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Justice studies BA program now offered through ASU Online


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February 18, 2021

The Bachelor of Arts in justice studies through Arizona State University's School of Social Transformation gives students an in-depth look at the evolving nature of justice from multiple academic perspectives. For years, it has been available to pursue on campus, but now it is also available through ASU Online.

With an increasing need for diversity in the justice system, it is important that students interested in pursuing a degree in justice studies have an accessible curriculum and options when exploring class formats. Madelaine Adelman, justice and social inquiry professor at the School of Social Transformation, said the online degree creates opportunities that were once nonexistent for students in special situations.

“More and more we see a range of individuals who, without an online option, would simply not be able to pursue or complete their undergraduate college degree," Adelman said. "This is due to a number of factors such as hours working per week, unpredictable work shifts that preclude planning to get to campus at a particular time, parenting responsibilities for their children or caretaking responsibilities for ill parents, unsustainable commute, etc.” 

The on-campus justice studies degree has consistently grown over the years, and with the growing public interest in social justice and political science, justice studies Faculty Lead LaDawn Haglund said it would only make sense that the degree also be offered online.

“Our in-person justice studies degree has been very popular, and we have consistently had a large number of both majors and minors. Moving to the online format will mean that more students will be able to explore and understand issues of justice that are so pressing in the world today. It will also open up the program to people who, for whatever reason, have difficulty attending class in person,” Haglund said. 

The justice studies program at ASU allows students to learn from established professionals and gain the skills needed to successfully launch a career in the fields of justice. Courses explore a wide variety of topics including racial justice, genocide, serial killers, and the way that media, culture, environment, gender and ethnicity impact justice. 

A degree in justice studies can assist students in pursuing a number of careers in law and teaches students how to better engage in civic thought and community outreach. Greg Broberg, lecturer of the popular “Homicide and Serial Killers” class in the justice studies program, said pursuing a BA in justice studies can help students in ways beyond career goals. 

“Whether your long-term goal is law school, working for a nonprofit or government policymaking organization – the interdisciplinary focus in justice studies brings together social science and humanities course work," Broberg said. "Today, answering questions about justice and injustice contributes to your understanding of communities and civic engagement, a critical focus within justice studies."

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