Human Services & Social Justice Program, Columbian College seal. A group of students in a discussion circle


working with communities to create change
through service learning and community-engaged scholarship.


Who We Are


GW’s Human Services and Social Justice (HSSJ) Program assists students in developing identities as leaders and professionals in nonprofit organizations, educational institutions and government and private agencies. Merging sociology, counseling, education and psychology, the program's interdisciplinary major, minor and combined degrees blend rigorous academic classwork with scholarly research and community practice. Students are empowered to work against injustice, discrimination and poverty while making a focused impact on their local communities. 

Hands-on service learning is central to the HSSJ Program, and we are proud of our partnerships with many nonprofit organizations, cultural institutions and government agencies in Washington, D.C. Through professional community-building and and innovative classroom experiences, students master lifelong expertise that will assist them in their professional pursuits.

Professor Michelle Kelso helps a student in class



COVID-19 Resources & Updates


What We Offer

A group of HSSJ capstone students stand in front of the U.S. Capitol Building

Service Learning

Hands-on field experience through service learning is an integral part of the HSSJ Program curriculum.

Erica Walls teaching

Flexible Degree Options

Students may choose between a major, minor or combined degree, as well as dozens of course options.

GW Nashman Center building exterior

Community Partnerships

HSSJ partners with GW's Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service as well as many local groups.

A group of HSSJ students pose in caps and gowns

Lifelong Benefits

Graduates are equipped with interpersonal skills, cross-cultural understanding and concrete job experience.


Spotlight on Alumni

Julia Resnik

Julia Resnik BA '18

"Being an HSSJ major allowed me to connect theory to practice by putting down my textbook, going outside GW's campus and contributing to society through service. I feel forever indebted to the program for providing me with the opportunity to learn, wonder, question, act and grow."

Haley Amdur

Haley Amdur BA '19

"I graduated with a major in HSSJ and a minor in music. I now work in the education department at Washington Hebrew Congregation, providing students in PreK-12th grade with Jewish education, social justice opportunities, and a sense of community. I have utilized so much of what I learned as part of the major, including grant writing, program evaluation, as well as pulling from experiences in service learning to help inform my choices today."

Julie Sinsky

Julia Sinsky BA '16

"With my passions, I mainly focused on early childhood education as well as healthcare disparities, but my classmates allowed me to learn so much about LGBTQ+, poverty and homelessness, and food access, just to name a few. I am not exaggerating when I say that each and every course helped develop me into the person I am today and the goals I have for my future."