Plan and promote sustainable methodologies

The Social Justice and Sustainability (SJS) major builds on Franklin’s commitment to fostering a more just and sustainable world. A self-designed major, it aims to allow students to explore key topics, theories, skills and applications at the intersections of social justice and sustainability.

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The SJS program has the explicit goal of helping the next generation of leaders, public servants, and private citizens to understand and navigate the key issues facing our world today. It provides students with interdisciplinary and experiential learning opportunities that link theoretical approaches to practical applications. This major helps students think across disciplines, through explorations of theories, concepts, case studies, and issues in Social Justice and Sustainability. The major is designed to develop skills in areas such as conflict resolution, advocacy, policy design, analysis and implementation, sustainable business plans, and sustainability design, assessment, and communication. The major integrates the practical application of theoretical knowledge and skills in the form of fieldwork, service, internships, and academic travels.

Majors

The major in Social Justice and Sustainability provides excellent preparation for a variety of careers in the public and private sectors.  Potential future careers include possibilities in local and international agencies; with advocacy groups for human rights, environmental justice, welfare, or sustainability; in community organizations, in development and aid organizations, in governmental institutions, in think tanks, and in consulting firms. Graduates could work as crisis mediators, policy analysts, conflict resolution specialists, journalists, media producers, organizers or lobbyists. Depending on the focus chosen, this major is also an excellent choice for students considering graduate studies in the social sciences, the humanities, economics, environmental studies, and law, as well as further study related to social, political, and economic equality.

View requirements

Social Justice and Sustainability

The Social Justice and Sustainability (SJS) major builds on Franklin’s commitment to fostering a more just and sustainable world. A self-designed major, it aims to allow students to explore key topics, theories, skills and applications at the intersections of social justice and sustainability.

The SJS program has the explicit goal of helping the next generation of leaders, public servants, and private citizens to understand and navigate the key issues facing our world today. It provides students with interdisciplinary and experiential learning opportunities that link theoretical approaches to practical applications. This major helps students think across disciplines, through explorations of theories, concepts, case studies, and issues in Social Justice and Sustainability. The major is designed to develop skills in areas such as conflict resolution, advocacy, policy design, analysis and implementation, sustainable business plans, and sustainability design, assessment, and communication. The major integrates the practical application of theoretical knowledge and skills in the form of fieldwork, service, internships, and academic travels.

The major in Social Justice and Sustainability provides excellent preparation for a variety of careers in the public and private sectors. Potential future careers include possibilities in local and international agencies; with advocacy groups for human rights, environmental justice, welfare, or sustainability; in community organizations, in development and aid organizations, in governmental institutions, in think tanks, and in consulting firms. Graduates could work as crisis mediators, policy analysts, conflict resolution specialists, journalists, media producers, organizers or lobbyists. Depending on the focus chosen, this major is also an excellent choice for students considering graduate studies in the social sciences, the humanities, economics, environmental studies, and law, as well as further study related to social, political, and economic equality.

Major Requirements (48 Credits)

Foundation Course (3 credits)
SJS 100 Sustainability and Social Justice: Ethics, Equality, and Environments

One of the fundamental questions we all face today is how to counter the urgent challenges posed by global climate change and unequal economic development. Questions coalescing around notions of ethics, justice, equality, and human rights intersect with questions of how to shape a culturally and environmentally sustainable world. Exploring a wide range of theoretical and practical perspectives on Sustainability, Social Justice and Ethics, this cross-disciplinary, introductory course will give students multiple disciplinary frameworks to think critically and productively about the intersections between the social and the natural worlds. The course provides the gateway to the program in Social Justice and Sustainability (SJS).

Major Courses (39 credits)

Individually designed programs include a total of 39 credits (13 courses) spread across at least three disciplines, 24 of which must be at the 200 or 300-level, including at least one 3-credit Academic Travel with a focus in social justice and sustainability.

Capstone Requirement (6 credits)
SJS 498 Capstone: Internship Project

Internship project in a related field to be coordinated with the Division Chair and faculty advisor.

SJS 499 Capstone: Research Based Thesis

Thesis proposals to be coordinated with the Division Chair and faculty advisor.

SJS 498: Students using US Federal financial aid must complete their internships outside of the U.S.

Eligibility and Requirements

This program is designed specifically for ambitious and independent students who wish to take on the challenge of designing their own major in Social Justice and Sustainability. Students with a GPA of 3.2 or higher after completion of 30 credits at Franklin (or who transfer in with 30 or more credits and a transfer GPA of 3.2 or higher) are eligible to pursue the program.

Administrative Procedures

The SJS major is designed by the student and closely monitored by the student’s academic advisor in collaboration with the SJS Advisory Board responsible for the major. The SJS advisors represent their majors at periodic SJS Advisory Board meetings. We encourage students to develop a topical focus that falls within one of four overarching topics: Understanding Poverty and Wealth, Environmental Limits, Human and Nature Rights, and Global Migration and Mobility.

1. To declare the major, students submit an application that provides a narrative describing the curriculum, its topical focus, and the role of each selected course; a list of the courses that will make up the curriculum, and a list of three internship possibilities. The application packet is available from the Registrar’s Office; students should also indicate their preferred academic advisor. After declaring their SJS major, students will continue to work closely with their advisor to refine and update their curriculum. This curriculum will be presented to the SJS Advisory Board as a formal proposal of study after completion of the foundation course.

2. After the initial approval, additional minor changes to courses can be approved through the academic advisor. Significant changes to the curriculum and topic need approval from the SJS Board.

Faculty

Chair of the Academic Division of Environment, Math, Psychology and Health

Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison
M.E.M. Duke University
B.A. Duke University

Office: Villa, North Campus, Loft
Phone: +41 91 986 36 50
Email: bhale@fus.edu

Brack W. Hale

Co-Chair of the Academic Division of Arts and Cultures

Ph.D. Princeton University
M.A. Princeton University
B.A. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Office: Lowerre Academic Center, North Campus, Office 6
Phone: +41 91 986 36 53
Email: cwiedmer@fus.edu

Caroline Wiedmer

Associate Professor, Biology and Environmental Sciences 

Ph.D. Montana State University, United States 
M.S. Swiss Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland

Office: Villa, North Campus, Loft  
Phone: +41 91 986 36 62
Email: pdellacroce@fus.edu

Patrick Della Croce