflect upon the experiential learning projects and student group projects.

Program Elements: Graduate Track in MHMSS (not yet available)

Main contact: Dr. Myra Bookman

Options for Graduate Students

At the Master's level there are plans for a "Social Justice" track/option which would be relevant for Master of Social Science and Master of Humanities students interested in vocations or avocations with advocacy organizations, or who plan to continue their education in professional school or Ph.D. programs. This track may also interest those whose current careers will benefit from knowledge of social justice issues, and secondary school teachers in humanities and social studies.

In addition to the required courses in MH or MSS, students in this track would (a) complete a new graduate interdisciplinary seminar, "Social Justice", (b) fifteen hours of approved electives that must be 4000 level or above, and (c) 3-6 hours of a culminating project or thesis. Once created and approved, a new graduate interdisciplinary seminar would be a more advanced version of the undergraduate seminar covering theory, research and writing of scholarly papers and research reports. Please note: while there is not yet a projected date by which this track will be available, those interested should inform Dr. Myra Bookman of their interest; she can help guide students interested toward the relevant courses currently available which may, in time, be applicable to a Social Justice concentration once the official track is finalized.

Learning Goals

  1. Develop skills in critical thinking, oral and written discourse, and problem solving so that they can reflect on their own moral values and civic responsibilities
  2. Critically assess how they are defined and influenced by various forces such as media and institutions that describe and prescribe ours and others’ cultures
  3. Understand the beliefs and values of others despite differences
  4. Engage in dialogue to resolve conflicts and design solutions; and
  5. Work in a collaborative and cooperative manner to advance issues and create change
  6. Have knowledge of influential theory and history in social and political thought

      For more information on the planning and details of this option, contact Dr. Myra Bookman, Associate Director of Humanities and Social Science Programs

      Phone: 303-556-2496
      Office: MC01