• Students Walking by Giddens Learning Center

    Department FAQs

    How did the social justice program get started?

    Hamline's Social Justice program was established in 1999 by a group of faculty from the College of Liberal Arts and the Law School. This group of faculty designed an undergraduate program focused on understanding and confronting injustice on a societal scale.

    How many students major and minor in social justice?

    At any given time there are approximately 25-30 social justice majors attending Hamline University. Each year, there are approximately 8-12 social justice majors and 6-10 social justice minors graduating from Hamline University.

    How does one become a social justice major or minor?

    Students intending to major in social justice must have their plan for the major approved by a social justice faculty member, preferably in their first or second year at Hamline. Majors must complete the social justice introductory and capstone courses, a course in each of the five breadth of study areas, and five courses consistent with a chosen area of concentration.

    What are some examples of social justice "area of concentration"? 

    Students' areas of concentration relates to their future vocational and career preferences. The area of concentration must related to some sort of social injustice and must be approved by the program director. Students work with an advisor to select courses that are consistent with their area of concentration. Past areas of concentration include: Environmental Quality and Economic Development; Women, Families and Law,; Disability and Governmental Policy; American Labor; Native American Studies; Latin American Studies; Gender and Justice; Justice and the Arts; Elementary Education ; Race and Racism; International Human Rights.

    What types of work are social justice graduates doing?

    Social justice graduates have pursued careers in legislative advocacy, politics, government service, human services, hunger relief, human rights and peace advocacy, education, community development, law enforcement and law. Certain Hamline Social Justice majors have gone on to work for Project for Pride in Living, Minnesota Public Defender's offices, and even the United Nations. 

    What do social justice graduates say about the program?

    In 2010 the Social Justice program conducted a survey among social justice alumni. Participants were asked to rate their agreement with statements on a 1 to 5 scale with 5 representing "strongly agree," 4 representing "somewhat agree," 3 representing a neutral response, 2 representing "somewhat disagree," and 1 representing "strongly disagree. When given the statement "The Social Justice Program at Hamline University has positively impacted how I approach social and political issues" participants responded with an average score of 4.72. Participants responded to the statement "I would recommend the Social Justice Program to someone starting at Hamline University" with an average score of 4.76. The report also included an overwhelming number of positive written responses from students. One social justice graduate observed:

    "This program continues to, and always will, influence my social and political alignment in a positive way that enables me to be a compassionate human being and an instrument of change."

    Why is the social justice an interdisciplinary program rather than a department?

    Social problems in our society do not stem from a single source. They are the result of a complex web of social forces, social structures, institutions and traditions. As a part of a multidisciplinary program Hamline's social justice major prepares students to understand the complex influences of social justice issues by challenging them to engage in courses that approach social justice from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Approaching social justice from a multidisciplinary stance ensures that students are exposed to a number of different social movements and thinkers that have envisioned a more just society, as well as skills in legal systems, advocacy, and social science. The program is designed to inform and empower students as they prepare to work empowering others. The program's area of concentration allows students to tailor their own individual approach to social justice issues