University of Portland Bulletin 2018-2019

Social Justice Minor

Alice B. Gates, Ph.D., sociology and social work, director

The social justice minor is open to all students from any major or school at the University. The social justice minor instills in students an intellectual foundation and practical experience to live in ways that promote social integrity, economic prosperity and defense of human rights for all.

The service dimension of learning at this university is expressed in a unique and effective way within the social justice minor. It challenges students to place their personal development and career choices into an ethical worldview within an interdisciplinary context.

The program includes courses in its curriculum from disciplines such as business, education, English, history, philosophy, political science, sociology, and theology.

Learning Outcomes for Social Justice Minors

Social justice graduates at the University of Portland should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a broad understanding of the theories and concepts of social justice and social justice traditions.
    1. Identify and explain central concepts of social justice, including the Catholic social justice tradition.
    2. Identify and explain historical roots of social justice and injustice.
  2. Articulate an understanding of social justice from a variety of perspectives including religious, psychological, sociological, historical, cultural, political, economic, and organizational.
    1. Identify and explain a variety of different disciplines' perspectives on social justice.
    2. Demonstrate an understanding of the social justice implications of issues in various disciplines.
  3. Demonstrate leadership.
    1. Set goals for their contribution in a community learning experience.
    2. Reflect on praxis, integrating theory and their practice in a community learning experience.
    3. Reflect on their contribution in a community learning experience in terms of different attributes of leadership.

Capstone Experience

Students pursuing the social justice minor will participate in SW 491, Local and Global Social Justice Practice. This course requires all participants to engage in a community learning experience. Students in the social justice minor may choose from a number of social service agencies, or from another organization, to pursue their community learning experience. They are also required to write a final paper in which they engage in academic reflection and analysis on the connection between their community learning experience and various conceptions of social justice, including, but not limited to, the Catholic Church’s social justice tradition. Students are also required to publicly present their papers.


  1. POL 302
  2. SW 460, Local and Global Social Justice Practice
  3. 12 credit hours from the following list, at least three of which should be from a discipline other than POL or SW: BUS 487, CST 327, CST 411, CST 416, CST 431, CST 432, CST 434, ECN 424, ED 320, ENG 360, ENG 372, ENG 373, ENG 404ENV 349/POL 349, HST 316, HST 321, HST 322, HST 323, HST 343, HST 346, HST 357, HST 358, PHL 313, PHL 314, PHL 324, PHL 374, PHL 410, PHL 412, POL 319, POL 335, POL 351, POL 356, POL 373, POL 374, POL 376, POL 377, POL 455, POL 462, PSY 463/SOC 463, SOC 333, SOC 336, SOC 339, SW 313, SW 325/SOC 325, SW 456, SW 468, THE 302, THE 323/THE 423, THE 329/429.