Social Sciences

Approved courses provide theory and instruction on the role of institutions, groups and individuals in society. The focus of these courses is on the interaction of social, economic, political, geographic, linguistic, religious, and/or cultural factors, with emphasis on the ways humans understand the complex nature of their existence. Courses include discussion of skills and practices used by the social sciences: data collection, hypothesis development, employment of mathematical analysis, and critical evaluation of evidence. Opportunities to experience social science methods in the field may be provided.

Approved courses generally fall into one of three categories:

  1. introductions to the various disciplines of the social sciences;
  2. introductions to disciplinary subfields, designed for majors, non-majors, or both;
  3. courses open to majors and non-majors on broad topics that are addressed by one or more social scientific disciplines.

Learning Objectives for General Education Social Sciences Courses

Social Sciences courses enable students to demonstrate:

  1. an understanding that human conduct and behavior more generally are subject to scientific inquiry;
  2. an understanding of the difference between rigorous and systematic thinking and uncritical thinking about social phenomena;
  3. an understanding of the kinds of questions social scientists ask and the ways they go about answering these questions;
  4. knowledge of the major concepts, models and issues of at least one discipline in the social sciences;
  5. an understanding of the methods social scientists use to explore social phenomena, such as observation, hypothesis development, measurement and data collection, experimentation, evaluation of evidence, employment of mathematical analysis, employment of interpretive analysis.