Gain insight on pressing social issues by studying how groups, cultures, organizations, and institutions function in our online social science degree program.

With University of Maryland University College's award-winning Bachelor of Science 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.

These program requirements are for students who enroll in the 2017–2018 academic year. For prior year academic requirements, visit the catalog archive in the Current Students section.

About the Social Science Bachelor's Degree

Your social science degree 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

Coursework Examples

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

Social Science Bachelor's Degree Requirements

Our curriculum is designed with input from employers, industry experts, and scholars. You'll learn theories combined with real-world applications and practical skills you can apply on the job right away.

Courses in the Major

  • BEHS 210
  • BEHS 220
  • STAT 200
  • BEHS 300
  • ANTH 102, GERO 100, PSYC 100, or SOCY 100
  • BEHS 495
  • Upper-level ANTH, BEHS, GERO, PSYC, or SOCY courses (12 credits): Focused study in anthropology, gerontology, psychology, or sociology recommended; see Degree Focus tab

Degree Focus

Choose from one of these recommended groups of classes or mix and match to align with your career goals and interests.

Anthropology Focus

  • ANTH 345
  • ANTH 346
  • ANTH 350
  • ANTH 351

Gerontology Focus

  • GERO 302
  • GERO 311
  • GERO 427
  • GERO 320

Psychology Focus

  • PSYC 321
  • PSYC 338
  • PSYC 351
  • PSYC 354

Sociology Focus

  • SOCY 313
  • SOCY 325
  • SOCY 423
  • SOCY 350

Electives

The bachelor's degree in social science requires 49 credits of minor and/or elective coursework.

General Education Requirements

Research Course

  • LIBS 150
    (to be taken in first 6 credits)

Writing and Communication Courses

  • WRTG 101
  • WRTG 293 or other writing course
  • COMM 202 or other communication, writing, or speech course
  • WRTG 391 or other advanced upper-level writing course

Arts and Humanities Courses

  • HIST 125 or other arts and humanities course
  • HUMN 100 or other arts and humanities course

Behavioral and Social Sciences Courses

  • ECON 103 or other behavioral and social sciences course
  • BEHS 103 or other behavioral and social sciences course

Biological and Physical Sciences Courses

  • BIOL 103 or other science lecture and laboratory course(s)
  • NSCI 100 or other science lecture course

Math Course

  • MATH 106 or other 3-credit approved math or statistics course

Computing Courses

  • IFSM 201 or CMST 301
  • CMIS 111 or another computing course appropriate to the academic major

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. Please also see more information on alternate courses (where allowable) to fulfill general education requirements.

Overall Bachelor's Degree Requirements

In addition to the general education requirements and the major, minor, and elective requirements, the overall requirements listed below apply to all bachelor's degrees.

  • You must complete a minimum of 120 credits
  • You must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 overall and a minimum grade of C for any class applied to the academic major or minor
  • Within the 120 credits required, the following coursework must be taken through UMUC:
    • 30 credits (normally the final 30)
    • Half of the required number of credits within both the major and the minor
    • 15 credits at the upper level (earned in classes numbered 300 to 499), preferably within the major or minor
  • At least 45 credits must be upper level and include
    • At least half of the credits required for the major
    • 3 credits in advanced writing
  • The remaining upper-level credits can be earned in any part of the curriculum
  • At least half the required number of credits for any academic major or minor must be earned through graded coursework. Credit earned by examination, portfolio assessment, or noncollegiate training does not count as graded coursework

Double majors: You can earn a dual major upon completion of all requirements for both majors, including the required minimum number of credits for each major and all related requirements for both majors. The same class cannot be used to fulfill requirements for more than one major. Certain restrictions (including use of credit and acceptable combinations of majors) apply for double majors. You cannot major in two programs with excessive overlap of required coursework. Contact an admissions counselor before selecting a double major.

Second bachelor's degree: To earn a second bachelor's degree, you must complete at least 30 credits through UMUC after completing the first degree. The combined credit in both degrees must add up to at least 150 credits. You must complete all requirements for the major. All prerequisites apply. If any of these requirements were satisfied in the previous degree, the remainder necessary to complete the minimum 30 credits of new classes should be satisfied with classes related to your major. You may not earn a second bachelor's degree in general studies and may not obtain a second associate's degree within the second bachelor's degree. Contact an admissions counselor before pursuing a second bachelor's degree.

Electives: Electives can be taken in any academic discipline. No more than 21 credits can consist of vocational or technical credit. Pass/fail credit, up to a maximum of 18 credits, can be applied toward electives only.

Career Preparation

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.

Facts & Figures

Student Clubs and Organizations

Pi Gamma Mu

Type: Honor society
Available To: Undergraduate

Pi Gamma Mu is the international honor society that recognizes outstanding scholarship in the social sciences at UMUC. Students interested in anthropology, criminal justice, economics, gerontology, history, political science, social psychology, sociology, and women's studies may qualify for membership. The society recently named UMUC's Maryland Theta chapter to its Roll of Distinction, the highest honor that the society grants.

Sigma Phi Omega

Type: Honor society
Available To: Undergraduate

Sigma Phi Omega is a national academic honor and professional society in gerontology. It was established in 1980 to recognize excellence among students studying gerontology and aging and to acknowledge the outstanding service of professionals who work with or on behalf of older persons. The society provides a much-needed link between educators, practitioners, and administrators in various settings where older persons are served. Sigma Phi Omega seeks to promote scholarship, professionalism, friendship, and services to older persons and to recognize exemplary attainment in gerontology and aging studies and related fields.

Social Science and Gerontology Club

Type: Academic club
Available To: Undergraduate and Graduate

This club provides its members information and resources on careers and graduate school in social science-related fields. Group activities include discussions on how members can help the community. Periodically, the club hosts guest speakers with backgrounds in a variety of social science disciplines.

Awards & Recognition

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