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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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  • Race, Crime and Justice

    Course Number: CRIM 3120

    Department: Criminal Justice (CRIM)

    Provides students with an overview of the role and treatment of racial/ethnic minorities in the criminal justice system. Covers historical and theoretical frameworks for understanding the relationship between race, crime, and criminal justice. In so doing, students become familiar with trends and patterns in criminal offending by racial/ethnic minorities, as well as system response to such behavior.

  • Race, Ethnicity and Health

    Course Number: PHTH 5120

    Department: Public Health (PHTH)

    Explores the role of economic, social, and individual factors in explaining racial and ethnic health disparities and examines intervention approaches to eliminate them. Topics include genetic and social constructions of race and ethnicity, measuring race and ethnicity, and the differences in prevalence and patterns of disease across groups; cultural and structural factors that affect healthcare delivery, such as discrimination, racism, and health status; and public health approaches to prevention and improving healthcare delivery.

  • Race, Identity, Social Change, and Empowerment

    Course Number: AFAM/SOCL 2355

    Department: African American Studies (AFAM), Sociology (SOCL)

    Examines racism, racial identity, and theories of social change and racial empowerment primarily within the U.S. context. Highlights different ways in which racism and racial privilege have been experienced by different racial communities, more specifically at the micro-, meso-, and macro-levels. Offers students an opportunity to learn ways to promote racial empowerment and equity. Using theory from primarily psychology and sociology, the course investigates the impact of social systems and institutions on individual-level and group experiences of racism. Investigates students’ own racial identities, a deeper understanding of institutional inequalities and intersectionality, and practical skills in leadership and community building that can promote positive social change and racial equality.

  • Race, Inequality and the Law

    Course Number: POLS 3323

    Department: Political Science (POLS)

    Examines the relationship between and material impact of race, public policies, and the administration of justice in the United States. Explores the ways the American legal system and political institutions have constructed and reinvented racial categories and their legal and social implications over time. Emphasizes the legacy of this legal history by examining how race and racial inequities intersect with contemporary public policy and social justice issues, including educational equity, employment discrimination, policing, and technology.

  • Religion, Race and Politics

    Course Number: PHIL 4903

    Department: Philosophy (PHIL)

    Examines topics including theodicy, cosmogony, contemporary issues in religion, and comparative ethics. Topics vary, and students may register for the course more than once. Requires prior completion of three philosophy or religion courses. May be repeated without limit.

  • Resilient Cities

    Course Number: POLS 7346

    Department: Political Science (POLS)

    Examines the characteristics of resilient cities, especially those located in coastal regions. Investigates the capacity of cities to respond to major disruptions to their social and ecological systems. Includes extensive use of case studies, such as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, as well as readings on cities and social systems. Offers students an opportunity to analyze an urban area and provide recommendations for improving its resilience. POLS 7346 and PPUA 7346 are cross-listed.

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