Social Justice & Social Welfare Minor


The social justice and social welfare minor provides students with a broad overview of social justice perspectives on issues relevant to the social welfare system, its relationship to the market economy, and the historical, political, and cultural factors that shape it1. Through coursework, students learn the analytic and practical skills needed to develop, evaluate, and transform social welfare and justice policies. Students gain competency in the core issues of human needs and social development, relevant to many careers.

The minor also enhances students’ preparation for graduate study in social work1, law, education, health care, public policy analysis, nonprofit management, social service administration, student affairs, conflict resolution, and others.


Students in a variety of majors are learning skills toward such a successful career (e.g, business, education, healthcare) but are in need of knowledge of the systems that impact their careers as well as the well-being of those they are training to serve.


Students often want to pursue careers toward improving the quality of life of others. Understanding of the social welfare system and social justice issues is essential as a foundation for such careers.

Students selecting this minor must have a Cumulative 2.5 GPA.


Course Plan for the 18-hour Minor:

Required Introductory course:

  • SOCW 3303 Social Welfare Policy and Services

Required Core courses:

  • SOCW 3301 Theories of Human Behavior
  • SOCW 3307 Diverse Populations 

3 courses from the following list:

  • SOCW 3312 Disability & Social Work
  • SOCW 3314 The Latina Experience
  • SOCW 3320 U.S. Immigration and the American Dream
  • SOCW 4314 Intimate Partner Violence
  • SOCW 4335 Aging in American Society
  • SOCW 4344 Health Insurance and Access to Care

  • SOCW 4350 Special Issues in Social Work - Green Social Work

  • SOCW 4366 Seminar in Gender Issues
  • SOCW 4371 Forensic Social Work 

*Additionally, students will have a final assessment at the end of their coursework to assess their learning outcomes (this allows for data gathering for Unit Effectiveness Process [UEP] requirements).

1 The Social Justice and Social Welfare (SJSW) Minor does not provide the specific skills needed for actual social work practice or for social work licensing. Students pursuing a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) are not eligible for SJSW.