The Social Justice program at Bakersfield College is designed to provide students with a critical understanding of the complex issues surrounding social justice and equity.

The program offers an Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) degree, which prepares students to transfer to a four-year institution to continue their studies in fields related to social justice, such as sociology, political science, or gender studies. Students in the program explore topics such as power, privilege, and oppression, and develop a deep understanding of how these concepts affect individuals and communities. With a focus on activism, advocacy, and community engagement, the program equips students with the tools and knowledge they need to become agents of change in their communities and beyond. Whether you are interested in pursuing a career in social justice or simply want to learn more about the issues that shape our society, the Social Justice program at Bakersfield College provides a comprehensive and transformative education.

What is Social Justice?

Social justice refers to the concept of creating a society that is fair and equitable for all individuals, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, or any other characteristic. It is about ensuring that all people have access to the same opportunities, resources, and privileges, and that they are treated with dignity and respect.

The goal of social justice is to promote a society in which everyone has an equal chance to succeed and achieve their full potential. This may involve addressing issues such as poverty, inequality, discrimination, and systemic oppression, and working towards creating more inclusive and equitable institutions and systems.

Social justice is often associated with movements and activism aimed at promoting equality and addressing social and economic inequalities. It is an ongoing process that requires ongoing efforts to challenge and dismantle systems of oppression and work towards building a more just and equitable society.

Is it right for Me?

Students who are passionate about promoting equality, fairness, and social change would be well-suited for studying social justice. They should have a strong desire to learn about the social, economic, and political factors that contribute to inequality and injustice, and a willingness to engage in critical thinking and analysis.

In addition, successful students in social justice may possess a strong sense of empathy and a desire to help others, as this field often involves advocating for marginalized and oppressed communities. They should be committed to understanding the root causes of inequality and social injustice and be willing to work towards creating positive change.

Key traits of successful students in social justice studies include:

  • Empathy
  • Critical thinking
  • Open-mindedness and willing to challenge their own assumptions and biases
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Perseverance
  • Cultural competence
  • Ethics and integrity
  • Self-awareness

By developing these traits, a student can be successful in studying social justice and making meaningful contributions to the field. Overall, the study of social justice is suited for students who are dedicated to promoting social change and have a strong desire to make a positive impact on society.


diverse group of students smiling while holding notebooks

Social justice is the idea that all members of a society are entitled to equal rights and equal opportunities. Social Justice Studies recognizes the social inequality and inequities in society—particularly regarding race and ethnicity, and gender and sexuality—and works in its analysis toward creating a more equitable society.

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An Associate in Arts for Transfer in Social Justice degree is designed to provide students with a foundation in social justice theory, critical thinking skills, and an understanding of social inequality and systemic oppression. Graduates with this degree may pursue a range of careers in fields such as:

  • Non-profit organizations: Many non-profit organizations work to address social inequality and promote social justice. Graduates with an associate degree in social justice may work as community organizers, program coordinators, or development officers for organizations such as community centers, advocacy groups, and social service agencies.
  • Government agencies: Local, state, and federal government agencies may employ social justice graduates in positions such as policy analysts, human rights advocates, or social service program coordinators.
  • Law enforcement: Graduates with an associate degree in social justice may work as police officers, probation officers, or victim advocates, helping to promote safety and justice for all members of society.
  • Education: Social justice graduates may work in educational settings, such as community colleges or adult education centers, as instructors, advisors, or student support staff, promoting equity and inclusion in the classroom.
  • Social work: Social work is a field that is dedicated to addressing social inequality and promoting social justice. Graduates with an associate degree in social justice may work as case managers, social service coordinators, or community outreach workers, helping individuals and families access resources and support.

Overall, graduates with an associate degree in social justice may find career opportunities in a variety of fields that are committed to promoting social justice and addressing systemic inequality.

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Beyond BC

Transfer to a University

Graduates with an Associate in Arts for Transfer or an Associate in Science for Transfer from Bakersfield College may choose to continue their education at a university to earn a 4-year degree. Students with an Associate in Arts/Science for Transfer degree are guaranteed admission with junior standing somewhere in the CSU system and given priority admission consideration to their local CSU campus or to a program that is deemed similar to their community major. See your Counselor and/or a Transfer Specialist for specific questions, options, and opportunities.

Academic Department: Social Sciences

Career & Learning Pathway: Social and Behavioral Sciences

Courses: Sociology and History

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