What are the social sciences?

Social science is a branch of science which studies people, societies and relationships.The social sciences range from anthropology to political science.  

However, in this blog, we’ll focus on psychology, the study of the mind and behavior, and sociology, the study of human societies and social relationships.

Should I major in psychology/sociology?

If you are interested in majoring in sociology or psychology, you’re probably curious about how the world works and want to make it a better place. Social science majors explore and analyze a wide variety of interrelated subjects such as patterns and relationships, groups and organizations, race and ethnicity, social class, social movements and social issues. Through your studies, you’ll strengthen your skills in areas such as problem solving, communication, critical thinking and teamwork.

What kind of classes will I take?

You’ll take a mix of introductory courses as well as courses defined by your interests and career goals.

Courses may include Introduction to Psychology or Introduction to Sociology, Developmental Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, and Social Theory. Classes often build on each other and toward the end of your studies, you’ll take research and seminar classes. Students interested in pursuing graduate school should take classes where you will develop your skills in interviewing, conducting surveys and performing experiments.

Your studies may include a mix of criminal justice, social work, anthropology or political sciences classes as well.

What type of internship or hands-on experience is available?

Internships are a great way to gain practical experience in your major and provide a boost to your resume. However, they can also ensure you are pursuing a career that is right for you. Internships often help students determine what they don’t want to do as much as they confirm the career choices they do want to pursue. Because social scientists work in such a wide range of areas, internship opportunities are also varied. Paid and volunteer opportunities may be available in rehabilitation centers, juvenile detention centers, drug treatment, hospitals, nonprofits, victim support agencies and more.

To learn more, check out our blog on finding the right internship for you!

What careers could I have with a psychology or sociology degree?

Vocational possibilities include a wide variety of social service and social work-related environments from criminal justice to family and child welfare agencies. Other career paths include teaching, human resources, business or government administration, social research, nonprofits and mental health agencies.

Some professions require additional training or specialized graduate degrees.  

At Bluffton University…

At Bluffton University the psychology and sociology programs of study are designed to provide solid preparation for either employment following graduation or graduate studies. 

Social science majors enjoy small class sizes, advising based on your career aspirations and individualized attention. In addition to core courses, you will choose elective classes based on your personal interest or to meet your career goals. You also have the opportunity for both experiential learning and faculty-directed student research.

Written by Tricia Bell, content manager