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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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  • Project Case Studies 2 – “Practices on community engagement and participatory practice”

    Course Number: ARCH 6440

    Department: Architecture (ARCH)

    Topic: Practices on community engagement and participatory practice

  • Public Health Advocacy Clinic

    Course Number: LAW7527

    Department: Law (LAW)

    This clinic supports the work of the Public Health Advocacy Institute, a Northeastern-based think tank. It provides students with an opportunity to gain experience in public interest law, health law, and the use of litigation to effect changes in public health policy. The clinic’s primary focus will be on tobacco control and on the emerging issue of obesity-related litigation and policy, but students may explore other public health-related topics as well. This clinic also provides a unique opportunity for students to develop their academic legal writing skills; the final project in this course is the equivalent of a law review article. In addition to weekly class readings and discussions, each student will work on a major research project throughout the quarter, meet regularly with the instructor to discuss the project, give an oral presentation to the class, and write a substantial paper discussing his/her research.

  • Public Opinion, Voting, and Elections

    Course Number: POLS 3310

    Department: Political Science (POLS)

    Analyzes how Americans think about politics, how they vote, and how the rules of the U.S. electoral system affect electoral outcomes. Major topics include the nature and content of public opinion, mass partisanship, issues and issue voting, presidential and congressional elections, turnout and participation, campaign finance, and recent trends in U.S. electoral behavior.

  • Public Transportation

    Course Number: CIVE 7385

    Department: Civil and Environmental Engineering (CIVE)

    Studies the analysis, planning, and operational design of urban public transportation systems. Topics include service planning and scheduling; service reliability and operational control; automated systems for location, fare collection, and passenger counting; service performance measurement; rail system operations and design; data collection; ridership estimation; demand forecasting; pricing; and coordinated transit and land-use planning. Introduces supporting mathematical methods in optimization, random processes, and statistical sampling.Requires knowledge of probability theory.

  • Punishment in the Age of Mass Incarceration

    Course Number: CRIM 2330

    Department: Criminal Justice (CRIM)

    Examines the concept of punishment and its form, function(s), and enforcement throughout history, with an emphasis on current sentencing policies and procedures and their impact on the corrections system and correctional overcrowding. Explores the operation, structure, clientele, and issues confronting the institutions, agencies, and programs encompassing the corrections system including jails, prisons, and community-based corrections.

  • Race and Ethnicity

    Course Number: SOC 1230

    Department: Sociology – CPS (SOC)

    Examines race and ethnicity as constructed differences. Explores the reasons for their existence, the power dynamics behind constructions of difference, the impact of difference on identity, and ways that visual and other presentations influence perceptions of self and others. Because human beings belong to different racial and ethnic groups, the study of these constructs is important to sociology. Explores the history of race and ethnicity and how history has influenced the study of these topics.

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