Peace and Justice Studies

The Peace and Justice Studies Program is an expression of the Jesuit educational commitment to the values of peace and justice. The program is based on the principle that true peace is not only the absence of hostilities but also requires the establishment of a just social order. Accordingly, the minor provides students with an opportunity to participate in the systematic study of a variety of issues in world peace and social justice. It challenges students to give thoughtful consideration to how we might create change and develop a vision for the future.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students completing the Program will have the opportunity to:

  1. Identify the injustice, inequity, or oppression that is embedded in particular social, political or economic structures.
  2. Explain how the concept or practice of activism is integral to peace and justice.
  3. Demonstrate skills in oral or written communication regarding critical social issues.
  4. Analyze critical questions about assumptions, biases, and worldviews.
  5. Apply knowledge, awareness, or skills to problems of inequity and oppression.

PJST 2400 Community Engagement, Social Justice, and Social Change    3 Credits

Attributes: PJST Peace and Justice Studies

This course will introduce students to frameworks for responsible and ethical community engagement, including assets-based approaches and strategies for contributing to social justice and social change. Students will challenge and problematize the paradigms of community service, charity, and volunteerism, while exploring participatory and justice-oriented strategies for social change. Students will design a community-engaged project or initiative as a part of the course, with guidance and coaching from their peers and course instructors.

PJST 3980 Internship    3 Credits

This internship provides students in the minor with the opportunity to understand, through direct participation, how citizens organize to empower their communities and promote policies that will benefit them. Interns are placed with community organizations in the greater Bridgeport area and some placements include advocacy work in the state legislator in Hartford. The internship requires a journal and final reflection paper based on analysis of the site experience and its relationship to peace and justice. Enrollment by permission only. Previously PJ 0298.

PJST 4999 Capstone Research Seminar    3 Credits

This course creates a context for integrating and reflecting on experiences and knowledge acquired in the program by providing the students the opportunity to examine how their major connects to the values and practices of peace and justice. Students undertake a major research project focused on applying their practical engagement with peace and justice issues to broader theoretical frameworks with attention to contemplating a vision for change in the future. The course is built around student-led discussion and an in-depth research project that analyzes an issue from the student's major area of study through the lens of peace and justice. Previously PJ 0398.


Melissa Quan (Center for Social Impact)

Coordinating Faculty

Adair (History)
Canuel (Center for Social Impact)
Drake (Philosophy)
Hohl (History)
Labinski (Philosophy)

Purushotham (History)

Contributing Faculty

Cook (International Studies)
Garcia Iommi (Politics)
Garvey (English)
Jackson (Applied Ethics)
King (History)
Kris (Nursing)
Leatherman (Politics)
McFadden (History)
Oliver (Social Work)
Petrino (English)
Rodrigues (Sociology and Anthropology)