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 2023 Courses

Images representing courses.

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.

Asset-Based Community Development

This one credit course is an introduction to the philosophy and practice of asset based community development (ABCD) as a distinct approach to seeking the Common Good and creating social change.

Business in the Neighborhood

Business in the Neighborhood is focused on engaging the intersection of Catholic social tradition (CST), and other broadly theologically informed perspectives, with business and economic practices.

Franciscan Land Experiences

This course will combine hands-on experiences of creation care with study and reflections on ecological conversion and integral ecology, in the spirit of Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical, Laudato Si’.

Housing and the Common Good Research Lab

This course will devote the first third of the semester to establishing an account of the historical roots of the current affordable housing crisis in the United States, paying particular attention to the local Michiana context.

Human Development, Human Flourishing

This course will draw from multiple perspectives to foster a deep appreciation of human development and flourishing. Human development is 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

This course explores the interaction of thinking and action for justice, of cognitive science and social change.

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.

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.”

Sustainability at ND/SMC/HCC

This course will provide students with interdisciplinary opportunities to explore the challenges of sustainability and develop collaborative strategies for making our common campus homes more sustainable.

Sustainable Cities

This one-credit, interdisciplinary course is an exploration of the question “What is the relationship between healthy, sustainable communities and the principle of the Common Good?”


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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.


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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

Summer fellowships at the center connect the research you’re doing in the classroom with communities around the world in order to create a more just future for everyone. 

Postgraduate Service

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


A summer immersion for rising sophomores 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.

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.

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.

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 Justice 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. 


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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.