A limited number of institutions across the U.S. offer a master's degree in social justice. An interdisciplinary degree, social justice refers to the idea that all people deserve equal economic, political, and social rights and responsibilities. Students earning a master's degree in social justice are interested studying subjects such as health, education, migration and labor from a justice and human rights perspective. Choosing a master's degree program in social justice can lead to a rewarding career promoting equality for all people.

Course Descriptions

Graduate school programs in social justice offer coursework from a variety of academic fields, including humanities, social sciences, public policy and fine arts. Students enrolled in the social justice Master of Arts program at Marygrove College have the opportunity to select such courses as human rights and the literature, the media and its effects on social issues, social foundations, environmental justice and organizing for social change. St. Mary's College of California, located in Moraga, Calif., offers social justice leadership courses for students planning to assume management roles.

Graduate Degree Programs

Obtaining a graduate degree in social justice requires students to spend a significant amount of time studying and researching advanced theories related to diversity, inclusion and social justice. Arizona State University, for example, offers a Master of Arts in social justice and human rights. Students must complete 33 credit hours to satisfy graduation requirements. All social justice majors at Arizona State University complete a thesis and internship before earning the master's degree.

Loyola University, located in Chicago, provides students with the opportunity to obtain a Master of Arts in Social Justice and Community Development. The 36-hour credit program can be completed in two academic years. The degree program is a collaborative effort between Loyola University and the Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education. Prospective graduates must complete an internship and final research project. Additionally, Prescott College, St. John's University, Kean University, Delta State University, and Lewis University offer advanced degrees in social justice programs.

Career Options

Students interested in exploring careers related to social justice can choose from a variety of professional positions after graduation. A master's degree in social justice prepares graduates to work as health care specialists, policy advocates, case workers, nonprofit administrators, educators or community organizers. Graduate advisors at Brandeis University suggest social justice majors take advantage of internships and opportunities to study abroad.


When deciding on a master's degree program in social justice, students should consider their career goals and objectives beyond graduation. Students desiring to study social justice at the graduate level should take time to reflect on which issues related to the discipline they find most interesting or compelling. Graduate degree programs in social justice offer concentrations in areas such as global development, community development, education, international and public affairs, and criminal justice.

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