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Maxwell / Citizenship
  • Social Sciences and Beyond

    The Citizenship and Civic Engagement major is a multifaceted course of study that draws heavily from within the social science disciplines (and beyond) to create a unique, interdisciplinary exploration of how to steer a life toward the public good.

    Coursework in the major is, in some respects, intended to supplement a traditional social science major - i.e., anthropology, history, economics, international relations, sociology, political science, geography, or policy studies. Students first choose, as their "home base," a major in one of the social sciences (or in a discipline outside of Maxwell that has a strong social-science component, such as African American Studies or Women's and Gender Studies).

    Citizenship and Civic Engagement then provides the interdisciplinary components - additional team-taught courses and research on citizenship and civic engagement-which expose students to experts in many fields and to strategies for turning ideas into action.

    This interdisciplinary classroom component is based in Maxwell's groundbreaking MAX Course curriculum, which explores critical issues in the U.S. and around the world through presentations by a wide range of scholars and practitioners and intensive small-group discussions. The original MAX Courses have been taught since the 1990s. Now, though, the Citizenship and Civic Engagement major introduces three new MAX Courses that allow students to engage more deeply with issues of citizenship, ethics, and justice, and to apply the tools of the social sciences.

    The Citizenship and Civic Engagement major builds to a capstone project: the creation of an Action Plan for addressing an important social issue. Each student's Action Plan is unique, and based on thorough research and rigorous analysis. It represents not just well-meaning activism, but tangible plans for change - and, as such, the ultimate expression of the Citizenship and Civic Engagement major.

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