The social science majors below are supported by the Division of the Social Sciences and the Social Sciences Collegiate Division:
Anthropology encompasses a variety of historical and comparative approaches to human cultural and physical variety, ranging from the study of human evolution and prehistory to the study of cultures as systems of meaningful symbols. A major in Anthropology can lead (through graduate study) to careers in research and teaching in university and museum settings.
Comparative Human Development
Comparative Human Development is an interdisciplinary program focusing on the social, cultural, biological, and psychological processes that influence development over time and in different social and cultural settings. The major provides excellent preparation for students interested in advanced postgraduate study at the frontiers of several social science disciplines, or in careers and professions that require a broad and integrated understanding of human experience and behavior.
The major in Economics is intended to equip students with the basic tools to understand the operation of a modern economy: the origin and role of prices and markets, the allocation of goods and services, and the factors that enter into the determination of income, employment, and the price level.
Environment, Geography, and Urbanization
The undergraduate major in Environment, Geography and Urbanization prepares students to understand and confront the wide-ranging societal, historical, and spatial dimensions of contemporary planetary environmental crises, including climate change, biodiversity loss, and other forms of large-scale socio-environmental transformation. Such issues are explored in diverse spaces, including cities and metropolitan regions; zones of extraction, agriculture, energy production, and waste; dispersed settlement spaces and village ecologies; rangeland, forest, and jungle landscapes; remote wildlands; and coastlines, rivers, watersheds, and oceans. The curriculum emphasizes a plurality of theoretical approaches to the histories and geographies of socio-environmental transformation, underscoring the contested character of environmental knowledge in a polarized and turbulent world order.
Global Studies is an interdisciplinary academic program concerned with global issues as they relate to political economies, law and governance, migration, cultures, and health, both historically and contemporaneously. The program offers an undergraduate major, courses, research opportunities, and a variety of co-curricular activities.
Studying history sheds light on human experience and thought in different times and places. Fields of study may be defined by nations (e.g., Chinese, Roman, U.S., international history) or by genres (e.g., legal, cultural, gender history). Topics include the history of revolution, slavery, sexuality, colonialism, ethnicity, war, and work. History is excellent preparation for a wide field of endeavors from law, government, and public policy to the arts and business.
History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Science and Medicine
History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Science and Medicine (HIPS) covers a wide range of social, historical, and conceptual issues relating to science. The goal of the program is to provide students with a sound basis on which to interpret and evaluate science and science policy. Students in the program must do sufficient work in one or more sciences to acquire a sound foundation for studying the nature of science.
Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Students who major in Latin American Studies gain a thorough grounding in selected aspects of Latin American history, politics, economics, or related subjects; knowledge of one or more of the social sciences as they deal with Latin American materials; and competence in Spanish or Portuguese as a tool for further work. The BA program in Latin American Studies can provide an appropriate background for careers in business, journalism, government, teaching, or the nonprofit sector, or for graduate studies in one of the social sciences disciplines.
Law, Letters, and Society
The major in Law, Letters, and Society is an interdisciplinary program concerned with law and legal systems, both historically and contemporaneously. The program is designed to develop students’ analytical skills and enable an informed, critical examination of law broadly construed. It offers a major, courses, student research opportunities, and a variety of co-curricular activities.
Political science contributes to a liberal education by introducing students to concepts, methods, and knowledge that help them understand politics within and among nations. Majoring in political science can lead to a career in business, government, journalism, education, or non-profit organizations. It can also lead to a Ph.D. program in the social sciences or to professional school in law, business, public policy, or international relations.
The psychology major introduces students to the fundamentals of scientific psychology, providing a firm basis of psychological knowledge and research experience. Students explore the fundamentals of psychology, statistics, and a number of courses in specialized sub-areas of psychology.
Race, Diaspora, and Indigeneity
Coursework in our department enables students to rigorously study race, diaspora and indigeneity – categories that constitute human identity through claims of particularity, origins and continuity, and mobility and dispersal, in order to enact power within the modern world. These meanings can be seen in how unequal status, exploited and extracted condition, and disproportionate violence and harm inform the histories of peoples comprising these categories. Yet they are also evident in the ingenious, intersecting identities and affinities enacted by those same peoples -- ones that imbue art, cultures, politics and collectives with transformational and emancipating power. Through teaching, mentorship and collaborations of various kinds, we explore with students how to think through these multifaceted and contradictory experiences, equitably and empathically.
Sociology provides an understanding of human relations and social organization, and the major is attractive for students considering careers in such professions as business, education, law, marketing, medicine, journalism, social work, politics, public administration, and urban planning. The phenomena studied by sociologists range from face-to-face interaction in small groups to the structure of the modern world system.