Global Master of Arts in
Social Justice & Advocacy* (Full-Time)

Develop a broad, cross-cultural understanding of social justice, a type of knowledge and sensitivity that today’s world requires.

At a Glance

For programs beginning in 2023

Credits

34

Format

Full-Time

Application Deadline for U.S. & permanent residents

January 31, rolling thereafter until June 1

International students

January 31, no rolling admission

Duration

1 Year

Instructional Sites

Serbia, Argentina

Critical Global Issue of Study

Peace & Justice

Peace & Justice Icon

Please note that SIT will make every effort to maintain its programs as described. To respond to emergent situations, like COVID-19, however, SIT may have to change or cancel programs.

Why a Master's in Social Justice and Advocacy?

Social (in)justice today is apparent around the world as citizens raise their voices against war and conflict, climate change, and violence against women, as they advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, refugees and migrants, and much more. As people claim agency—whether in their streets and cities or online—they are creating global networks of engagement and advocacy.

SIT’s one-year, 34-credit global master’s degree in Social Justice and Advocacy provides you with conceptual and applied training in contemporary social justice and advocacy through a comparative framework that takes you from Serbia and Hungary in southeast and central Europe to Argentina, South America. During semester-long residencies on two continents, you will learn from local activists, civil society NGO workers, academics, and international organizations. Your final semester involves a professional practicum and capstone research in close consultation with your faculty advisor to ensure alignment with your personal career goals.

The program’s multidisciplinary approach is focused on global challenges to social justice through international and transnational lenses that equip you with comparative perspectives on state violence, justice after conflict, citizenship rights, environmental justice, and justice in urban spaces. You will engage critically and comparatively in places where social rights are entangled with challenges for democracy and embedded in past social and political struggles as well as in current events.

At a time when populist leaders and authoritarian governments are threatening democracies across the world, this program investigates the actions and challenges faced by activists. It centers questions and challenges related to advocacy and protest in states with ongoing transitions to democracy, in illiberal democracies in Europe, as well as activism of Indigenous movements in Latin America.

By focusing on how identity markers such as race, gender, class, sexuality, religion, economic background, and ethnicity shape the dynamics of inequalities, this degree prepares students to work as consultants, advocates for nonprofit organizations and government agencies, and agents of change within international agencies. Graduates will be prepared to work in situations of crises, conflict, and rapid change as rights advocates, community organizers, public policy analysts, lobbyists, and political campaigners.

*Accreditation for this program is pending.

Career Paths

Students who graduate with this degree can expect to work in careers such as:

  • Nonprofits, foundations, and NGO management

  • Rights advocacy

  • Community organizing

  • Public policy analysis

  • Lobbying

  • Political campaigns

  • Social entrepreneurship

  • Corporate social responsibility

  • International development

Program Sites

Belgrade, Serbia

As the largest urban space in southeast Europe, Belgrade is home to numerous social movements, local and international NGOs, dynamic civic activism, and advocacy work. In the aftermath of Yugoslavia and a decade of war politics during the 1990s, Serbia’s transitions into new economic systems and political regimes have generated struggles around issues of social and economic justice, violent pasts, rights to the city, and the decision to join the European Union (EU). Local actors have been engaged in street activism, as well as in policy and advocacy. Belgrade offers a view from the south, and from below, to everyday activism as it challenges and engages with top-down politics, in times of populism and struggles for democracy in the Balkans and around the globe. New movements such as “Ne Davimo Beograd” (We Won’t Let Belgrade Down/We Won’t Let Belgrade Drown) will be examined through the local, regional, and transnational networks of activism.

Budapest, Hungary

In Budapest, Hungary, you will extend your understanding of the challenges of social justice and demands for social change in illiberal democracies in the context of today’s European Union and the post-communist states that have become EU member states. This excursion includes visits with international organizations, local NGOs, and rights advocates.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Argentina’s reputation as a human rights pioneer springs from prominent protests that led to the historic prosecution of dictators in a court of law. This sparked a “human rights cascade” that set in motion protests and judicial processes throughout the Southern Cone.

Regional “truth commissions” arose from the Argentinean experience and have informed current movements including the landmark abortion rights law that took effect in January 2021, making Argentina the largest Latin American country to legalize abortion. At the sociopolitical center of the country, Buenos Aires remains a driving force behind changes in the region, as evidenced by mobilizations like the feminist collective “Ni una menos” campaign against gender-based violence, which has spread rapidly to the rest of the continent.

On a field study trip to Patagonia, you will examine the challenges that the renewed extractivist model has set for collective rights, especially environmental and indigenous ones. You will also witness the evolution of “eco territorial” resistance characterized by diverse movements working in solidarity toward common goals, such as indigenous communities and feminists joining forces with environmental activists. Learn how these experiences are generating new trends and a new language of valuation, influencing public agendas, and generating new narratives about territory, nature, and environment.

Field studies highlights include:

  • Patagonia, Argentina
    • Socio-territorial movements and environmental NGOs
    • Ecofeminist activists
    • Visit peasant-indigenous communities and organizations
    • Resistance to mega-mining in Argentina: The case of “No a la Mina” and the assembly movement

 

 

Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.

Academics

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Identify distinctive characteristics of core advocacy models and applied traditions in citizenship studies, social movements, and human rights.
  • Design an advocacy program for collaborative problem-solving in an international context.
  • Demonstrate communication and critical skills required in strategic foresight analysis and community leadership.
  • Develop critical practice and professional skills to design a strategy for social justice policy change.
  • Apply qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to evaluate the regional and global challenges facing an advocacy program through the development of a capstone project in the form of a research-based paper, a policy advocacy paper, or an evidence-based intervention.

Read more about Program Learning Outcomes.



Coursework

With SIT’s experiential curriculum, you will learn to put theory into practice, focusing on topic areas that help you meet your career goals. In this program, you will: Identify and interpret core contemporary theoretical and applied traditions in studies of citizenship, conflict studies, social movements, and human rights.


Please expand the sections below to see detailed course information.


This is SIT

  • We value active togetherness, reciprocity, and respect as the essential ingredients for building a sustainable community.
  • With open minds, empathy, and courage, we facilitate intercultural understanding and respect for the commonalities and differences between people.
  • We champion social inclusion & justice in all that we are and all that we do, from ensuring our community and our programs amplify the voices, agency, and dignity of all people to deliberately instilling the principles and practices of inclusion in all of our work.
  • We are committed to human and environmental well-being through sustainability and contributing to a better world for all living and future generations.

Semester One: Serbia (12.5 credits)

  • Foundations: Social Movements, Civic Engagement and Social Justice Advocacy
  • Citizenship in Southeast Europe: Divided Societies and Unequal Cities
  • Critical Approaches to Activism, Advocacy, and Policy Change
  • Digital Activism and Advocacy: Action for Social Change
  • Practitioner Inquiry
  • Professional Development
  • Optional: Serbian Language

Semester Two: Argentina (12.5 credits)

  • Foundations: Social Movements and Human Rights in the Southern Cone
  • Social Justice, Rights, and Community Organization in Argentina
  • Socio-Environmental Conflicts and Alternatives to Neo-Extractivism
  • Communication in Advocacy Organizations: Practices and Challenges
  • Practitioner Inquiry
  • Optional: Spanish Language

Semester Three: Practicum and Capstone (9 credits)

  • Practicum
  • Capstone Paper
  • Capstone Seminar

A cornerstone of SIT’s Social Justice and Advocacy master’s program is the practicum. This will allow you to apply learning directly to real-world settings, while getting hands-on, professional experience you can put to immediate use after you graduate. 

For your final semester, SIT and your advisor will support you in finding an approved practicum in a role and location of your choice, aligning with your career goals. This practicum experience will give you the opportunity to work in the field, as well as expand your professional network. 

During the practicum phase, you will remain engaged with faculty and other students and receive course credit for documenting the integration of your knowledge and skills while working in a professional context.

Faculty & Staff

Social Justice & Advocacy* (Full-Time)

Orli Fridman, PhD
Chair and Affiliated Faculty, Serbia, MA in Social Justice and Advocacy • Affiliated Faculty, MA in Diplomacy and International Relations • Affiliated Faculty, MA in Humanitarian Assistance and Crisis Management • Affiliated Faculty, MA in Sustainable Development Practice
Ana Laura Lobo, PhD candidate
Associate Chair and Affiliated Faculty, Argentina, MA in Social Justice and Advocacy • Affiliated Faculty, MA in Sustainable Development Practice
Igor Štiks, PhD
Affiliated Faculty, Serbia, MA in Social Justice and Advocacy
Maristella Svampa, PhD
Affiliated Faculty, Argentina, MA in Social Justice and Advocacy
Juan Wahren, PhD
Affiliated Faculty, Argentina, MA in Social Justice and Advocacy
Jelena Vasiljević, PhD
Affiliated Faculty, Serbia, MA in Social Justice and Advocacy

Accommodations

Students will arrange their own their accommodations in local apartments or ask to be placed with a homestay family, where you will be immersed in the local culture and customs. Please note that homestays are less expensive but also less independent. You may ask SIT local staff for support and advice in arranging housing during your time abroad.

Discover the Possibilities