Justice Studies Program Requirements

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  • Connie Etter
  • Mike Zarkin (Chair)

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Program Goals

  • To develop effective verbal and written communication skills
  • To develop, critique, and conduct research
  • To demonstrate collaborative problem solving skills
  • To develop critical thinking skills
  • To develop practices of global responsibility


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, environmental justice 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 Economics, English, Gender Studies, Philosophy, and Political Science 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 58 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
  • WCore or Honors College requirements

Justice Studies Major

Requirement Description Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. World Language Requirement 8  
Justice Studies majors must complete eight credit hours in a single world language.    
II. Lower Division Courses 10  
JUST 109 Power and Social Change 4  
JUST 221 Community Justice  3  
PLSC 203 Courts, Law, and Social Justice 3  
III. Upper Division Courses 24  
The following classes are required:
JUST 325 Justice in Everyday Life 4  
JUST 490 Senior Capstone 4  
PLSC 390 Research Methods  4  
Students take three of the following:
JUST 310 Law and Society 4  
JUST 318 Humanitarian Justice 4  
JUST 324 Gender, Work, and Justice 4  
PLSC 355 Constitutional Law:  Civil Liberties 4  
IV. Electives 8  
Additional upper-division JUST/PLSC coursework 8  
Total Hours for the Justice Studies Major 50  

Recommended Plan of Study for Justice Studies

Justice Studies 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 109 Power and Social Change 4  
JUST 325 Justice in Everyday Life 4  
II. Elective Courses 12  
12 additional hours of 300 or 400 level JUST courses    
Total Hours for the Justice Studies Minor 20