Democracy and Justice Studies

(Bachelor of Arts)

Democracy and Justice Studies explores diverse ideals and practices of democracy and justice in the United States and the world though interdisciplinary social and historical studies. Democracy and Justice Studies students look at how people past and present have sought in various ways to sustain and change political, economic, cultural, and social orders. We ask why and how societies develop and whether their political, economic, cultural and social relations and activities promote justice, freedom, equality, and democracy. By cultivating critical thinking and problem-focused thinking, we enable students to become engaged citizens and professionals. 

Democracy and Justice Studies encourages students to put democracy and justice into action in the classroom, in internships, in research projects, in their volunteer lives, and in their eventual career choices. Along with substantive training in current and past social and political issues, students learn skills such as digital and textual literacy, the ability to express arguments and ideas clearly in speech and writing, critical thinking, and cultural competence. This program thus offers wide-ranging educational challenges and provides students with broadly applicable learning experiences useful for many career paths in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Democracy and Justice Studies is encouraged and appropriate for individuals interested in graduate work in the social sciences and humanities, law school, journalism, international business, and a variety of careers related to community development, social justice, social and environmental activism, women’s and gender equity, and other social issues. 

Graduates work in a wide range of careers including business, domestic and international development, education, non-profit work, journalism, law and criminal justice, library science, museum administration, philanthropy, and politics. Some have pursued advanced studies in fields such as anthropology, area studies, criminal justice, economics, history, international relations, law, library science, philosophy, political science, sociology, theology and women’s and gender studies.

Majors select one or more areas of emphasis from among the following:

American Studies addresses historical and contemporary political problems, public issues, social criticism and strategies for change in the United States.

Criminal Justice considers the development of the institutions, ideas and processes of the criminal justice system, including questions of freedom, social control, punishment and inequality.

U.S. and the World focuses on the influence of the United States and essential American ideals, including democracy, equality, and social justice, abroad.

Legal Studies examines law and legal systems past and present, both in the United States and around the world, and their relationship to justice and democracy. 

Women’s and Gender Studies explores historical and contemporary perspectives on women and gender, emphasizing the ways varied and changing gender roles affect economic and social opportunity. 

Students seeking a major or minor in Democracy and Justice Studies may choose to combine their programs with another field of study. Among fields most relevant are, business, communication, economics, education, environmental policy and planning, ethnic studies, First Nations studies, global studies, history, human development, journalism, political science, psychology, social work, sociology, urban and regional studies, and women’s and gender studies.

We encourage students to study abroad or at other campuses in the United States through UW-Green Bay’s participation in international exchange programs and National Student Exchange. Travel courses are another option for obtaining academic credits and completing requirements. For more information, contact the Office of International Education at (920) 465-2190 or see

Major Area of Emphasis

Students must complete requirements in one of the following areas of emphasis:

  • American Studies
  • Criminal Justice
  • Legal Studies
  • U.S. and the World
  • Women's and Gender Studies


Supporting Courses6
Introduction to Democracy and Justice Studies
Choose one of the following courses:
Varieties of World Culture
Mentoring for Equity and Inclusion
Freedom and Social Control
American Law in Historical Perspective
Macro Economic Analysis
Micro Economic Analysis
American History to 1865
History of the United States from 1865 to the Present
Global Politics and Society
American Government and Politics
Introduction to Sociology
Introduction to LGBTQ Studies
Introduction to Women's & Gender Studies
Upper-Level Courses12
Historical Perspectives on American Democracy
Topics in Democracy and Justice
Senior Seminar in Democracy and Justice Studies
American Political Thought
Total Credits18


Ekaterina M Levintova; Professor; Ph.D., Western Michigan University

Andrew W Austin; Associate Professor; Ph.D., University of Tennessee

Eric J Morgan; Associate Professor; Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder

Kimberley A Reilly; Associate Professor; Ph.D., University of Chicago

Jon K Shelton; Associate Professor; Ph.D., University of Maryland, chair

Nolan Bennett; Assistant Professor; Ph.D., Cornell University