Building Robust & Inclusive Democracy

Civic Studies Co-Major

Offered though the School of Arts and Sciences, Civic Studies is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on critical reflection, ethical thinking, and action for social change, within and between societies. People who think and act together to improve society must address problems of collective action (how to get members to work together) and deliberation (how to reason together about contested values). They must also:

  • Understand how power is organized and how it operates within and between societies.
  • Grapple with social conflict, violence, and other obstacles to peaceful cooperation.
  • Consider questions of justice and fairness when social tensions arise.
  • Confront questions about appropriate relationships to outsiders of all types.
  • Examine alternative ethical, political, and theological frameworks to encourage comparative reflection about different ways in which people live together in society.

Civic Studies Courses Civic Studies Faculty

In order to declare a Civic Studies co-major, please complete the following forms:

The requirements for the Civic Studies co-major are 11 courses distributed as follows:

  1. CVS 0020/PHIL 0020/PS 0020: Introduction to Civic Studies
  2. Thinking about Justice: Two approved courses in political theory, philosophy, or social theory devoted to normative questions about the nature and content of justice.
  3. Social Conflict, Inequality, and Violence: Two approved courses to enhance an empirical understanding of the historical, political, and social origins of conflict and violence.
  4. Civic Action and Social Movements: Two approved courses dealing with the historical, ethical, and social origins of organized movements for social change.
  5. Civic Skills: Two approved courses that focus on civic skills or civic practices, e.g., dialogue and deliberation, ethical reasoning, emotional intelligence, conflict-mediation and peacemaking, community-based research, communication and media-making, public art, community organizing, evaluating nonprofits, or financing social enterprises.
  6. CVS 099: A required internship. This includes a weekly 2.5 hour class with graded assignments and a final project. 
  7. CVS 190: A capstone seminar taught by a CVS affiliated faculty member. The capstone is offered only in spring semesters. In Spring 2025, the course is likely to be themed around civic communication.

Total: 11 courses

Note that university policy restricts the number of courses to be shared between Civic Studies and another major to five.

For Students in the Tisch Scholars Program:

  • Two instances of the 2-credit CVS 0084, the Tisch Scholars Fieldwork Practicum, can be substituted for the CVS 0099 Internship requirement.

For Students Transferring MIT ROTC Credit to Civic Studies:

  • Tufts ROTC students who take ROTC courses at MIT may request transfer of credit to Tufts so that courses will be reflected on the students’ Tufts transcripts and carry Tufts credits. Students should complete the transfer of credit form for each course.
  • In general, one MIT ROTC course that has “leadership” in its title, such as AS.111, AS. 201, AS. 202, or AS. 211, can count for CVS 320 at Tufts. As such, it will count toward the Civic Studies major or minor and the Civic Studies requirement for “civic skills” courses.
  • In general, one MIT ROTC course that has “history” in its title, such as such as AS.101 or AS. MS 110, can count for CVS 330 at Tufts. As such it will count toward the CVS major or minor at Tufts as well as the Civic Studies “social conflict, inequality, and violence” distribution requirement. 
  • Each of these transfers can only be used once, for a maximum of two Civic Studies courses.

Peace and Justice Studies Minor Entrepreneurship for Social Impact Minor