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Social Justice Programs

Undergraduate and Graduate

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 Social Justice Minor (Undergraduate)

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 develop critical thinking skills in more advanced courses (established in related departments), apply skills and knowledge through community participation, and finish with a reflective capstone course.

Structure of the Social Justice Minor (18 total credit hours)

  1. One Introductory Course (3 credit hours)
    • SJUS 2000: Democratic Participation and Social Justice or
    • SJUS 2010: Social Justice: Theories, Narratives, and Technologies
  2. Three Upper Division Courses (9 credit hours) in the humanities and social sciences (from at least 2 disciplines) from an approved list.
  3. One Experiential Learning Component (3 credit hours) involving work in the community, a reflective component and some type of public dissemination.
  4. One Capstone Course (3 credit hours) that provides opportunities to further reflect upon the experiential learning projects and student group projects.
    • SJUS 4000: Social Justice Capstone Course

    ***If you would like to enroll in the Social Justice Minor and are a CU Denver student​ majoring in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, you may print and fill out this Minor Declaration form and meet with your CLAS advisor​ for approval: Major Minor Change Declaration.pdfMajor Minor Change Declaration.pdf. If your major is not part of CLAS (i.e., College of Business), see your advisor for more information on how to declare a minor in Social Justice.***

    Elements of the Social Justice Track in MHMSS (Graduate)


    This interdisciplinary graduate track is available to students admitted to the Master of Social Sciences 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, and law intersect.  It expands students' recognition of the many ways that they are already engaged as citizens and their power to effect change through theoretical and moral education, critical thinking, and community engagement.  Students are provided with a list of recommended courses, which they select based on consultation with a faculty advisor. These targeted elected courses must total 12-15 credit hours in addition to the 3-6 credit hours for the culminating thesis or project. The core Social Science courses required of all Master of Social Sciences Program students comprise 9 credit hours.  The remaining credit hours will consist of appropriate courses offered by several departments and approved by the student's 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.​

    Structure of the Social Justice Track (30 total credit hours)

    1. Three Core Course (9 credit hours)
      • SSCI 5103: Philosophical Problems in the Social Sciences and the Humanities
      • SSCI 5020: Elements of Social Thought
      • SSCI 5023: Research Perspectives in the Social Sciences
    2. Master of Social Sciences Project or Thesis (3-6 credit hours)
    3. Four to Five Electives, 4000 level or above (12-15 credit hours)
      • It is highly recommended that students in this track take at least one quantitative and/or one qualitative research methods course. 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 advisor.​ Click here for a list of approved electives​.

    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. Jordan Hill, Director--Social Justice Program; Fauclty--MHMSS

        Phone: 303-315-3566
        Office: Academic Building One, Room 3033