Bachelors in Justice Studies



The undergraduate program in Justice Studies provides students with an interdisciplinary curriculum that engages in critical analysis of justice issues. Core classes focus on theory and empirical research that addresses the relationship between law, justice, the justice system, and society. Electives address a number of more specialized and topical justice-related issues.


Our undergraduate curriculum is designed to cover the broad nature of Justice in local, national, and transnational contexts. Students take courses in the following competency areas: Theories; Methodologies; Critical Inquiries; Local, Transnational, Historical Perspectives; Analytical Research & Communication; and Experiential Learning. This innovative approach ensures students develop skills (i.e., the ability to understand, analyze, and critique) that can be used to help transform and empower our communities.

Requirements include:

  • All lower division GE coursework (60 units) SJSU Studies Courses (GE areas, R, S, and V) in three difference academic departments (9 units)
  • Support Courses (6 units) - Take JS 10 (or FS 11, JS 12, or JS 25) or equivalent and either STAT 95 or equivalent.
  • Justice Studies Core (45 units)

Theories (9 units minimum): JS 151 and select from 103, 104, 132(s), 153, 155, 157, and 185

Methodologies (6 units minimum): JS 114 and select from 107, 117, 131, 143, FS 161, FS 162, 185

Critical Inquiries (6 units minimum): JS 101 and select from 122, 128, 130, 136(s), 144, 150, 152, 185

Local, Transnational, Historical (6 units minimum): JS 102 and select from 121, 123, 127, 129, 137, 145, 156, 158, 171(v), 172, 179, 185

Analytical Research & Communication (6 units): Take JS 189 (or FS 169) and JS 100W (required for Human Rights Minor)

Experiential Learning (3 units minimum): JS 181 (or JS 141) and select from 140, 142, 180, 184, 185

Program Learning Outcomes

At the end of a Bachelor of Science degree in Justice Studies in the Department of Justice Studies, students should be able to:

  1. Employ multiple perspectives on systems of inequality and concepts of justice to understand social problems and engage communities to develop grounded and informed solutions.
  2. Act meaningfully within a global context. This requires understanding how social systems and social problems manifest at the micro (personal, local) and macro (national, international) levels. Further, this requires the ability to apply scholarship and critical literacy (e.g., of the news) to understand the(ir) world.
  3. Engage in social praxis (action informed by theory, theory revised by action and experience), acting as critical change agents in social institutions and communities.
  4. Contribute substantially to justice-related initiatives or projects through ongoing, sustainable interactions with communities, state institutions, and other related agencies. This requires appreciating the multidisciplinary nature of contemporary “justice” work, which at times involves collaboration, at other times constructive conflict.
  5. Formulate and articulate compelling reasoned positions on issues of justice through academic, professional and social media.


If you are interested in becoming a Justice Studies Major, please see the section on Declaring a Major.  Also, if you have any questions, feel free to contact our Undergraduate Coordinator, Dr. Chris Hebert.

For more about our department and potential career options, download the JS Fact Sheet 2014 (PDF).