Loyola University Chicago

Department of Philosophy

BA in Philosophy: Social Justice Emphasis

The Law, Society, and Social Justice specialization is replacing the BA in Philosophy with Social Justice Emphasis. 

The BA in Philosophy: Social Justice Emphasis forms in our students the habit of critical and positive reflection on the questions that challenge humanity today. Within the discipline of philosophy there are many subdisciplines, of which Social Justice is one of the most ancient and yet most relevant to our own day and the University's Mission.

The social justice emphasis has a distinctive theoretical-plus-applied character. The philosophy department already offers a significant number of strong undergraduate courses in this area, including not only various foundational studies in the nature of justice, but also the workings of justice in contemporary social and political contexts. The courses for this program will be offered in a carefully planned sequence and the faculty who teach them will make a conscious effort to highlight the Social Justice dimensions of their respective subject matter. For example, the program will have as its anchor course a special section of PHIL 321 Ethics and Society, modified to include a service learning component along the lines of the Magis program, and offered primarily for philosophy students who have declared a major with this emphasis. Also, the scheduling of the capstone seminars required of all philosophy majors will ensure that an appropriate number are devoted to justice issues, for philosophy majors specializing in Social Justice.

Required Courses

There are eleven (11) courses that make up the Philosophy Major with an Emphasis in Social Justice. The required courses for this program are the same as those for the regular Philosophy Major, but students must also take the anchor course Phil 321 Ethics and Society. In addition, students must take one open philosophy course (any philosophy course at any level), three upper-level electives that have a social justice orientation*, and a capstone seminar with a social justice orientation. Note that 300-level courses have a prerequisite of two philosophy courses.

*Social-justice-oriented electives include: PHIL 326 Phil of Law, PHIL 326 Political Phil, PHIL 327 Topics in Political Phil, PHIL 375 Phil of Marxism, PHIL 388 History of Ethics. They may also include, depending on content, PHIL 322 Perspectives on Women, PHIL 324 Topics in Ethics, PHIL 389 Contemporary Phil Issues and 300-level courses pertaining to Bioethics when they focus on justice issues. Such decisions about course content will be made by the Philosophy Undergraduate Program Director.

Academic Advising

Students pursuing the BA in Philosophy degree with an Emphasis in Social Justice are encouraged to plan their selection of courses with the Philosophy Undergraduate Director, or with their designated advisor, each semester prior to registration.

Double-Dipping Policy

  1. Students may not major and minor in the same discipline.
  2. Majors: no fewer than 21 credit hours in the individual student’s transcript must be unique to each major; that is, the courses in question are considered as actually fulfilling requirements of one major, not of more than one major.
  3. Minors and interdisciplinary minors: no fewer than 8 credit hours in the individual student’s transcript must be unique to each minor; that is, the courses in question are considered as actually fulfilling requirements of one minor, not of more than one minor or major.


For further information, please contact the Philosophy Undergraduate Program Director