Critical Theory and Social Justice (CTSJ) is the only undergraduate academic department of its kind in the U.S.
Since 2008, CTSJ students and faculty have engaged in rigorous interdisciplinary analysis of our complex era of globalization and social injustice. The curriculum guides you through a rich intellectual history of cultural theories, civil rights struggles, and liberation movements. At the heart of the program is an interrogation of inequality and systems of power. Our three pillars of inquiry are interdisciplinary thought, intersectional analysis of identity formation, and intervention in current critical discourse. As you advance through the major you will study in academic fields as diverse as psychology, education, anti-colonial theory, gender and sexuality studies, and critical legal theory.
Beyond the classroom, you will be encouraged to study abroad, do one-on-one summer research through the Undergraduate Research Center, and conduct a “social justice practicum” by interning in Los Angeles’s diverse urban community. These opportunities have allowed past students to conduct oral histories in Japan, archive the collections of an HIV-prevention nonprofit serving L.A.’s Black/Latinx Ballroom performance scene, and work directly with L.A. immigration rights organizations, to name just a few. You may also get involved with the Critical Theory and Social Justice Journal, the discipline’s leading undergraduate research publication, based right here at Oxy.
Our unique department trains students in diverse theoretical fields, scholarly methods, and social praxis. CTSJ students have received prestigious fellowships including the Fulbright, Richter, and Point Foundation Grant. Our alums have gone on to graduate work at Princeton and Harvard Universities, and the University of California system, and they have pursued careers in fields such as law, public policy, arts administration, education, and non-profit advocacy.