2011 - 2012 Justice Studies (JUST)

Requirements | Academic Major | Academic Minor | Course Descriptions

Faculty: Giancarlo Panagia

Program Goals

Program Objectives

The Westminster Justice Studies program treats justice as a broad category of social and political problems that includes issues relating to criminal justice, economic and social justice, human rights, and international 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 Anthropology, Economics, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology 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, while more heavily focused on criminal justice issues, also 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 63 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.

For course prerequisites, please refer to the course description.

Academic Major

Liberal Education Courses Credit Hours
The following courses, which fulfill LE requirements, are required for the Justice Studies major.

MATH 150 Elementary Statistics, LE
PHIL 206/206D Introduction to Ethics, LE

Requirement Description
Credit Hours
I. Foreign Language Requirement 8
  Justice Studies majors must complete eight credit hours in a single foreign language (Spanish recommended). 8
II. Lower Division Courses 4
  JUST 101 Introduction to Justice Studies 4
III. Upper Division Courses 20
  JUST 310 Law and Society
JUST 365 Economic Justice

Take one of the following courses:
JUST 301 Criminological Theories (4)
PLSC 367 Contemporary Political Philosophy (4)
SOC 313 Social Theory (4)

JUST 470 Senior Thesis
Additional upper-division JUST coursework


IV. Electives 16
  Students must complete 16 hours of coursework from one of three possible emphases: Criminal Justice; Gender, Ethnicity and Justice; Economic Justice. See listing below for classes included in each emphasis.  
V. Required Courses from Other Programs 11
  ANTH 390 Qualitative Research Methods
MATH 150 Elementary Statistics, LE
PHIL 206/206D Introduction to Ethics, LE

Justice Studies Major Emphases

Gender, Ethnicity, and Justice

ANTH 252 Cultural Anthropology (4)
ANTH 355 Indian Peoples in the US (4)
ANTH 366 Political Anthropology (4)
COMM 360 Race, Gender, Class, and the Media (3)
ENGL 330 Survey of Critical Theory (4)
PSYC 335 Psychology of Women (4)
PSYC 420 Community Psychology (4)
SOC 305 Contemporary Issues (4)
SOC 350 Gender in Society (4)
SOC 372 Race, Ethnicity, and Class (4)

Criminal Justice

JUST 110 Police and Society (4)
JUST 320 Judicial Process (4)
JUST 350 Criminal Law (4)
JUST 373 Juvenile Justice (4)
JUST 420 Punishment (4)
PLSC 355 Constitutional Law (4)
PSYC 307 Child Abuse and Neglect (2)
PSYC 362 Abnormal Psychology (4)
SOC 372 Race, Ethnicity, and Class (4)
*SOC 390 Social Research Methods (4)
* indicates a required course for the Criminal Justice emphasis

Economic Justice

ANTH 366 Political Anthropology (4)
ECON 253 Principles of Macroeconomics (4)
ECON 263 Principles of Microeconomics (4)
ECON 311 History of Economic Thought (4)
ECON 321 Political Economy (4)
ECON 418 Economics and the Law (4)
ECON 420 Labor Relations Economics (4)
SOC 305 Contemporary Issues (4)
SOC 390 Social Research Methods (4)

Note: students completing the Economic Justice emphasis must take at least two ECON courses. Students should consult with their academic advisor concerning the appropriate prerequisites for courses in this emphasis.

Recommended Plan of Study for Justice Studies


Fall Semester

Spring Semester
Freshman Year JUST 101
Language I
PHIL 206/206D
Language II
Sophomore Year Emphasis course
MATH 150
Emphasis course
Junior Year JUST 310
Emphasis course
JUST 301 (or equivalent)
JUST 365
Senior Year ANTH 390
SOC 390/Emphasis course
JUST 470
JUST Elective

Academic 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
I. Required Courses 12
  JUST 101 Introduction to Justice Studies, LE
JUST 110 Police and Society
JUST 350 Criminal Law
II. Electives 8
  Additional Justice Studies or related coursework (numbered 300 or above) 8