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

Spring 2024 Courses

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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.

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.

Brain Health:
Community-Engaged Research

This course is designed for students who have completed BIOS 40202: Developmental Neuroscience and wish to deepen their community engaged research experience and expand their capstone work.

Dancing in the Street: Music and Social Change in the USA

Students explore American popular music in its many forms to understand its power and limits as both a force for social change and a window into major themes of the American experience.


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.

Everyday Justice

The course introduces students to the cultural and utilitarian contexts of justice, and urges students to rethink issues of education, health, wage, economy, immigration, peace, environment, and spirituality, including the issue of justice itself.

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?


NDBridge is a one-credit course and an eight-week immersive summer experience where students think hard about injustice, work with communities that face it, and consider their responsibility to the common good at Notre Dame and beyond.

Organizing, Power, and Hope

This course will take place in a local neighborhood, where students will learn fundamental concepts and skills of community organizing alongside residents of South Bend. The culmination of the course will include participation in a public action with local officials addressing a pressing issue in our community.

Poverty & Justice: Inside-Out

As part of the national Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, this course involves inside students (people incarcerated at the Westville Correctional Facility) and outside students (people enrolled at Notre Dame, St. Mary’s, or Holy Cross) learning with and from one another and breaking new ground together.

Racial Justice in America

This course invites students to consider how the stories of the struggle for racial justice in the U.S. shapes our imaginations for the work of racial justice today. The course centerpiece is a spring break trip to civil rights locations in the South.

Social Design: Initiatives, Challenges, and Innovation

This advanced course in visual communication design is for students to understand social advocacy within the local (South Bend) context. New risk areas and deep rooted inequities are explored each semester.

Solidarity and the City

This one-credit course explores the principle and practice of solidarity in the context of U.S. cities. During spring break, students travel to a city to learn/work alongside partners engaging issues of particular importance in context.


Images representing graduate programs

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

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. 

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.


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.

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 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. 


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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.