Justice Studies

Download PDF

Faculty: Connie Etter, Giancarlo Panagia, Mike Zarkin (Chair)

Justice Studies Courses

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 221 Community Justice (3)    
WCSBS 109 Imaging (In)justice (4)    
WCSBS 213 Imaging Violence (3)    
III. Upper Division Courses 32  
The following four classes are required (16):    
JUST 310 Law and Society (4)    
JUST 315 Global Ethics and Justice (4)    
JUST 490 Senior Capstone (4)    
PLSC 390 Research Methods (4)    
Students take four of the following (16):    
JUST 305 Intersectional Activisims (4)    
JUST 324 Gender, Work, and Justice (4)    
JUST 325 Justice in Everyday Life (4)    
JUST 344 Environmental Justice (4)    
JUST 350 Criminal Law (4)    
JUST 318 Humanitarian Justice (4)    
IV. Electives 4  
Additional upper-division JUST/PLSC coursework (4)    


Recommended Plan of Study for Justice Studies

  Fall Semester Spring Semester
Freshman Year

WCSBS 109 Imaging (In)justice
Language I
WCore classes

JUST 221 Community Justice
WCSBS 213 Imaging Violence
WCore classes
Sophomore Year JUST 310 Law and Society
JUST Upper Division
WCore classes
JUST Upper Division
Major Elective
Language II
Junior Year JUST 315 Global Ethics and Justice
JUST Upper Division
JUST Upper Division
Major Elective
JUST/PLSC Elective
Senior Year PLSC 390 Research Methods
PLSC Upper Division
PLSC 490 Senior Capstone
JUST Upper Division


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 310 Law and Society (4)    
WCSBS 109 Imaging (In)justice (4)    
II. Elective Courses 12  
12 additional hours of 300 or 400 level JUST courses