Peace and Justice Studies

Interdisciplinary Minor in Peace and Justice Studies

Director: Erin Robinson, PhD

The Department also supports the interdisciplinary minor in Peace and Justice Studies. Students can benefit from both the global and local focus while pursuing studies of human rights and social justice. Our “Justice in Action” approach helps students apply social science and humanities perspectives to address our world’s most pressing social concerns.

The minor in Peace and Justice Studies is intended to further the mission of the University by preparing students for their role as leaders in the local and global community. Students pursuing this track of the Minor will develop skills, knowledge, and perspective to pursue “Justice in Action.” The program’s focus is on the religious, social science, and humanities perspectives needed to address peace and justice topics.

Components of the Minor and Advisement Notes

This minor requires that students complete 6 courses and a capstone (described in the Curriculum).

Required Courses:  It is recommended that the two required major courses be taken towards the beginning of a student’s academic career; however, these courses are not intended to serve as prerequisites for the rest of the program.

Major Electives: Students must choose a methods course if one is not required by their major department. If students choose an additional religious studies course, they must choose a course from a perspective different from the selection in the foundation course, i.e.: Elective should be focused on a non-Christian perspective if they choose RST 340 Moral Issues Today, and vice versa. It is recommended that students take a modern foreign language.

Major Capstone Course:  A senior level capstone course will be required of all students. This seminar-style course will be taught by faculty involved in the program and will address all three aspects of Ignatian Pedagogy: experience, reflection, and action.
The requirement for the Capstone Course will be a Capstone Immersion Experience. It will require students to:

  • Collectively identify a Peace and Justice issue in the local or global community
  • Through a group initiative, develop an action plan to assist the organization and community in its efforts to resolve the issue
  • All students will be working with the same organization, as this will be a team approach to their service experience. Students will spend the majority of their course time in the field gaining direct experience with the community. Other course time will be devoted to group discussion and reflection with appropriate academic readings.

Maintaining an Electronic Portfolio: In the majority of courses completed for this program, students will be required to do a course assignment on an issue of peace and justice in today’s world. Through the Desire2Learn (D2L) portfolio tool, students will maintain a multi-year electronic portfolio of these assignments to enhance their learning. Students should maintain a collection of 7-10 assignments that reflect their progress in the program.

Minors are an important part of the undergraduate curriculum.  If students declare a minor by sophomore year, they can usually complete it in a timely manner.  Students should work with their advisor to determine if it is possible that the minor can be completed by graduation.  

To receive a minor, a student must complete at least 9 credit hours of coursework distinct from their major(s) and from other minors, and students must complete more than 50% of the coursework required for the minor at Canisius. Please note that “ancillary/supporting” courses required for a major may still count as distinct courses as long as the remaining coursework still meets the 30 credit-hours required for a major. For more information about minor policies, please see the Declaring Majors and Minors page in the catalog.


Required Courses
SOC 273Social Movements and Social Change3
RST 340Moral Issues Today3
or RST 220 Religions of Asia
Elective Courses
Skills (select one of the following):3
SOC 375
Ethnography and Culture
COM 201
Dynamic Presentations
COM 204
Relational Communication
COM 302
Strategic Communication in Teams
ECO 311
Metropolitan Economic Development and GIS
EDU 303
Research Methods in the Social Sciences (formerly HSV 303)
PSY 329
Leadership and Motivation
Local Perspective (select one of the following):3
SOC 111
Contemporary Social Problems
SOC 340
Sociology of the City
PSC 370
Domestic Conflicts & Peace
Global Perspective (select one of the following):3
PSC 241
Human Rights and Globalization
SOC 385
International Migration
Major Capstone Course3
SOC 324
Visual Sociology
Total Credits18