About

The Human Services & Social Justice Program provides students with opportunities to develop critical knowledge, skills, and practical experiences. Faculty members are devoted to and actively engaged with students as well as many organizations within Washington, DC.

Traditionally, the field of Human Services draws from Sociology, Education, Social Work/Counseling, Psychology, and Organizational Studies, among others. GW Human Services & Social Justice (HSSJ) is an interdisciplinary program that factors in the nexus of individual, group, organizational, and global dynamics, which all interact in ways that shape and are shaped by one another.  Given the complexity at this nexus and the nature of Human Services in general, one hallmark of GW’s Program is the incorporation of service-learning and community-based research in core classes as a means to deepen student learning, address community-identified concerns, and to weave theory, research, and practice together in relevant ways.

In our program students gain:

  • A strong knowledge base in human services and social justice to understand, innovate and successfully solve complex, unscripted problems while working with and in diverse communities to enact change that promotes self-sufficiency, inclusivity, and well-being 
  • The skills to reflect and integrate theoretical and empirical knowledge with authentic real world issues through socially just practices that recognize the interplay between individual, group, organizational, societal, and global dynamics
  • The ability to engage in critical inquiry, research, and assessment, to create and appropriately apply new knowledge, as well as act in ethical, informed, and effective ways that demonstrate awareness, respect, creativity, and wisdom
  • An attitude of lifelong learning and collaboration, embodying curiosity, compassion, and a service ethos.

Our students experience a unique combination of classroom and site learning. This creates a dynamic educational experience that enables students to design, analyze, implement, and evaluate social programs, provide service to individuals, and experience cross cultural and interpersonal interaction. Whether majoring or minoring in the field, the program aims to prepare students for work in human service career settings such as:

  • Advocacy  
  • Arts and cultural institutions
  • Community development
  • Counseling
  • Development and fundraising
  • Eldercare
  • Educational institutions
  • Governmental agencies
  • Hospitals and health care agencies
  • International development
  • Law
  • Ministry
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Public policy and administration
  • Service year placements
  • Social work

 

Jessica Sokol

Student Service Learning Project

As part of her service-learning experience for the Issues in Human Services class, Jessica Sokol worked for The National Children's Oral Health Foundation, conducting workshops and interactive sessions on how to brush your teeth. This particular presentation is with a child at Mary's Center for Maternal and Child Health.

Newspaper

Keeping Current

Looking to learn more about what's new in human services and sociology? Human Services and Sociological journals can help keep you informed.