Social science degree programs are a popular choice for college students. The social sciences are fields that look at human society and the relationships that exist in society. Some of the main social science disciplines include:
- Anthropology – the study of human society; anthropology explores issues of human evolution and behavior.
- Criminology – looks at the causes and effects of criminal behavior in society.
- Psychology – the study of the brain and human behavior.
- Sociology – looks at social activity and social welfare.
At the undergraduate level, completing a degree in a social science discipline can prepare students to continue their studies at the graduate level or enter a program in law or medicine. Graduate students majoring in social sciences go on to careers as teachers, consultants and researchers in the public and private sector.
Students who are successful in social science degree programs need strong critical thinking and verbal and written communication papers. In a social science degree program, a student will do a lot of reading and write extensive papers. In an undergraduate honors program, a thesis paper may be required.
At the graduate level, social science degree programs are very research-intensive; master’s candidates typically submit a thesis, while doctoral candidates submit and defend a dissertation before a panel of faculty members.
Undergraduate students who plan on applying to a graduate-level program are often advised to complete research projects in preparation for graduate school; it is also advisable to seek out an internship related to the social science major to prepare for further study or entering the workforce.
A student who is considering majoring in one of the popular social science disciplines can learn more about degree programs, research trends and career opportunities in their prospective major by visiting an association website. These include the American Psychology Association, the American Sociological Association, the American Society of Criminology and the American Anthropological Association.