Program Overview

The social science major offers students an integrated and intellectually challenging approach to understanding social reality and the public issues that shape today's world. The program combines a strong commitment to higher order reading, writing and thinking with extensive opportunities to integrate these academic skills with community-based experience. Department faculty are award-winning educators, committed to the intellectual, professional and civic development of their students.

The program is built on a strong foundation of interdisciplinary social science. Social science majors choose from three tracks: disciplinary (anthropology, political science and sociology), global studies and generalist. In addition, all students participate in an interdisciplinary series of advanced courses that provide a creative and rigorous educational experience. The learning outcomes for a social science major are to:

  • Know and understand the essential concepts of social science;
  • Comprehend the historical foundations and theoretical approaches of social science;
  • Plan and carry out social science research; to develop higher order thinking skills by analyzing and interpreting social science literature;
  • Write analytically in a style that is informed, well-reasoned and literate;
  • Recognize and understand the social significance of gender and sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, religion, social class and physical ability;
  • Understand and utilize a global perspective; and
  • Develop civic skills and ethical awareness by participating in community-based learning and program internships.

More information about this program

Declare Your Program

To be eligible for acceptance to the Social Science major, students must submit a College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Program Declaration Form. Consult with an advisor before enrolling in courses toward the major.

Declare Your Program

How Admissions Works

We are looking forward to you joining us. Take the first step by filling out this application.
Course List

Prerequisites

Requirements ( 120 total credits)

Social Science Requirements (40 credits)

• At least half of the credits required for the major must be completed at Metropolitan State University.

• Students must earn a grade of C- or above in all major courses.

• Student should select lower division electives and upper division electives in consultation with an advisor.

• Transfer courses may be applicable to major requirements. The university's degree audit will specify transfer courses that are directly equivalent to major requirements. Other transfer courses must be approved by a faculty advisor in the department.

• Sequencing: SSCI 300, SSCI 311, SSCI 501 and SSCI 451 or SSCI 452 must be taken in four separate semesters in the order listed above. SSCI 300 and SSCI 311 may be taken concurrently with departmental approval.

• All social science majors must complete the following courses.

  • SSCI 300 Seeing Like a Social Scientist
    4 credits

    Most of us are only dimly aware of how politics, culture, and society influence, and often coerce, our daily lives. The calling of a social scientist is to help us make these invisible social structures visible. In this course, students develop the skills and tools to discover, analyze, and interpret these obscure social processes. Ideally, this knowledge will have a liberating effect on their individual lives. Students will also perceive how their civic and ethical participation can change politics, culture, and society, as well as themselves.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • SSCI 311 Research Methods in Social Science
    4 credits

    This course provides an introduction to the basic concepts of social science research. Students learn and implement a variety of research methods, and critically reflect on the relationship of these methods to philosophical traditions within social science. The courses examines two approaches to social science research, quantitative and qualitative, and the unique contribution of each approach for understanding social life. Experiential activities enhance classroom learning.

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  • SSCI 365 Social Science Internship: Leadership in Organizations and Public Life
    0 credits

    Students gain experience in applied social science while working as an intern in a non-profit or community-based organization, the public sector, or a social action group. Prior to registering, students meet with the instructor to select their specific internship project. Students supplement their specific field experience with participation in the group internship seminar which meets five times during the semester. Through this combination of extensive community-based experience and guided reading, writing and analysis, students develop their ability to integrate social science theory with community-based experience.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • SSCI 501 Great Ideas: Classics of Social Science
    4 credits

    The social sciences have been shaping views of the human condition for more than 150 years. This seminar explores those ideas that continue to engage and perplex thoughtful observers of social life. Students become acquainted with writing by major thinkers like Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, Georg Simmel, Sigmund Freud, Ruth Benedict, Frantz Fanon and Hannah Arendt. The course addresses the social and historical roots of the great ideas as well as the moral aspirations and creative impulses of these social scientists.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • SSCI 451 Empirical Research Capstone
    4 credits

    Social scientists investigate the patterns of human interactions and then seek to interpret, explain and communicate human behavior. This seminar is designed to provide a final, integrating experience for students with a social science major. Seminar participants complete a senior project that demonstrates an ability to design a study, collect new or existing data, analyze those findings and communicate the results.

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Social Science Global Studies Track Lower-division Electives (up to 9 credits)

Students may select courses in anthropology, geography, political science, social science, and sociology. Students may not apply more than 6 credits in any one discipline.

Lower-division Required Course (3 credits)

  • GEOG 201 Introduction to Geography
    3 credits

    This course introduces students to the concepts and tools used by geographers to think critically about the relationship between humans and their environment. Geographers use this focus to answer contemporary questions of political, economic, social and environmental concern. This course is designed to help students understand the role human and physical geographies play in shaping individuals' experiences and understanding of the world.

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Social Science Global Studies Track Survey Courses

(8 credits, select two courses from two different disciplines)

  • ANTH 302 Gender and Culture
    4 credits

    What is gender? How can we understand differences in gender and sexuality? Through the perspective of cultural anthropology, students examine how gender is perceived and realized in a range of human societies. Discussions on the biological/cultural determinants of gender are considered. Ethnographic materials explore how gender varies cross culturally and historically and is related to social power. Students engage with contemporary debates surrounding such themes as marriage, family, human rights, and sexuality.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • ANTH 320 Anthropology in the Global Age
    4 credits

    Rapid social and environmental changes are occurring throughout the world today. Before contemporary issues can be understood, the significance of global culture must be considered. Using an anthropological perspective, this course examines significant economic, political, religious and social processes which result from the interactions between traditional cultures and more industrialized societies on our planet as well as within our pluralistic society in the United States.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • POL 301 Citizenship in a Global Context
    4 credits

    This course investigates the theory and practice of citizenship in local communities, the United States and the world. Students draw on core concepts from political science to explore contrasting ideas about citizenship and the political, economic and cultural dimensions of critical issues facing the global community. Classroom inquiry is supplemented by field experiences and investigation.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • POL 321 World Politics
    4 credits

    This course examines critical global issues and the organizations and institutions that are attempting to address them. Drawing on concepts from political science and international relations, students explore such issues as human rights, the global environment, violence within and between nations, and the gap between "have" and "have not" nations. The course investigates the response of the United States to these issues as well as the effectiveness of formal international organizations like the United Nations and emerging transnational citizen organization. Classroom inquiry is supplemented by field experience and investigation.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • SOC 303 Ethnic Conflict in Global Perspective
    4 credits

    This is an era characterized by a global resurgence of ethnic identity and a revival of ethnic antagonisms. This course applies a comparative and historical perspective to the sources and dynamics of ethnic conflict. The processes of ethnic mobilization and social conflict are explored in case studies both global and domestic. Films, fiction, memoirs and classroom exercises are used to explore this topic.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • SOC 304 Social Movements in Global Perspective
    4 credits

    This course draws on key concepts from social theory to examine select social movements through a global perspective. Using case studies of movements that focus on such central thems as democracy, human rights, and economic justice, the course will explore how movements begin, the development of ideology and world view, and contrasting approaches to organization, tactics, strategy and leadership. On a broader level, students will examine the relationship between tradition and change, and movement and counter-movement, in order to evaluate how social movements have influenced-and continue to influence-the world we live in.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8

Social Science Core Courses (19-20 credits)

Sequencing: SSCI 300, SSCI 311, SSCI 501 and SSCI 451 or SSCI 452 must be taken in four separate semesters in the order listed above. SSCI 300 and SSCI 311 may be taken concurrently with departmental approval.

  • SSCI 300 Seeing Like a Social Scientist
    4 credits

    Most of us are only dimly aware of how politics, culture, and society influence, and often coerce, our daily lives. The calling of a social scientist is to help us make these invisible social structures visible. In this course, students develop the skills and tools to discover, analyze, and interpret these obscure social processes. Ideally, this knowledge will have a liberating effect on their individual lives. Students will also perceive how their civic and ethical participation can change politics, culture, and society, as well as themselves.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • SSCI 311 Research Methods in Social Science
    4 credits

    This course provides an introduction to the basic concepts of social science research. Students learn and implement a variety of research methods, and critically reflect on the relationship of these methods to philosophical traditions within social science. The courses examines two approaches to social science research, quantitative and qualitative, and the unique contribution of each approach for understanding social life. Experiential activities enhance classroom learning.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • SSCI 365 Social Science Internship: Leadership in Organizations and Public Life
    0 credits

    Students gain experience in applied social science while working as an intern in a non-profit or community-based organization, the public sector, or a social action group. Prior to registering, students meet with the instructor to select their specific internship project. Students supplement their specific field experience with participation in the group internship seminar which meets five times during the semester. Through this combination of extensive community-based experience and guided reading, writing and analysis, students develop their ability to integrate social science theory with community-based experience.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • SSCI 501 Great Ideas: Classics of Social Science
    4 credits

    The social sciences have been shaping views of the human condition for more than 150 years. This seminar explores those ideas that continue to engage and perplex thoughtful observers of social life. Students become acquainted with writing by major thinkers like Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, Georg Simmel, Sigmund Freud, Ruth Benedict, Frantz Fanon and Hannah Arendt. The course addresses the social and historical roots of the great ideas as well as the moral aspirations and creative impulses of these social scientists.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • SSCI 451 Empirical Research Capstone
    4 credits

    Social scientists investigate the patterns of human interactions and then seek to interpret, explain and communicate human behavior. This seminar is designed to provide a final, integrating experience for students with a social science major. Seminar participants complete a senior project that demonstrates an ability to design a study, collect new or existing data, analyze those findings and communicate the results.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8

Social Science Global Studies Track Upper-division Electives (to reach 40 credits)

Students may select courses from the following list:

  • ANTH 301 Approaches to Cultural Anthropology
    4 credits

    This course introduces the study of humanity from a comparative and cross-cultural perspective. Students learn what anthropologists do, how they do it, and why. Exposure to the range of human possibilities, differences, and similarities will highlight the processes of enculturation in all societies. The course explores topics such as kinship, economics, religion, social control, globalization, culture change, and contemporary cultural issues affecting all humans.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • ANTH 302 Gender and Culture
    4 credits

    What is gender? How can we understand differences in gender and sexuality? Through the perspective of cultural anthropology, students examine how gender is perceived and realized in a range of human societies. Discussions on the biological/cultural determinants of gender are considered. Ethnographic materials explore how gender varies cross culturally and historically and is related to social power. Students engage with contemporary debates surrounding such themes as marriage, family, human rights, and sexuality.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • ANTH 304 Anthropology of Religion
    4 credits

    This course takes a cross-cultural approach to religion in relation to the individual life cycle, social order and relations, and culture change. Students examine theoretical constructs and methods and their relation to a variety of religious beliefs and practices in the United States and globally.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • ANTH 320 Anthropology in the Global Age
    4 credits

    Rapid social and environmental changes are occurring throughout the world today. Before contemporary issues can be understood, the significance of global culture must be considered. Using an anthropological perspective, this course examines significant economic, political, religious and social processes which result from the interactions between traditional cultures and more industrialized societies on our planet as well as within our pluralistic society in the United States.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • POL 301 Citizenship in a Global Context
    4 credits

    This course investigates the theory and practice of citizenship in local communities, the United States and the world. Students draw on core concepts from political science to explore contrasting ideas about citizenship and the political, economic and cultural dimensions of critical issues facing the global community. Classroom inquiry is supplemented by field experiences and investigation.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • POL 321 World Politics
    4 credits

    This course examines critical global issues and the organizations and institutions that are attempting to address them. Drawing on concepts from political science and international relations, students explore such issues as human rights, the global environment, violence within and between nations, and the gap between "have" and "have not" nations. The course investigates the response of the United States to these issues as well as the effectiveness of formal international organizations like the United Nations and emerging transnational citizen organization. Classroom inquiry is supplemented by field experience and investigation.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • POL 323 The Middle East and International Conflict
    4 credits

    The course is for students who wish to gain an understanding of the political, economic, religious, and social roots of the conflicts in the region. Students examine the conflicts between Israel and Palestine, US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the rise of terror groups like the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • POL 303 Ethnic Conflict in Global Perspective
    4 credits

    This is an era characterized by a global resurgence of ethnic identity and a revival of ancient ethnic antagonisms. This course applies a comparative and historical perspective to the sources and dynamics of ethnic conflict. The processes of ethnic mobilization and social conflict are explored in case studies both global and domestic. Films, fiction, memoirs and classroom exercises are used to explore this topic.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • POL 304 Social Movements in Global Perspective
    4 credits

    This course draws on key concepts from social theory to examine select social movements through a global perspective. Using case studies of movements that focus on such central thems as democracy, human rights, and economic justice, the course will explore how movements begin, the development of ideology and world view, and contrasting approaches to organization, tactics, strategy and leadership. On a broader level, students will examine the relationship between tradition and change, and movement and counter-movement, in order to evaluate how social movements have influenced-and continue to influence-the world we live in.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • POL 319 Politics, Markets and Society
    4 credits

    This course explores the contrasts and inter-relationships between three approaches to organizing our public life: democratic politics, economic markets, and the multiple associations that make up civil society. Students will investigate the basic characteristics and underlying principles of each approach and apply what they learn to an analysis of contemporary public issues. Students will evaluate the basic strengths and limits of each approach to civic engagement and public problem solving, and reflect on the ethical dimensions of their roles as citizens, consumers and members of civil society.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • SOC 303 Ethnic Conflict in Global Perspective
    4 credits

    This is an era characterized by a global resurgence of ethnic identity and a revival of ethnic antagonisms. This course applies a comparative and historical perspective to the sources and dynamics of ethnic conflict. The processes of ethnic mobilization and social conflict are explored in case studies both global and domestic. Films, fiction, memoirs and classroom exercises are used to explore this topic.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • SOC 304 Social Movements in Global Perspective
    4 credits

    This course draws on key concepts from social theory to examine select social movements through a global perspective. Using case studies of movements that focus on such central thems as democracy, human rights, and economic justice, the course will explore how movements begin, the development of ideology and world view, and contrasting approaches to organization, tactics, strategy and leadership. On a broader level, students will examine the relationship between tradition and change, and movement and counter-movement, in order to evaluate how social movements have influenced-and continue to influence-the world we live in.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • SOC 319 Politics, Markets and Society
    4 credits

    This course explores the contrasts and inter-relationships between three approaches to organizing our public life: democratic politics, economic markets, and the multiple associations that make up civil society. Students will investigate the basic characteristics and underlying principles of each approach and apply what they learn to an analysis of contemporary public issues. Students will evaluate the basic strengths and limits of each approach to civic engagement and public problem solving, and reflect on the ethical dimensions of their roles as citizens, consumers and members of civil society.

    Course Outline Class Schedule <<<<<<< HEAD ======= >>>>>>> 35179410ff55d83bece68cc1d84aadaa0fa744b8
  • SSCI 396T Travel and Culture Theory Seminar
    4 credits

    This theory seminar is open to students with substantial knowledge gained through international travel experience and/or a global service project. In the theory seminar students examine key social, cultural, geographical and political concepts as they relate to their specific travel experience as well as the "cultural lenses" that shape their understanding of others. In addition, the nature and role of international travel will be discussed in relationship to ongoing debates about responsible tourism, global civil society and sustainable development.

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