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7 degrees that transform existing cultural and social institutions

by Jeniffer Jaquet

Mar 11, 2022, 12:00 PM.

The right degree program can equip you with the skills and techniques to make a positive impact.

It’s been said that change is inevitable, but growth is optional. For those who want to grow and also effect change, there are a myriad of human rights and social justice degrees to consider. From diversity and inclusion to climate change and advocacy—topics in headlines abound. In the wake of our modern times, FIU is a college with social justice-related majors and it offers social justice degrees online for a range of worthy areas to satisfy the most altruistic of passions.

Students can choose social justice undergraduate or graduate programs to make a difference in a spectrum of ways, but they first have to cultivate the knowledge, skills and ability to make an impact while preparing for the varied jobs for social justice majors. Whether it’s diversity and inclusion, or climate change and politics, the following lists seven degrees that prepare students for careers with influence.

1. M.S. in Foreign Language Education: Teaching in Challenging Contexts Track

In a world of rapidly changing modes of communication, one thing has stayed constant: language—particularly the English language, which has brought billions of people together to work toward a common goal. But what about those in places where disaster and violence have overtaken their homes and livelihoods? For individuals who want a master’s degree in social justice, or related field, to break down these barriers and help others develop communication and language skills in English, FIU offers a fully online master’s degree in Foreign Language Education: Teaching in Challenging Contexts Track, the first of its kind in the nation. This program provides students with the skills to teach others how to teach English in challenging environments, such as in areas where a classroom may not even exist.

2. M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction: Elementary Education Track

It is more important than ever to create curricula that best fits the needs of our emerging generation. The online Master of Science in Curriculum Instruction: Elementary Education Track offers students the instruction and knowledge needed to teach culturally and linguistically diverse students, as well as how to properly implement diversity, equity and inclusion in the classroom to help all children.

3. B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies

In response to the increased demand for diversity, equity and inclusion in many industries, FIU’s fully online bachelor’s degree in Women’s and Gender Studies offers students the necessary training to understand contemporary issues. Whether your interest is in social justice studies, policy making, advocacy or activism, the degree encourages students to develop the analytical skills and communication abilities to influence today’s organizations.

4. B.A. in English: Writing and Rhetoric Track

Words make the world go ’round. They can influence all aspects of life, especially when developing persuasive arguments. The fully online bachelor’s degree in English: Writing and Rhetoric Track equips students with the proper writing, argumentation and communication skills to create discourse. This program trains individuals to think critically so they may influence any sector, public, private or non-profit through the power of the pen.

5. B.A. in Geography Major, Global Studies

Earth is our only home, and it must be cared for. One way individuals may do so is to be aware of their location and the impacts this may have on their quality of life. The fully online bachelor’s degree in geography offers the training necessary to assess such things, and study phenomena such as global warming and sea level rise. A degree in geography can serve many purposes in varied fields, such as sustainability, politics, infrastructure, immigration and climate change. Individuals who are dedicated to creating change to make Earth a better place to live will find a home in this program.

6. M.S. in Special Education: Autism Endorsement

Students with special needs are one of the most underrepresented and marginalized populations within the education system, and they need a voice. The online Master of Science in Special Education equips individuals with advanced training to become that voice and advocate for those who need it the most. Students will focus on research to help learners on the autism spectrum. This program prepares students to earn the Florida Autism Endorsement. Graduate students will also complete an “Action Research” project that will arm them with a complete, ready-to-use framework. The research-based final project, puts what’s learned in the program to immediate use in a classroom setting.

7. B.S. in Exceptional Student Education (ESE): Special Education, Educational Foundations, and Policy Track

Individuals with disabilities require special education services at many stages in their lives, whether it be in childhood or as an adult. The fully online ESE bachelor’s degree prepares students with essential qualities required to work with exceptional persons in fields such as physical therapy and speech pathology. This degree will help students develop adaptable skills to use in any setting, whether it be a classroom or even in policy making. Working toward inclusivity and advocacy is crucial for any student interested in this program or also interested in a social work degree or related field. 

Pursuing a degree is a big decision, but a worthy investment. If you would like to learn more about FIU’s fully online degree programs, you can reach the recruitment team via email ( or call 305-348-3125.

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