6 Grad Schools to Create a Life-Long Career in Humanitarian Efforts & Social Justice

In addition to working for nonprofits, education, and government careers, students looking to gain more experience consider graduate schools that specialize in social justice efforts. From San Francisco State University to the University of Massachusetts, there are many options to choose from depending on what you are interested in. College grads with degrees in Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, LJST, and Education Studies looking to enter a profession related to humanitarian efforts and social justice often pursue a master’s degree in either Social Justice, Education, or both. By expanding your educational background, you have the opportunity to better equip yourself for exciting career paths that you could take up and excel in. This way, professionals from all sorts of disciplines can find a way to make rewarding humanitarian work their life-long career. 

  1. Fisk University
    1. Master of Arts in Social Justice
      1. Designed to prepare students interested in gaining practical tools, specialized skills, and policy knowledge to advocate effective strategies to maximize the potential for social justice and human rights. The Social Justice graduate program seeks to build competencies and skills to transform social inequalities among social structures (economic, political, gender, race, etc.) toward a more just society. Graduates of the program are prepared for further graduate study or for careers in research, planning, policy analysis, politics and government affairs, public interest advocacy, public interest law, international or multicultural affairs, diversity, and social justice consultation, corporate giving, media, public affairs, human services, social work corrections, media, international humanitarian careers, and non-governmental organizations (NAACP, Innocence Projects, & the Southern Poverty Law Center, etc.)
  2. University of Michigan School of Education
    1. Master of Arts in Higher Education with a focus on Diversity and Social Justice in Higher Education
      1. Gives students the tools for increasing their knowledge and skills regarding diversity and social justice in higher education. It equips students to address these issues within their careers and other spheres of influence. This concentration cultivates a supportive network of graduate students and faculty who are interested in research and pedagogy around issues of diversity and social justice. You will benefit from both the academic rigor of the master’s program at large and also from specific aspects of the study of diversity, research on educational policies and practices, and the practice of social justice education. Students have several opportunities to integrate knowledge across a variety of learning contexts and are challenged to consider broad issues that affect higher and postsecondary education.
  3. University of Massachusetts College of Education
    1. Master of Arts in Education with a concentration in Social Justice Education
      1. The goal of the Social Justice Education (SJE) concentration is to prepare educational leaders who can promote social diversity and social justice in educational settings through the development of theoretical and practical knowledge, empirical research, and the use of effective social justice education practices.
  4. San Francisco State University 
    1. Master of Arts in Education with a concentration in Equity and Social Justice
      1. The Equity and Social Justice Education M.A. program addresses current issues centered around race, culture, language, ethnicity, ability, and gender diversity in education. The program focuses on the theoretical, historical, and political perspectives of race, class, gender, language, and sexual orientation as they apply to the theory and practice of education. In so doing, equity and social justice become key end goals for the educational process. A major component of this program is social activism. The program focuses on theoretical, historical, and political perspectives of race, class, gender, language, and sexual orientation as they apply to the theory and practice of education. The pedagogies and teaching philosophies modeled in the classes are facilitative, interactive, and participatory utilizing critical thinking, critical reflection, demonstrations, simulations, dialogue, and other methods of instruction to gain insight into issues related to equity and social justice. Students pursuing this degree are interested in social change that will not only affect the educational direction of our schools (both, public and private) but will also impact policy changes necessary for the pursuit of equity and justice in all sectors of society. Career opportunities may include but are not limited to advanced study (Ph.D. or Ed.D.) in higher education, research work, non-profit work, specialists within public school systems, or community-based work. This program does not offer a teaching credential; therefore, if students are interested in teaching in public schools, they must obtain a teaching credential in either multiple or single subject areas.
  5. Northwestern University School of Education and Social Policy
    1. Master of Science in Higher Education Administration and Policy
      1. The Master of Science in Higher Education Administration and Policy program (MSHE) prepares you to lead in higher education—for colleges and universities, governmental agencies, and consulting firms in postsecondary education. Pursue career fields such as academic advising and administration, alumni relations and development, athletics, career services, enrollment management, international and global education, nonprofit, policy and government relations, and student affairs.
  6. University of Washington School of Social Work
    1. Master of Social Work
      1. Live your passion for social change. Our MSW program prepares graduates for leadership and direct-practice positions in a host of professional settings, ranging from health, aging, and mental health to public education, multicultural communities, and nonprofit or government agencies. We offer three distinct degree paths—Advanced Standing Day and Extended Degree programs—to accommodate the personal and professional interests of our students as well as their educational backgrounds and work-life demands. In 2019, our MSW program was ranked No. 3 in the country out of more than 250 advanced social work programs. In 2017, the UW School of Social Work was ranked No. 1 in the world by the Center for University Rankings for its influential research and broad impact. The MSW program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and designed to prepare students seeking to innovate, lead and practice in a multicultural world facing complex social challenges. 

To discuss more graduate school opportunities, schedule an appointment with the Government & Nonprofits Program Director, Micah Owino. He, along with all other members of the Loeb Center, works with students to help them find internships and career opportunities and reach their academic and professional goals.

If you wish to meet with an advisor, schedule an appointment through Handshake. If you have technical difficulties, please call the Loeb Center at 413-542-2265.

By Brianne LaBare
Brianne LaBare Peer Career Advisor