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Social Justice

After Lake Forest

Graduate School

Antioch University New England (Keene, New Hampshire)
Master of Science in Environmental Studies (concentration in Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability): https://www.antioch.edu/new-england/degrees-programs/environmental-community-studies/environmental-studies-ms/advocacy-for-social-justice-and-sustainability-es-ms/

Berkeley Law at University of California (Berkeley, California)
Social Justice Curricular Program: https://www.law.berkeley.edu/academics/areas-of-study/social-justice-public-interest/curriculum/

Brock University (St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada)
Master of Arts in Social Justice and Equity Studies:

Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio)
Master of Arts in Bioethics:http://www.case.edu/med/bioethics/masters/index.htm
PhD in Bioethics: http://www.case.edu/med/bioethics/phd/

Columbia University (New York, New York)
Master of Arts in Human Rights Studies (through Liberal Studies Master of Arts): http://lsma.columbia.edu/content/introduction-human-rights-studies
School of International and Public Affairs (concentration on Human Rights): http://sipa.columbia.edu/academics/concentrations/hr/index.html
Certificate in Human Rights:http://www.columbia.edu/cu/gsas/departments/human-rights/bulletin.html

Cornell University (Ithaca, New York)
Masters of Public Administration (option of concentration in Human Rights and Social Justice): http://www.gradschool.cornell.edu/fields.php?id=98&a=4 

The Heller School at Brandeis University (Waltham, Massachusetts)
PhD Social Policy, MPP Social Policy, MBA Nonprofit Management, MA Sustainable International Development, MS International Health Policy and Management, MA Coexistence and Conflict:http://heller.brandeis.edu/

Indiana University (Indianapolis, Indiana)
Master of Laws: International Human Rights Law Track:http://indylaw.indiana.edu/llm/humanrights/

Institute of Education at University of London (London, England)
Master of Arts in Social Justice and Education:http://www.ioe.ac.uk/study/masters/PMM9_SJE9IM.html

Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University (Chicago)
Master of Arts in Social Justice and Community Development:http://www.luc.edu/ips/academics_masj.shtml 

Josef Korbel School of International Studies at University of Denver (Denver, Colorado)
Master of Arts in International Human Rights:http://www.du.edu/korbel/academic/academic_degree_programs/ma/International_HR.html 

Lewis University (Romeoville, Illinois)
Master of Science in Criminal/Social Justice:http://www.lewisu.edu/academics/masterscrim/index.htm

Marygrove College (Detroit, Michigan)
Master in Social Justice: http://www.marygrove.edu/academics/graduate-academics/graduate-programs/social-justice/349-master-in-social-justice.html

Nathan Weiss Graduate College at Kean University (Hillside, New Jersey)
Master of Arts in Sociology and Social Justice:http://www.kean.edu/~keangrad/CHSS/MA_in_Sociology_and_Social_Justice.html 

New College of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at Arizona State University (Phoenix, Arizona)
Master of Arts in Social Justice and Human Rights:http://newcollege.asu.edu/graduate/degrees/sjhr

Prescott College (Tucson, Arizona)
Master of Arts in Social Justice and Human Rights: http://www.prescott.edu/learn/on-campus-master-of-arts/social-justice-human-rights/index.html

Regis University (Multiple locations and online)
Master of Nonprofit Management:

St. Cloud State University (St. Cloud, Minnesota)
Master of Science in Social Responsibility:http://www.stcloudstate.edu/SocialResponsibility/about.asp

St. Johns University (Rome, Italy and online)
Master of Arts in Global Development and Social Justice:http://www.stjohns.edu/academics/graduate/liberalarts/departments/cgd/ma_gdsj

Texas Tech University Department of English (Lubbock, Texas)
Master of Arts or Ph.D. in English (option of specialized study in Literature, Social Justice and Environment (LSJE)):http://www.english.ttu.edu/grad_degrees/LSJE_default.asp

University of Massachusetts (Amherst, Massachusetts)
Master of Education (concentration in Social Justice):http://www.umass.edu/sje/masters.html
Doctorate of Education (concentration in Social Justice Education):http://www.umass.edu/sje/doctoral.html
Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Social Justice Education:http://www.umass.edu/sje/cags.html

University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Human Rights Minor program (to add to Masters, Doctoral, Public Affairs, or Law): http://hrp.cla.umn.edu/grad/reqs.html

University for Peace, The U.N. mandated Graduate School of Peace Studies (Ciudad Colon, Costa Rica)
Master of Arts in International Law and Human Rights:http://www.upeace.org/academic/masters/ilhr.cfm

University of San Francisco School of Education (San Francisco, California)
Master of Arts in Teaching: Urban Education and Social Justice:http://www.usfca.edu/soe/programs/ted/ma_teaching_uesj/  

Other Human Rights Masters Degrees
List of places for various human rights degrees around the world:http://www.humanrightstools.org/hrt/hrt/masters.htm

Volunteer Opportunities 






Online ways to get involved:




Careers related to Social Justice

The range of careers associated with social justice is enormous, from local government service to international human rights law, from developing green products and initiatives to providing resources and training in less-developed nations, from responding to natural disasters to ensuring the rights of women. 

Some careers (e. g., social work or law) may require graduate training, so see our link for information about possible graduate programs.  But there are many job possibilities for those with a BA degree.

These fields are competitive, so it is important to prepare.  As the information below will emphasize, the three aspects of our social justice program (course work, volunteer involvement, and off-campus programs or internships) will all be important as you explore career directions and prepare for a career related to social justice.  See our link for co-curricular possibilities in social justice.

Thinking about Careers: Your Contribution

Seeking a Career related to Social Justice

Exploring Possibilities

A Sampling of Possibilities

 Thinking about Careers: Your Contribution

When thinking about careers, it’s important to reflect on where you can make a difference, that is, on what contributions you can make. This will, of course, be related to your skills, temperament, academic training, and experiences.  As the Greeks emphasized, know yourself, but also know (through academic work) the issues, causes, and structures that can inform solutions to social problems and (through co-curricular, volunteer, and internship efforts) life on the ground and how that enriches the intellectual understanding.  For example, a student might really want to help homeless people, but they might discover that working on policy issues isn’t as satisfying as working directly with people in need or vice versa.  In a more dramatic example, sometimes people think they want to go into healthcare, but by volunteering learn that they can’t stand the sight of blood.  Supplementing academic study with related volunteer and internship experience is always helpful, because it gives students the opportunity to discover the most fruitful ways for them to make a contribution to the cause they are committed to. 

Spend some time with the Career Advancement Center career exploration pages. http://www.lakeforest.edu/academics/cac/exploration/

Resources in the Ethics Center reading room may also be helpful.  Consider, for example:

Making a Living while Making a Difference by Melissa Everett

100 Best Nonprofits to Work for, Find Your Dream Job—and Launch a Rewarding Career Doing Good!  By Leslie Hamilton and Robert Tragert


 Seeking a career related to social justice


Some general notes:  Some aspects of a job search are fairly standard no matter what type of position one might be seeking.  For general info about job searches, see our Career Advancement Center pages.http://www.lakeforest.edu/academics/cac/


But some aspects of a typical social justice job search can be different.

  • Perhaps even more than for business, specific experience in areas related to your job search may be important.  Such experience can be gained through participation in related co-curricular groups, volunteer efforts with local organizations, or internships.  These efforts may begin as a way for you to figure out your focus, but as you clarify your career interests, find ways to contribute—and to gain experience—while an undergrad.
  • Cover letters (and articulation of verbal interest) tend to matter more for social justice jobs, but it’s also harder for students to stand out, because it is more important that they show their specific interest in the particular organization, cause, or position.  It’s not enough to make comments like, “I want to work for your organization, because I like to help people.”  There needs to be more depth for their top-tier employers.  (Again, relevant experience, in volunteer or internship efforts, will be important.)
  • Whereas major companies will start recruiting college students in the fall for summer training classes, social justice employers that have structured programs will likely be running them as fellowships, grant-based projects, or limited term service programs — examples would be programs like Teach for America or the Peace Corps.  Both business and typical social justice employers also do “just-in-time” hiring, which means that when students network before jobs exist, they are more likely to be selected, because they were in the pipeline early.


 Exploring possibilities


Useful Information from our Career Advancement Center:

Career Finder: Social Service and Public Administration 

Career Finder: Law


Other useful materials:

Human Rights and Social Justice Organizations

Williams College social service career site


Useful general sites


Common Good Careers http://www.cgcareers.org/

Idealist.org http://www.idealist.org/

Non-Profit Jobs http://www.nonprofitjobs.org/

Making the Difference http://www.makingthedifference.org/index.shtml

Non-Profit Career Network http://www.nonprofitcareer.com/

Non-Profit Job Seeker http://www.nonprofitjobseeker.com/

Jobs for Change: http://jobs.change.org/?ref_id=3


Also note that working in business need not require a sacrifice of your values.  Many businesses are committed to social justice issues and environmental sustainability.  Take a look at these sites:

Sustainable Business: http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/

Net Impact: http://www.netimpact.org/


 A Sampling of Possibilities


For a listing of current job and internship postings, see the Online Career Center. http://www.lakeforest.edu/academics/cac/internships/database.php

Examples of NGOs and other organizations, from 100 best nonprofits to work for, Find your dream job—and launch a rewarding career doing good! By Leslie Hamilton and Robert Tragert:


o Education-related

Outward Bound

o Environment-related

Clean Water Action 


National Wildlife Federation

The Nature Conservancy 

The Sierra Club 

Trust for Public Land 

o Health-related

Doctors Without Borders MSF

o Human Rights

Amnesty International 

Human Rights Watch

o Issue or Constituent Advocacy/Social Change

American Civil Liberties Union –ACLU 

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People- NAACP 

National Organization for Women- NOW 

Union of Concerned Scientists- UCS 
Jobs: http://www.ucsusa.org/about/jobs-at-ucs.html

o Philanthropic

United Negro College Fund- UNCF 

United Way of America 

o Relief

American Red Cross

International Rescue Committee 

o Research

Jane Goodall Institute 

o Social Service

Goodwill Industries International, Inc. 

Habitat for Humanity International 

Make-a-Wish Foundation of America 

Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc.