Social Justice Studies at Lakeland University

Earn Your Social Justice Studies Degree & Gain Experience

Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) training is an emerging field among corporations and organizations. Many have committed to developing DEIB programs for their employees, creating a need for trained professionals. Lakeland's social justice studies degree prepares students for this emerging market in for-profit and non-profit organizations.

The work of social justice cannot be learned in the classroom alone. One thing that makes our major and minor in Social Justice distinctive is its deep dive into experiential learning as part of our Cooperative Education program. Students will receive both course credit and competitive compensation for their experiential learning in the program.

Cooperative Education

Ulrich Scholars Program

Student-to-Teacher Ratio


Interested in a Social Justice Studies degree from Lakeland University? Contact us today!
First Name*
Last Name*

Social Justice Studies at Lakeland University

Become an Agent of Change and Transformation

Guided by experienced faculty and community mentors, students earning a Social Justice Studies degree explore the reality and consequences of systemic oppression. They also learn how to respond to those realities and consequences in ways that alleviate immediate suffering and lead to social transformation.

Our Social Justice Studies degree prepares students for justice-related service work and multiple positions in for-profit and non-profit organizations. The degree is excellent preparation for graduate study in many fields, including law, communication, sociology, criminal justice, education and leadership development. As part of their education, minors and majors develop and implement a social justice project involving the wider community.

“The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., urged us to recognize ‘the fierce urgency of now’ in relation to issues of social injustice,” said Rev. Julie Mavity Maddalena, Ph.D., Lakeland’s Chaplain, a faculty member and director of the Ulrich Center for Faith, Ethics, and Justice. “Lakeland recognizes this need as well as the need to shape leaders who understand the complexities of issues and the lives at stake, leaders grounded in strong values, leaders with experience, leaders prepared to participate in the response to Dr. King’s call."

What Makes Our Program Unique?

  • Pair classroom instruction with paid, hands-on experience in justice and service-related contexts through the Cooperative Education program
  • Explore realities and consequences of systemic oppression while learning how to respond in ways that alleviate immediate suffering and lead to social transformation
  • Engage prominent social justice leaders and practitioners through the Ulrich Center for Faith, Ethics, and Justice
  • Interdisciplinary opportunities to focus on social justice in different areas of study and practice
  • Create a social justice initiative with classmates that makes an impact on campus and in the broader community

Students who have successfully completed a B.A. in Social Justice Studies from Lakeland University will be able to:

  • Describe the reality, manifestations, and consequences of systemic injustice and interpersonal bias.
  • Evaluate responses to specific injustices designed to alleviate immediate suffering and to facilitate social transformation.
  • Design and apply responses to specific injustices to alleviate immediate human suffering and to facilitate social transformation.
  • Apply responses to specific needs or injustices within the context of local non-profit agencies or for-profit companies.
  • Examine and describe their own gifts and sense of call as agents of transformation for the common good.


What are some careers available to me?
DEIB Officer
Political Activist
Social Worker
Human Rights Worker


$1,000 - $3,000 Renewable Scholarships

Students with a special interest in exploring the intersections between faith, ethics and social justice can also apply to become an Ulrich Scholar and receive a substantial scholarship to support their learning at Lakeland.

Expectations of Ulrich Scholars include:

  • Declare and maintain satisfactory academic progress towards a major or minor in religion
  • Bring a passion for exploring the intersection of faith, reason and justice in dialogue with peers, Lakeland faculty and members of the community
  • Participate in the programming of the Ulrich Center for Faith, Ethics and Justice Thought
  • Pursue social justice advocacy on campus and in the local community

After gaining acceptance to Lakeland, you can apply for this scholarship through your Future Muskie Portal.

Apply Now

First Time Freshman

  • Step 1: Complete an application online.
  • Step 2: Submit official high school transcripts directly to Lakeland University.

Transfer Students

  • Step 1: Complete an application online.
  • Step 2: Request official transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended to be sent directly to Lakeland University.
    • Students who have NOT completed 12 transferrable credits MUST submit official high school transcripts.

Apply Now

You already passed your first test, you are interested in applying to Lakeland and learning more about your opportunities to success! Click the button below to being the application process. 

Apply Now

Admission Requirements

Once your application is received, your Lakeland University admissions counselor will be in touch.

  • Lakeland University accepts a high school diploma with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above or the equivalent of a high school diploma.
  • Lakeland University accepts transfer students who have earned at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA and are in good standing at other accredited institutions of higher learning.
  • We review each application on an individual basis.

*Exceptions to the above admission criteria may be granted for students with a cumulative GPA range from 1.75 to 1.99 if the academic experience that resulted in the less than 2.0 GPA was more than two years ago. Furthermore, typically students with a cumulative GPA range from 1.50 to 1.75 will only be considered if the poor academic performance experience that resulted in the less than 2.0 GPA was more than five years ago. Students receiving an exception will be admitted conditionally.

Meet Our Social Justice Studies Faculty

Academic Affairs | Ulrich Center |
Main Campus (Traditional) |
Julie Mavity Maddalena, Ph.D.

Julie Mavity Maddalena, Ph.D.

University Chaplain, Ethicist in Residence, Director of the Ulrich Center, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion

Academic Affairs | Ulrich Center |
Main Campus (Traditional) |
Karl Kuhn, Ph.D.

Karl Kuhn, Ph.D.

Professor of Religion, Grace Chair of Religious Studies

Contact us to learn more about the Social Justice Studies degree at Lakeland University.

Our site uses cookies and third-party analytics tools. Your continued use of this site indicates your consent to these services. See our privacy policy for more details. Dismiss this notice