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Social Justice Studies

Department of Economics

Roosevelt University was founded in 1945 on the principles of social justice when its faculty walked away from the YMCA College in protest over its discriminatory admission policies. The program in Social Justice Studies is a continuation of the commitment exhibited by our founders.   According to a study in The New York Times on diversity of undergraduate students, Roosevelt University ranks 25th nationally, 10th in private institutions, and third in Illinois.  This environment provides students with a multicultural learning environment and an opportunity to put into practice the principles we study in the classroom.

The Bachelor of Arts in Social Justice Studies is an interdisciplinary degree program coordinated by the Economics Department that integrates theories, methods, and substance of economics, history, political science and sociology as they bear on questions of social justice. What is social justice? What are the processes that produce injustice in our world and how do they operate? How are people working - or how might people work - to achieve social justice.

All students in the program have the opportunity to work with agencies and/or organizations in the Chicago area.  Chicago has a critical mass of people and resources working together on every major contemporary issue of concern. Internships give students access to and experience with advocacy groups, non-profit institutions, and governmental institutions.

A Sample of Faculty Research Interests

  • multiracial families
  • housing and gentrification
  • transforming education
  • labor economics
  • feminist economics
  • globalization
  • dynamics of race, gender, class, sexuality, and ability/disability
  • urban studies
  • public policy
  • grassroots activism
  • social movements


Complete information about the Social Justice Studies BA

But Can I Get A Job?

The degree in Social Justice Studies provides excellent preparation for careers with advocacy groups, nonprofit organizations, governmental institutions, or any employer looking for people with strong skills in research, analysis, and writing dealing with contemporary social issues. It is also an excellent choice for students considering graduate study in the social sciences, urban planning or law.

For additional information contact:

June Lapidus
Associate Professor and Chair
Department of Economics
Chicago phone: 312-341-3765
Chicago room: AUD760
Chicago fax: 312-341-3762
Mailstop: AUD760