Social Justice and Cultural Studies

Program Offered
  • Social Justice and Cultural Studies (major and tracks)

Social Justice and Cultural Studies Faculty

Program Directors: Kimberly Segall, PhD, and Brian Bantum, PhD

In this major, you will study culture, representation, and power in order to analyze social formations — such as gender, race, class, sexuality — and explore forms of protest, resistance, and social change. The approach to this field will be informed by Christian theologies of social justice.

This major provides a gateway to a variety of vocations such as education, human rights law, refugee work, public policy, mediation in non-governmental organizations, as well as the creative arts (e.g., documentary film-making, graphic design, creative writing, etc.). Students focus their study by selecting one of the following tracks in the major: Advanced Cultural Studies; Art for Social Change; Meditation, Peace, and Conflict Resolution; or Pre-Law Human Rights and Policy.

  • A minimum 65 credits are required for this major, including 25 upper-division credits.
  • Students are encouraged to pursue advocacy, internship, or study abroad opportunities.

Find out more about this program’s mission, vision, and learning outcomes.

Social Justice and Cultural Studies (BA)

This major includes these four separate tracks, allowing you to pursue your specific academic and vocational interest:

Track A: Pre-law human rights and policy

For those seeking social change in areas of: immigration law, mass incarceration, refugee work, sexuality issues, gender policies, health, education, housing policies, social activism for civil rights and human rights.

  • For students interested in policy change or law school.
  • A social-science statistics course is recommended for those invested in policy change and documentation.

Track B: Art for social change

For students invested in changing the world through artistic forms, including graphic design, creative writing, playwriting, photography, and documentary film.

  • If you want to combine writing with graphic design or film production with documentary research, this track connects art and justice activism.
  • The Social Venture Planning course is recommended for those wanting to start entrepreneurship enterprises.

Track C: Mediation, peace, and conflict resolution

For students interested in social services, political/non-governmental organizations (NGOs), human resources, and social work.

  • Interested in changing the world? This track in Peace and Conflict resolution prepares you to work in a variety of corporate or social settings, preparing you to navigate socio-political schisms and mediate micro-aggressions.
  • If you want to lead small groups, this track sets a foundation for social work.

Track D: Advanced cultural studies

For students committed to specializing in cultural studies, this track is ideal for future educators, graduate students, and double majors.

  • If you intend to specialize in global or urban studies, it is helpful to take the Literary Theory class.
  • If your future graduate field is cultural studies, consider a double major with film studies or Asian studies.
  • If you also want an MA in Education, this is your track.

Apply to the major

  • Apply for the major using the online Major or Minor Application form.
  • To qualify for admission to the major, you must complete SJC 1000: Intro and another core course with a minimum 3.0 GPA to apply to the major.
  • A 2.0 GPA is required for admission to this major.
  • You must complete the major requirements in effect in the SPU Undergraduate Catalog for the year of admittance to the major.

Study abroad opportunities

South Africa: Literature and Theatre

This SPU global seminar is a study abroad program to study literature, theater, commissions, and cultures in South Africa. Taken during the month of December (after Autumn Quarter), this biennial program includes service learning. Learn more

Spain and Morocco: Writing and Resistance

This SPU global seminar is a study abroad program to study literature and trans-national culture. Students enrolled in this every other year program, leave in late August (prior to Autumn Quarter), travelling from Seville in Moorish Spain to Meknes in Morocco. Learn more

For details about all study abroad opportunities, visit SPU’s Study Abroad pages.

Students outside sitting on steps

English and Cultural Studies Department

Visit the English and Cultural Studies Department to see how a degree from this department can help you achieve your goals and make a difference in the world.

Time Schedule: Social Justice and Cultural Studies

  • Social Justice and Cultural Studies courses
  • All courses

Course planning

Suggested course sequences help you complete your degree in a timely manner.