Graduate program

The SJES program trains students in critical analysis of social justice and equity issues as related to processes and struggles associated with age, ability, gender, sexuality, racism, speciesism, the environment, class and other patterns of inequality. Training in both theory and research methods links processes operating at and across a range of geographical scales, from the local to the global. Students will be equipped to pursue doctoral studies and to offer their expertise as policy makers or policy consultants to social advocacy and social movement organizations as well as a wider public.

The SJES program offers:

  • Instruction and mentoring by outstanding faculty from many areas of expertise
  • Breadth of learning, diverse student projects, and support for innovative graduate level work
  • The possibility for students to bridge traditional disciplines
  • Research and learning opportunities through close ties with the Social Justice Research Institute
  • A new Co-op option providing eight months employment experience to two students annually
Students studying in Walker Courtyard

MA in Social Justice and Equity Studies

View the Graduate Calendar or read our newsletter for more information.

MA in Social Justice and Equity Studies

Having developed advanced skills in research, writing, reflection and critical analysis, graduates of SJES transition to a wide range of activities, often combining further study, employment, and social activism.

Graduates are making their marks in careers across all employment sectors. They report back the value of their advanced training in social justice studies to their day-to-day work. Those who do voluntary work with community organizations or social movement groups find the MA in SJES has strengthened their community work, advocacy or activism.

For those on an academic path, graduates of SJES have an excellent record of entering PhD or professional programs (e.g., in law or education). Interestingly, for some students the interdisciplinary MA has provided a transitional opportunity to shift away from their undergraduate discipline and into a new discipline for their PhD.

The SJES program unites scholars from distinct academic disciplines to provide an exciting breadth and diversity of perspectives. The program is made up of participating faculty from Child and Youth Studies, Communications, Popular Culture and Film Studies, Community Health Sciences, Dramatic Arts, Education, English Language and Literature, Geography, History, Labour Studies, Political Science, Recreation and Leisure Studies, Sociology, Visual Arts, and Women’s and Gender Studies.

The SJES program is closely tied to the Social Justice Research Institute, which gives students a window on social justice research and opportunities for involvement in ongoing research projects, colloquia and conferences. 

Graduate Program Director (Interim)
Mary-Beth Raddon
Office: STH 401A
905-688-5550 x3460

Graduate Administrative Coordinator
Office: STH 400B
905-688-5550 x5591

Office Hours:

The Co-op is an optional scheme for the Social Justice and Equity Studies degree. Up to two students will be accepted into the Co-op program each year. These students will have the opportunity to complete two terms (8 months) of employment in the summer and fall terms, following their coursework and prior to writing their Major Research Paper. The duration of the MA in SJES with the Co-op program is six terms or 24 months. Co-op students are not limited to work in the Niagara Region and may find suitable social justice work elsewhere.

Employment Opportunities:
This Co-op program is arranging employment opportunities with government agencies and civil society organizations such as non-profit social service organizations, research think tanks, unions, universities, and media organizations.

Students will apply for employment related to research, community organizing, event organizing, communications, education and non-profit service-provision.

How to Apply:
To apply to the SJES Co-op option, please include an additional page with your Statement of Interest. Describe your interest in the SJES Co-op, the strengths or skills you would bring, the strengths or skills you want to develop, and how you expect the Co-op experience would support your career, research or activist goals.

Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate with a Masters in Social Justice & Equity Studies will be able to:

  • demonstrate a broad, interdisciplinary understanding of social justice and equity through an examination of various theoretical perspectives and texts.
  • demonstrate critical awareness of, and new insights into, problems related to social justice and equity.
  • critically analyze the social positions they occupy and the implications of social positions for participation in social justice/equity struggles.

Students who graduate with a Masters in Social Justice & Equity Studies will be able to:

  • comprehend and critically analyze how methods of inquiry and research techniques are used to create and interpret knowledge in social justice and equity studies.
  • examine issues of social justice and equity through interdisciplinary research processes that draw on, or innovate with, established principles and techniques. theorize and investigate processes operating at, and across, a range of geographical scales, from the local to the global.
  • recognize an emancipatory politics of knowledge through favouring voices and perspectives that have been historically marginalized

Students who graduate with a Masters in Social Justice & Equity Studies will be able to:

  • apply and critically engage with an existing body of knowledge in their examinations of new questions, problems or issues.

Students who graduate with a Masters in Social Justice & Equity Studies will be able to:

  • exercise initiative, personal responsibility, accountability and decision-making in the conduct of independent scholarly activities.
  • demonstrate the ethical behaviour consistent with academic integrity and the responsible conduct of research.
  • appreciate the broader implications for social justice and equity when applying knowledge to particular contexts related to social justice and equity.
  • take up community engagement in an activist, creative, professional or scholarly capacity in their social justice and equity work.

Students who graduate with a Masters in Social Justice & Equity Studies will be able to:

  • communicate ideas, issues and conclusions through high quality writing and oral presentations that effectively develop an argument.

Students who graduate with a Masters in Social Justice & Equity Studies will be able to:

  • appreciate the complexity and interdisciplinary of knowledge related to social justice and equity, and recognize the potential contributions of other interpretations, methods, and areas of study.

Independent Reviewers rank the MA in Social Justice and Equity Studies “Category 1 calibre: Good Quality with National Prominence”