Academic Courses

Social Justice Institute Courses

The Social Justice Institute offers undergraduate courses that prepare students to address national and global inequities.  The courses collectively emphasize history, theory and practice of social justice; research, active community engagement and leadership development are also included for students to begin to understand their place in and responsibility to community, country and planet.

SJUS 100: Introduction to Social Justice

Concepts and quests for justice, and struggles against injustice, have shaped human understanding and community relationships for centuries.  Probing broad questions, this signature course will encourage students to think critically and expansively about the social world and the conditions of humanity.  The course will provide a foundational exploration of social justice concepts, issues and remedies, thereby developing the necessary analytical tools and information to assess inequality and address issues. Offered in the Spring semester  ‌Can you define "social justice" in six words?

SJUS 200: Engagement Seminar - Experiential, Community-Based Learning

This seminar provides real life engagement with the community and student interaction with themes and topics that meet the learning objectives of the Social Justice Minor.  Students attend out-of-the-classroom events on campus and in the community to learn from activists, workers and leaders who are engaging in the struggle towards social justice. Students will develop awareness and sensitivity to the contexts and social constructs of injustice and will begin to synthesize and integrate the knowledge and skills necessary to become active agents for change.

SJUS 398: Social Justice Capstone Project

This is the culminating integrative course for the Social Justice Minor.  Students identify and develop a project that addresses a justice issue about which they feel strongly.  They will apply knowledge from historical and theoretical justice frameworks and engage in critical analysis.  Students may engage with stakeholders in an immersion experience in local, national or international settings.  Students will work to select and perhaps implement remedies to address the respective injustice. Students with a background and experience in Engineering may opt for SJUS 390E, an alternative with an Engineering focus.

Interdisciplinary Study

In addition to courses designated solely as SJUS, many classes from other departments also address the core focus areas of social justice work:

  • Ethics, Politics and Economics
  • Social Inequality, Power and Privilege
  • Social Movements and Social Change

We encourage students to seek out opportunities to study in many areas of study and to learn from diverse voices.  A list of courses currently being offered at Case Western Reserve University that meet the guidelines for the Social Justice Minor may be found on our Minor in Social Justice page.