femaile students looking at computer in library

General Social Science Major

The general social science major is a multidisciplinary program, encompassing courses in 12 departments: Africana Studies, American Indian Studies, Anthropology, Chicana and Chicano Studies, Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, and Women's Studies. Social Science students learn to analyze and critically examine social, political, cultural, and economic phenomenon by studying human behavior and social processes. 

Students choose a specialization from one of the following departments: Anthropology, Economics, Chicano/Chicana Studies, Geography, History, Political Science and Sociology. This major aims to provide students with a broad understanding of Social Science and an appreciation of the interrelatedness of its disciplines

  • DLO1: Apply Social Science theory to social, political, and economic problems (PLG #2, 5)
  • DLO2: Present and synthesize divergent and/or opposing viewpoints on a given social, political, or economic issue (PLG #1, 3, 4, 5)
  • DLO3: Identify key disciplinary concepts in the student’s chosen specialization (PLG #2, 4)
  • DLO4: Identify different theoretical approaches in the student’s chosen specialization (PLG #4, 5)
  • DLO5: Identify how social, political, and economic institutions influence individual behavior (PLG #3, 4, 5)
  • DLO6: Use the scientific method to understand causal forces behind social, political, and economic phenomenon (PLG #2, 5)
  • DLO7: Employ different analytic techniques to find patterns in data and answer research questions (PLG #1, 2, 5)
  • DLO8: Recognize cultural diversity and analyze how it impacts social, political, and economic processes (PLG #2, 3, 4)
  • DLO9: Locate, utilize, and properly cite scholarly and popular sources of information (PLG #1)
  • DLO10: Formulate and defend coherent written arguments with effective support and evidence (PLG #1, 5)
  • DLO11: Formulate and defend coherent arguments orally, as well as adapting and refining them in an interactive context (PLG #1, 5)
“Social science” is a term used for a group of disciplines that study social processes and institutions. Sociology, Political Science, Economics, Geography, and Anthropology are all social sciences.
Declaring the major is easy--just email the undergraduate adviser, Dr. Brian Adams, at [email protected] to set up an advising appointment.
The social science major is not vocational training, and thus there is no specific career path. Rather, the major provides students with analytical, critical thinking and writing skills that can be applied to a wide range of careers. While at SDSU students should explore potential career paths through internships, talking with faculty, and utilizing the resources at the career center.
Yes. You may have already taken some social science courses for general education requirements or your previous major, and those courses can be applied to your new social science major. This applies to both lower and upper division courses.
Yes. social science courses that meet one of the "explorations" requirements will clear both the explorations requirement as well as count for the major.
While some community colleges offer direct equivalents to all of SDSU's major preparation (lower division) courses, you must not assume all are equivalent. Normally you must wait until the transcript evaluators have determined transfer credit (usually during your first semester). If you cannot wait for that determination, log on to www.assist.org (the web-based clearinghouse for articulation agreements among all California institutions of higher education) to determine if agreements exist for your course. For question, contract the undergraduate advisor at [email protected].

The social science program encourages students take advantage of opportunities for international experience and strives to accommodate units transferred from overseas institutions and programs. SDSU need not offer an exact equivalent course in order to apply credits from abroad to your major. When you take courses overseas for which no SDSU equivalents exist, we can usually apply those units toward the major presuming you can support a petition with relevant documents (e.g., syllabus or catalog description).