Engaging injustice everywhere

We cultivate moral imagination, practical wisdom, and the courage to act through a range of curricular and co-curricular programs for undergraduates, graduate, and professional students.

  • Undergrad courses
  • For grad students
  • Programs
  • Minors

Fall 2024 courses

Abled in a Disabled World: Creating Inclusive Communities

In this course, students gain a deeper understanding of their unconscious bias towards differently-abled people, and study theories of mindfulness, giving voice, empowerment, and existing public policies.

Appalachia Seminar

The Appalachia Seminar is designed to introduce students to the cultural and social issues of the Appalachian region — its history, people, culture, challenges, and strengths — through study and experiential learning.

Art and Social Change

Students will work with a South Bend neighborhood to explore a structural challenge and, with the guidance of a local artist, respond to this challenge alongside community members in creating an artistic piece that serves the good of the neighborhood.


The Discernment Seminar provides undergraduate students an opportunity to reflect on their undergraduate education and to explore their respective vocations as it relates to the common good.

Engaging Poverty: Research Methods in Action

Throughout this course students will learn a variety of research methods that will equip them with the skills to engage research that in some way seeks to disrupt, reduce, or abolish poverty.

Gender at Work in US History

This course takes a chronological approach to show gender’s evolution and ongoing intersections with class, race, age, religion, region, and sexuality from 1776 to the near present.

Human Development, Human Flourishing

This course will draw from multiple perspectives to foster a deep appreciation of human development and flourishing. Human development is a complex and fragile, yet many splendored.

Introduction to Poverty Studies

In this gateway course we ask, “Why are people poor?” We take an interdisciplinary look at poverty to better understand the forces that maintain poverty and the forces that resist it.

Just Wage Research Lab

This interdisciplinary research lab enlists students in the efforts of the Just Wage Initiative (JWI), a collaborative research and advocacy project of the Higgins Labor Program at the Center for Social Concerns.

Mass Incarceration Research Lab

This research lab will employ an interdisciplinary approach to research on a range of issues related to mass incarceration.

Mind and Society: Cognitive Science and Justice

This course explores the interaction of thinking and action for justice, of cognitive science and social change. How might we examine the ideas with which we think as we envision social transformation and work toward solidarity and the common good?

Refugees, Rights, and Resettlement

This seminar will provide an overview of and framework to understand the global refugee crisis. We will trace the evolution of international refugee law and policy dealing with this ever-growing population.

Religion and Urban America: The Windy City Experience

What is the role of religious congregations in urban communities? Students will learn about community-based research and apply what they’ve learned in the field during trips to Chicago.

Rethinking Crime and Justice (Inside Out)

This course introduces some of the issues behind recent calls to reform the U.S. criminal legal system, including mass incarceration and supervision, racial disproportionality, and the challenges of “reentry.”

Surviving the Digital Apocalypse

With each new advance in human communication technology, the cultural DNA mutates and spawns new forms of art, belief, political discourse, and economic power. Understanding this process is the key to surviving the upheaval.

Technology and Justice

Explore the responsibility inherent in using, creating, and developing new technology. Students will begin with the following questions: What is justice? How does technology promote or reduce justice? Does it do both?

Writing for Social Change

This course invites students to explore the ways writing can develop our moral imagination about what poverty is and what our world could be without poverty.

Click here to see the list of courses offered during the spring 2024 semester.

Graduate Justice Fellowship

Like students nationally, graduate and professional students at Notre Dame are increasingly interested in finding mechanisms to bring their scholarship into practice in the service of the common good. The fellowship is one way to address that interest.

Graduate Student Institute for Engaged Research and Teaching

Designed for graduate students in all fields at all levels interested in applying their disciplinary lens and tools to issues of justice, the institute will explore principles and effective models of public scholarship and community engagement.

Mass Incarceration Research Lab

This research lab will employ an interdisciplinary approach to research on a range of issues related to mass incarceration.


RISE is a pre-orientation program that gives incoming students a jump start on their college experience by introducing them to questions of citizenship, morality, and justice in a community of neighbors and peers.

Summer Fellowships

Intended for sophomores and juniors, summer fellowships at the center connect vocation and research in the classroom with communities around the world in order to create a more just future for everyone. 


First year students can apply for this immersive summer experience to work with marginalized communities, confront systemic injustice, and think about how to use their academic and professional careers to promote the flourishing of all.

Home Team

The home team develops a range of initiatives, events, and projects that help extend the center’s commitment to justice and the common good. It’s focused on connecting other Notre Dame students with opportunities to engage critical issues and topics related to justice.

Hospitality Team

The center’s work depends upon a vibrant community and the center’s hospitality team is instrumental in creating and sustaining that.

McNeill Common Good Fellows

First year students can apply for this paid, three-year fellowship in an interdisciplinary community of scholars eager to explore how to live an ethical life of meaning, purpose, and impact. 

Programs for Education in Prison

Notre Dame is committed to bringing a world-class liberal arts education to eligible incarcerated individuals in Indiana. This is accomplished through a network of programs and in collaboration with other institutions across the state.

Spanish Community-Engaged Learning

Students who are interested in using Spanish skills and developing intercultural competence can participate in community­-engaged learning (CEL) in a variety of local, national, and international options.

Postgraduate Service

Postgraduate service can be a great way to explore an interest, discern your vocation, pursue a passion, and develop skills and knowledge while making a difference in the lives of others and with communities in need.

Catholic Social Tradition Minor

The Catholic Social Tradition minor is an interdisciplinary minor in the College of Arts and Letters that gives students a deeper understanding of the social ramifications of the Catholic faith by drawing on Catholic social tradition as found in the official documents of the Church and the experience of the Catholic community.

Poverty Studies Interdisciplinary Minor

The Poverty Studies Interdisciplinary Minor contributes to Notre Dame’s mission to “develop in students a disciplined sensibility to the poverty and injustice that burden the lives of so many” by focusing on the Catholic social teaching principle of the preferential option for the poor.