Atrocity Studies and the Practices of Social Justice Minor

The Atrocity Studies minor provides an interdisciplinary understanding of the Holocaust; the foundation of international law treaties that define genocide; crimes against humanity; issues of social justice and human rights violations; and efforts to confront the past and transform the future.

The minor addresses a central tenet of education: What does it mean to be a responsible citizen in a democratic society? Students gain tools to address discrimination, dehumanization, and ethical responsibilities toward others, as well as to analyze contemporary political situations and to confront human and civil rights infringements.

Partnerships and courses from across the College of Arts & Sciences and the University examine when, how, where, and why individuals and groups act as perpetrators, bystanders, and upstanders.

Tayla Myree on a canal bridge in vienna“The Atrocity Studies minor equipped me with analytical skills that I needed in order to think critically about genocide and its impact—not only on minority communities but societies as a whole. I am now a master’s student at Central European University continuing research on Romani people and Afro-Germans during the Holocaust I started at Syracuse. If you want to truly challenge yourself academically and have a strong interest in human rights, this minor is for for you.”
—Tayla Myree ’20

Study Abroad

Atrocity Studies students have the opportunity to study abroad in Central EuropeFrance, Chile, Italy, or South Africa. and are eligible for study abroad financial support. They also can apply for a Spector/Warren Fellowship for Future Educators, which includes a five-day intensive program at the Holocaust Museum Houston.

Taylor Krzeminski in poland“I chose to minor in Atrocity Studies once I returned from studying abroad in Wroclaw, Poland. While abroad, I learned about the intersections of civil society, education, and atrocity prevention. As an international relations major, I felt a lot of pressure to be involved with the government to somehow make a difference. The classes in this minor, as well as faculty support, helped me better understand the career possibilities for advocacy and social justice—and left me feeling well-rounded and knowledgeable.”
—Taylor Krzeminski ’20

Minor Requirements

The Atrocity Studies and the Practices of Social Justice minor requires 18 credits, including 1 required course on the Holocaust and several electives, and a capstone internship or project planned with your minor advisor. You’ll choose electives from sets of courses in three areas: Atrocities/Genocides, Challenging Dehumanization, and Education and Social Justice. Class options come from departments across the university, including Jewish Studies, Psychology, LGBT Studies, Geography, Political Science, Native American Studies, and History. More information on academic requirements available in the Syracuse University Course Catalog.

Declaring a Minor

If you are interesting in declaring a minor, talk to your advisor in your home school or college to see if you have enough room for the courses, a minimum of a 2.8 GPA, and complete the Minor Declaration Form. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Academic and Student Services or the Atrocity Studies and the Practices of Social Justice minor program coordinator.


Julia M. White, Associate Professor|315.443.9321
Julia M. White