Community and Justice Studies

Community and Justice Studies Major and Minor

Community and Justice Studies students learn about systems of power and inequality, engage with their communities, and graduate ready to build a more just and egalitarian world.

students in class

Community and Justice Studies At a glance


of Community and Justice Studies students participate in community organizing.

Change the world by engaging with the Meadville community.

Imagine a world of economic and social justice for all.

Students explore the meaning and power of community by working with local non-profits, government agencies, and grassroots organizations to address real-world issues, from systemic racism to the lack of affordable housing.

Students learn about histories of oppression and exclusion in order to imagine a more equitable world where everyone can participate and thrive in their community.

What will your journey to a better world be?

Community & Justice Studies students are empowered to design their major/minor around their own values and political commitments. We want you to chart your own path and figure out how you will contribute to building a better world.

In COMJ 160 Foundations of Community & Justice Studies, students start to develop a sense of what social issues matter to them. We encourage students to explore lots of different courses during their first year so that they can find where they want to make a difference. Our majors take courses in philosophy, communication and culture, political science, psychology, and more. There are so many possibilities, and this year is all about exploring those possibilities.

Year 1

In COMJ 270 Power, Society, and Social Change, students engage with social theory in order to clarify their own commitments as young scholars. Students continue to explore those commitments and also may take elective courses focused on ethics, the importance of place, or the power of political participation. This is the year to begin your community engagement journey if you haven't already.

Year 2

This is a big year. In COMJ 460 Community Organizing and Civic Professionalism, students learn concrete organizing skills that they can take with them into their community-based work while at Allegheny and beyond. Students also finalize the focus on their COMJ major and take their Junior Seminar, where they learn research methods and develop proposals for their senior project.

Year 3

Students conduct their Senior Project and finish any remaining coursework. At this point, students are often deeply involved in community initiatives and have developed strong relationships with faculty and community members. Some students may serve as teaching assistants and peer mentors, helping younger COMJ students find their path to a better world.

Year 4

Civic Knowledge and Collective Action

Understand how your community work relates to broader social, political, and economic forces.

Demonstrate effective community engagement and organizing in concrete, real-world settings.

Delaney Rohan, Alumna

Class of 2017

“ The intention is not to leave this place with a piece of paper. Rather, it is to make you aware of the world that you are stepping into and to teach you to take part in, challenge, and cultivate that world in meaningful, sustainable ways! ”

Next Steps

Early Decision App Deadline

November 15, 2022

Regular Decision App Deadline

February 15, 2023

For More Info

Heather Moore Roberson

Director, Community and Justice Studies