Justice Studies (JUST)

Faculty: Giancarlo Panagia

Program Goals

  • To develop critical, analytical, and integrative thinking skills
  • To improve written and oral communication skills
  • To be able to evaluate and conduct research within the Justice Studies field
  • To develop global consciousness, social responsibility, and ethical awareness
  • To gain a broad understanding of justice concepts and perspectives


The Westminster Justice Studies program treats justice as a broad category of social and ethical problems that includes issues relating to crime and justice, economic and social justice, community rights, and global justice. Accordingly, students who choose a major in Justice Studies are encouraged to take interdisciplinary coursework that exposes them to different ways of thinking about justice. This includes, but is not limited to, coursework in fields such as Anthropology, Economics, English, Gender Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, and Psychology, that helps students understand the nature of justice and why individuals and institutions may or may not behave in a just manner. Justice Studies majors are also required to engage in independent research and experiential learning activities such as internships. The Justice Studies minor affords students an opportunity to view justice through broad, interdisciplinary lenses.

Program Requirements

The Justice Studies program offers a Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies as an academic major and provides for an academic minor in Justice Studies. The Justice Studies academic major requires completion of 59 semester hours of credit selected from Justice Studies’ coursework and related classes in the social sciences and selected other coursework. Thirty-two of those hours must be in Justice Studies and related courses numbered 300 or above. Students must maintain a cumulative 2.5 GPA or better in the academic major and minor.

Students must meet the college-wide graduation requirements in addition to the Justice Studies major:

  • 124 total hours
  • 30 upper division hours
  • Liberal education distribution

Academic Major

Students may double-count twelve credit hours in the emphases below toward the Psychology major and toward completion of a Justice Studies major. This is an exception to the college policy that disallows double-counting of elective courses.

  Credit Hours Prerequisites
Liberal Education Courses
The following courses, which fulfill LE requirements, are required for the Justice Studies major.
MATH 150 Elementary Statistics, LE (4)—offered every semester MATH 105 or placement test
JUST 101 Introduction to Justice Studies, LE (4)
Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Foreign Language Requirement 8
Justice Studies majors must complete eight credit hours in a single foreign language.
II. Lower Division Justice Studies Courses 7
JUST 101 Introduction to Justice Studies, LE (4)
JUST 221 Community Justice (3)
III. Upper Division Courses 20
JUST 303 Critical Theory (4)
JUST 310 Law and Society (4)
JUST 365 Economic Justice (4) ECON 105 (LE) or 253 (LE) or 263, or consent of instructor. Same as ECON/PHIL 365
Additional upper-division JUST coursework (4)
 JUST/PLSC 490 Senior Capstone (4) see course description
IV. Emphasis 16
Students must complete 16 hours of coursework from one of two possible emphases:

  • Critical Analysis of Crime and Justice
  • Gender, Ethnicity, and Justice

At least 4 hours of coursework in the emphasis must be an upper-division JUST elective course. See listing below for classes included in each emphasis.

Double-counting of three elective courses is allowed for the Psychology major in the following emphases:

Gender, Ethnicity & Justice:
ANTH 252 Cultural Anthropology (4)
ANTH 388 Anthropology of Globalization (4)
ENGL 330 Survey of Critical Theory (4)
GNDR 350 Gender in Society (4)
GNDR 360 Race, Gender, Class, and the Media (3)
JUST 324 Women, Work, and Justice (4)
JUST 344 Environmental Justice (4)
JUST 376 Immigration and Justice (4)
*PSYC 325 Multicultural Psychology (4)
*PSYC 335 Psychology of Women (4)
*PSYC 420 Community Psychology (4)
*PSYC 105 is a prerequisite for these courses.
Critical Analysis of Crime & Justice:
JUST 320 Judicial Process (4)
JUST 350 Criminal Law (4)
JUST 374 Legislation of Morality (4)
JUST 375 Justice and Mass Media (4)
JUST 376 Immigration and Justice (4)
JUST 384 Restorative Justice (4)
JUST 420 Punishment (4)
PLSC 355 Constitutional Law (4)
*PSYC 307 Child Abuse and Neglect (2)
*PSYC 362 Abnormal Psychology (4)
* PSYC 390 Quantitative Research Methods (4)
*PSYC 105 is a prerequisite for these courses.
V. Required Courses from Other Programs 8
MATH 150 Elementary Statistics, LE (4) MATH 105 or placement test
PLSC 390 Research Methods (4) junior/senior standing, or consent of instructor

Recommended Plan of Study for Justice Studies

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Freshman Year JUST 101
Language I

Lower-division JUST elective
Language II

Sophomore Year Emphasis course
MATH 150

JUST 221
Emphasis course

Junior Year JUST 310
Emphasis course

JUST 303
JUST 365

Senior Year PLSC 390
Emphasis course
JUST emphasis elective

Academic Minor

To fulfill the requirements for an academic minor in Justice Studies, students must complete a minimum of 20 semester hours in Justice Studies or related coursework. Twelve of these hours must be in coursework numbered 300 or above.

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Required Courses 8
JUST 101 Introduction to Justice Studies, LE (4)
JUST 310 Law and Society (4)
II. Elective Courses 12
Additional Justice Studies or related coursework (12)
(numbered 300 or above)
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