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College of Arts and Sciences

Social Science

The Social Science Interdisciplinary major focuses primarily on human institutions and behavior, examining their interplay from the perspective of various disciplines.

The social sciences include American ethnic studies, anthropology, economics, geography, history, mass communications, political science, psychology, sociology and gender, women, and sexuality studies.

Cutting across these varied disciplines, the interdisciplinary Social Science major offers more latitude in its curriculum design, allowing students to pursue unique intellectual ventures, particularly those that require the synthesis of multiple disciplines.

It can also serve as an undergraduate pathway to graduate programs.

The major is not available to those students earning a degree in one of the individual social science disciplines.


Social Science Advising
Social Science Program Requirements

1) You must meet the Basic Requirements of the College of Arts & Sciences to obtain an interdisciplinary degree.

2) Consult with your assigned social science advisor. You must submit a proposal that outlines your thematic emphasis (at least twelve hours). It should also include a tentative list of other courses you will take to fill the major requirements.

3) You may (upon approval) bring one course into the major from outside the stipulated social sciences if it relates directly to your theme. No more than one outside course may be applied unless it seems necessary (upon approval) to fulfill a well-defined thematic objective.

4) In order to design an appropriate curriculum, you may need to consult with faculty members who can offer expertise in your specific area of interest. This should be done as early as possible, ideally with less than sixty hours completed.

5) 36 credit hours are needed in the major. Those hours must meet the following criteria:

  • At least three hours from each of four different social science disciplines
  • At least nine hours in one social science discipline (including one course at the 500-699 level)
  • At least fifteen hours in social science disciplines at the 500-699 level
  • An approved thematic emphasis of at least twelve hours (A theme proposal must be submitted to your advisor for approval)
  • The bulleted requirements listed above may be overlapped in any combination.
  • No more than nine hours may overlap between the Basic Requirements and Major Curriculum
  • One course completed in social science research methods or data analysis. It may overlap with Arts & Sciences basic requirements but not with any other major requirements. It may be any Statistics course that the student is qualified to take or:
    • GEOG 700: Quantitative Analysis in Geography
    • HIST 586: Junior Seminar in History
    • POLSC 400: Political Inquiry and Analysis
    • POLSC 700: Research Meth. in Political Science
    • PSYCH 350: Experimental Meth. in Psychology
    • SOCIO 520: Methods of Social Research

A 2.0 GPA is necessary both overall and in the major curriculum. 120 hours are required to graduate. (Students who entered KSU before the fall of 2003 require only 120 hours for graduation).

Graduation Checklist

Social Science Theme

In order to graduate, Social Science majors will need to identify an area of focus, known as a theme. A theme is a cluster of courses that constitutes the focus for your interdisciplinary curriculum.

After you have developed your theme idea, you are encouraged to write a theme statement that explains your focus. Writing the theme statement is a very useful exercise. It provides a good opportunity for you to clarify the interdisciplinary benefits that you hope to derive from your curriculum. You may also want to think of it as good practice for cover letters and interviews since you will probably begin looking for internships and jobs in the near future.

Your advisor will be happy to assist you by discussing possible course combinations and reviewing a draft of your theme statement, but please remember that it must represent your ideas and your work.

1) Introductory paragraph (introduce your theme). Restate the title and elaborate on what that title encompasses.

2) List the classes in block form. For example…

  • SOCIO 432: Community Organization and Leadership
  • SOCIO 832: Community Change
  • GEOG 720: Geography of Land Use
  • POLSC 620: State and Local Government

3) Then explain how these classes fit together. Describe how they fit with your thematic interests.

4) List any classes that might complement/supplement your theme. For example...

  • PLAN 315: Introduction to Planning
  • ECON 555: Urban and Regional Economics

5) Explain how these classes help broaden your knowledge and/or provide context for your theme.

6) End with a paragraph discussing how the knowledge from this theme will benefit you. How might this curriculum serve your career goals, plans for further education, development of transferable skills, life interests, understanding of society, et cetera?

*Keep in mind that this is just one model for how to write a theme proposal; it is not the only way to articulate your theme. You can use your own style, but these points should probably be included in your creation.


Q: What college am I in?
A:  Arts and Sciences

Q:  What is the name of my degree?
A:  BS (Bachelor of Science) or BA (Bachelor of Arts)

Q:  What is my major?
A:  Interdisciplinary Social Science

Q: What about my minor?
A: If you have completed a minor, you will need to complete the paperwork in the appropriate department. Minors do not appear on your diploma, but they do appear on your transcript.

Q: Where do I send my transfer transcript?
A: Have that information sent to the Office of Admissions in 119 Anderson Hall.