The study of justice

Examine the structures that inform the concept of equality and the recognition of human rights with a minor in Social Justice Studies. Through cross-listed courses, you’ll build an understanding of the historical and contemporary representations of social justice, including its roots, evolution and complexities. Develop an ethical awareness of the impact of systems, institutions and policy on individuals, cultural norms and human rights. You will be prepared to think critically about institutions and policies and use that knowledge in a variety of careers or post-graduate studies, most notably in advocacy-oriented situations.


Experiential EducationApplying Activism

Attend guest lectures hosted by the Fisher Center for the Study of Gender and Justice or assist local organizations through the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning.

At Hobart and William Smith, learning goes beyond textbooks and classrooms. You’ll gain high-impact practical experience that deepens learning and opens doors.



No Borders:Global Education

Study apartheid in England or the effects of colonialism in Hungary.

Wherever you go, our top-ranked global education program will allow you to apply classroom knowledge, develop cultural understanding and build global connections that expand your personal capacity and sense of purpose.


Explore social justice's roots, complexities and relationship to institutions and policies.

SJSP 100 – Foundations of Social Justice

Get acquainted with the foundational principles and theories of social justice, including social movements, power and identity and institutions and policy.

PHIL 315 – Social Justice

Delve into theoretical approaches to social justice including distributive justice, egalitarianism, libertarianism, resource and welfare-based approaches and feminist and capabilities approaches. 

SJSP 200 – Foundations of Leadership Theory

Challenge yourself to deepen your understanding of ethical, inclusive, value-based leadership and then practice it.


Alum Impact

Bailey DiSanto '21 mat '22

Major: English
Minor: Social Justice Studies

"Social justice studies’ emphasis on interdisciplinary learning has given me the chance to explore a variety of departments across the HWS curriculum, including theatre, anthropology, LGBT studies and political science. I’ve always believed in the power of people helping people and minoring in social justice studies provided me with the tools to create meaningful change in the community. I believe that I am a better friend, peer and citizen because of the program."

Companies That Employ Our graduates

  • AmeriCorps
  • CAMBA Homebase
  • Exploration Summer Programs
  • Full Service Consulting
  • Hanback Group
  • Institute of Human Virology
  • Massachusetts Campus Compact
  • Multiple Impressions (art gallery)
  • Peace Corps
  • Police Athletic League
  • Polycom
  • Teach for America
  • University of Vermont

universities where our graduates are studying

  • American University 
  • Daemon College
  • National University of Ireland, Galway
  • University of California, Los Angeles