Gain insight on pressing social issues by studying how groups, cultures, organizations, and institutions function by pursuing a bachelor's degree in social science.
In UMGC’s bachelor’s degree program in social science, you’ll gain a breadth of knowledge through interdisciplinary study that encompasses perspectives from the fields of anthropology, behavioral sciences, gerontology, psychology, and sociology. You’ll also have the opportunity to drill down and focus closely on one of these fields.
This program is designed to help prepare you for careers in policy analysis, research, program development, and management in fields that include business administration, elder care, government, health services, law enforcement, human resources, and community service.
Your Coursework in Social Science
Your social science coursework will help you learn to address social issues from an interdisciplinary perspective, communicate with a diverse audience, develop strong critical thinking skills, articulate the range of research methods used in the social sciences, and recognize good evidence. In addition, you’ll learn to identify the implications of social science on various issues to develop policies and programs that enhance human welfare.
What You'll Learn
Through your coursework, you will learn how to
- Integrate theoretical perspectives and research findings in the social sciences by using quantitative and qualitative data and applying social science research methods
- Communicate effectively to a variety of audiences
- Explain how micro- and macro-level factors are linked in the social lives of individuals, communities, and societies
- Analyze complex social problems and work toward realistic solutions using awareness, acceptance, and appreciation of diversity, social factors, and global multicultural perspectives
- Recognize the ethical principles and standards for professional conduct that guide the work of social scientists
- Apply critical and creative thinking, information literacy, technology, and interdisciplinary perspectives to solve practical problems in the social sciences
In past projects, students have had the opportunity to
- Prepare a professional research poster that could be presented at a professional conference
- Learn about the methodologies commonly employed across different social science disciplines
- Develop a personal plan in which goals are established for putting diversity skills into action
A degree with a major in social science requires the successful completion of 120 credits of coursework, including 30 credits for the major; 41 credits in general education requirements; and 49 credits in the minor, electives, and other degree requirements. As part of the 120 credits required for the degree, you must also complete all related required coursework, which may be applied to general education or elective requirements. At least 15 credits in the major must be earned in upper-level courses (numbered 300 or above). See overall degree requirements.
Courses in the Major (30 Credits)
Two introductory (100-level) social science courses (6)— Chosen from the following:
- Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (3 Credits, ANTH 102)
- Contemporary Issues in Aging (GERO 100)
- Introduction to Psychology (PSYC 100)
- Introduction to Sociology (SOCY 100)
- Introduction to Social Sciences (3 Credits, BEHS 210)
- Diversity Awareness (3 Credits, BEHS 220)
- Research Methods in Social Sciences (3 Credits, BEHS 300)
- Advanced Seminar in Social Sciences (3 Credits, BEHS 495)
Upper-level ANTH, BEHS, GERO, PSYC, and SOCY courses (12 credits)—Focused study in anthropology, gerontology, psychology, or sociology recommended, as follows:
- World Prehistory and Archaeology (ANTH 345)
- Anthropology of Language and Communication (ANTH 346)
- Health, Illness, and Healing (ANTH 350)
- Anthropology in Forensic Investigations (ANTH 351)
- Health and Aging (GERO 302)
- Gender and Aging (GERO 311)
- Culture and Aging (GERO 427)
- Psychosocial Aspects of Aging (GERO 320)
- Social Psychology (PSYC 321)
- Psychology of Gender (PSYC 338)
- Lifespan Development (PSYC 351)
- Cross-Cultural Psychology (PSYC 354)
- The Individual and Society (SOCY 313)
- The Sociology of Gender (SOCY 325)
- Race and Ethnicity: A Global Perspective (SOCY 423)
- Contemporary Social Problems (SOCY 350)
Related Required CourseNote: The following required course may be applied to general education or elective requirements.
General Education Courses (41 Credits)
Since some recommended courses fulfill more than one requirement, substituting courses for those listed may require you to take additional courses to meet degree requirements. Consult an advisor whenever taking advantage of other options. See information on alternate courses (where allowable) to fulfill general education requirements (in communications, arts and humanities, behavioral and social sciences, biological and physical sciences, mathematics, and research and computing literacy).
Note: Excess credit earned in fulfilling any general education requirement (e.g., by taking a 4-credit course where only 3 credits are required) may be applied toward the research and computing literacy requirement.
Research and Computing Literacy Courses
- Program and Career Exploration in Health and Sciences (3 Credits, PACE 111S) or other PACE 111 course
(to be taken in first 6 credits)
- Introduction to Research (1 Credit, LIBS 150), Career Planning Management (1 Credit, CAPL 398A), or other general education elective
- Digital Media and Society (3 Credits, CMST 301) or another computing course appropriate to the academic major
- Academic Writing I (3 Credits, WRTG 111) or other writing course
- Academic Writing II (3 Credits, WRTG 112)
- Foundations of Oral Communication (3 Credits, SPCH 100)
or other communication, writing, or speech course
- Advanced Research Writing (3 Credits, WRTG 391)
or other advanced upper-level writing course
Introduction to Statistics (3 Credits, STAT 200) (related requirement for the major)
Arts and Humanities Courses
- Technological Transformations (3 Credits, HIST 125) or other arts and humanities course
- Introduction to Humanities (3 Credits, HUMN 100) or other arts and humanities course
Behavioral and Social Science Courses
- Economics in the Information Age (3 Credits, ECON 201) or other behavioral and social sciences course
- Technology in Contemporary Society (3 Credits, BEHS 103) or other behavioral and social sciences course
Biological and Physical Sciences Courses
- Concepts of Biology (3 Credits, BIOL 101) and Laboratory in Biology (1 Credit, BIOL 102)
or Introduction to Physical Science (3 Credits, NSCI 100) and Physical Science Laboratory (1 Credit, NSCI 101)
or other paired science lecture and laboratory courses taken in the same session
- Physical Geology (3 Credits, GEOL 100) or other science lecture course
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