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Social Change Courses @ Northeastern

Northeastern is a leader in experiential teaching, scholarship and activism that advance the solving of real-world problems. The following is a list of Spring 2023 courses that address social change and social justice.

For information about course requirements, please contact the college. Click on “filter” to sort by college or topic. For more about institutes and centers that address public problem solving, click here. To register for one of these courses, please visit the Northeastern Student Hub.


The following is a partial list that will be regularly updated. Notice something missing? Let us know at [email protected]


Courses: Social Change @ Northeastern

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  • Participatory Modeling for Collaborative Decision-making

    Course Number: PPUA 5246

    Department: Public Policy and Urban Affairs (PPUA)

    Studies participatory modeling, a knowledge coproduction and collaborative approach to decision making. The collaborative approach strengthens relationship building, empathy, trust, systems thinking, and collective agency for decision making. Participatory modeling allows researchers and decision makers to coproduce knowledge and shared representations of a complex problem and design and test solutions to address it. Using various modeling techniques (e.g., spatial analysis, causal loop diagraming, fuzzy cognitive mapping), participatory modeling helps elicit diverse stakeholder knowledge and harnesses this diversity to move from conflict to solutions.

  • Physical Therapy Administration and Management within the U.S Healthcare System

    Course Number: PT 6420

    Department: Physical Therapy (PT)

    Provides the foundation of physical therapy administrative management principles required of physical therapists within the U.S. healthcare system. Examines the current and historical practices of the U.S. healthcare system through the lens of physical therapist delivery, including key legislation and policy changes that have impacted physical therapist delivery over time .Comparative evaluation of selected global healthcare systems is undertaken to understand differences. Discusses and applies leadership fundamentals, advocacy skills, and business and management principles to help students develop administrative skills for contemporary physical therapist practice.

  • Policing a Democractic Society

    Course Number: CRIM 2350

    Department: Criminal Justice (CRIM)

    Traces the history, evolution, and organization of the police in the United States. Examines the role of police in society, structure and culture of police organizations, function and activities of the police, and police deviance and accountability. The course objectives are to acquaint students with prior research on the police, examine critically the police as a component of the criminal justice system, explore the complex nature of the profession, and assist those who are considering a policing career to understand the realities of the job.

  • Political Communication

    Course Number: COMM 3320

    Department: Communication Studies (COMM)

    Reviews the construction and influence of rhetoric in political campaigns, particularly contemporary presidential campaigns. Also studies the impact of mass communication on the outcome of elections. Offers students an opportunity to analyze artifacts from recent political campaigns such as stump speeches, campaign debates, campaign advertising, and formal campaign speeches such as nomination acceptance addresses, concession and victory speeches, and inaugural addresses.

  • Pro-Seminar: Issues in Design Urban Environments

    Course Number: SUEN 7320

    Department: Sustainable Urban Environments (SUEN)

    Offers an advanced graduate seminar examining the forces shaping designed urban environments in contemporary global culture. A diverse range of material from published design criticism to open source social media engagement provides basis for discussion and written and oral presentations. Course themes determined by the instructor parallel the studio sequence SUEN 7130 and SUEN 7140, although discussion topics are broadly presented to engage graduate students from any background. May be repeated up to three times.

  • Problems in Public Health Law

    Course Number: LAW7512

    Department: Law (LAW)

    This course will explore the rationales for using law to protect and preserve the public’s health, the legal tools that may be used to achieve that end, and the conflicts and problems that may result from legal interventions. Topics discussed will include the use of law to reduce the spread of HIV and other infectious diseases, control of tobacco and other hazardous products, bioterrorism, and the threats TO CIVIL LIBERTIES AND MINORITY GROUPS engendered by all such legal efforts. This course is highly recommended for all students enrolled in the J.D./M.P.H. dual degree program, but is open to other students as well.

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