Major in Social Science

Students may seek an academic major in social science.

The social science major provides breadth of knowledge in the social sciences through interdisciplinary study in areas such as anthropology, behavioral sciences, gerontology, psychology, and sociology and depth through focused study in a single area. It also offers depth and focus through selection of core courses in one social science area. Graduates in social science may pursue a variety of careers in which understanding of social science issues is important, including business administration, elder care, government, health services, law enforcement, human resources, and community service.

Articulation Agreement

An articulation agreement between UMUC's Undergraduate School and Graduate School allows eligible students who complete their undergraduate degree at UMUC with a major in social science to reduce their total coursework for the Master of Arts in Teaching by 12 credits (two courses) and complete both degrees with a total of 138 credits of coursework. More information is available in the Articulation Agreement.

Intended Program Outcomes

The student who graduates with a major in social science should be able to

  • Integrate theoretical perspectives and research findings in the social sciences, using quantitative and qualitative data and applying of social science research methods.
  • Communicate effectively to professional and nonprofessional 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 towards realistic solutions using awareness, acceptance, and appreciation of diversity, social factors, and global multicultural perspectives.
  • Recognize and articulate the ethical principles and standards for professional conduct that guide the work of social scientists.
  • Apply critical and creative thinking, information literacy, technology, and an interdisciplinary perspective to solve practical problems in the social sciences.

Degree Requirements

A degree with a major in social science requires the successful completion of 120 credits of coursework, including 30 credits for the major; 41 credits in general education requirements; and 49 credits in the minor, electives, and other degree requirements. At least 15 credits in the major must be earned in upper-level courses (numbered 300 or above).

Requirements for the Social Science Major

Coursework for a major in social science includes the following:

Recommended Sequence

The following course sequence will fulfill all the requirements for the BS in social science. Coursework for the major is indicated by Coursework for the major. Since some recommended courses fulfill more than one requirement, substituting courses for those listed may make it necessary to take additional courses to meet degree requirements. Students should consult an advisor whenever taking advantage of other options.

Social Science Degree Courses

First Courses (to be taken within the first 18 credits)

Note: Placement tests are required for math and writing courses.

  • LIBS 150 Introduction to Research (1)
  • WRTG 101 Introduction to Writing (3)
    or WRTG 101S Introduction to Writing (3)
  • MATH 106 Finite Mathematics (3)
    or a higher-level math course

Introductory Courses (to be taken within the first 30 credits)

Note: General education courses may not be applied to major requirements. 

  • ECON 103 Economics in the Information Age (3)
    or other behavioral and social sciences course 
  • BIOL 103 Introduction to Biology (4)
    or other biological and physical sciences lecture and laboratory course(s)
  • WRTG 293 Introduction to Professional Writing (3) 
    or other writing course 
  • IFSM 201 Concepts and Applications of Information Technology (3)
    or CMST 301 Digital Media and Society (3)
  • HUMN 100 Introduction to Humanities (3)
    or other arts and humanities course 
  • BEHS 103 Technology in Contemporary Society (3) 
    or other behavioral and social sciences course (discipline must differ from first
  • Coursework for the major BEHS 210 Introduction to Social Sciences (3)

Foundation Courses (to be taken within the first 60 credits) 

  • CMIS 111 Social Networking and Cybersecurity Best Practices (3)
    or other computing course
  • Coursework for the major STAT 225 Introduction to Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (3)
    or STAT 200 Introduction to Statistics (3)
    or STAT 230 Introductory Business Statistics (3)
  • NSCI 100 Introduction to Physical Science (3)
    or other biological and physical sciences lecture course
  • Coursework for the major SOCY 100 Introduction to Sociology (3)
    or other foundation course for the major
  • HIST 125 Technological Transformations (3)
    or other arts and humanities/historical perspective course (discipline must differ from other humanities course)
  • COMM 202 Media and Society (3)
    or other communication, writing, or speech course
  • Coursework for the major BEHS 220 Diversity Awareness (3)

Additional Required Courses (to be taken after introductory and foundation courses) 

  • WRTG 391 Advanced Research Writing (3)
    or other upper-level advanced writing course
  • Coursework for the major BEHS 300 Research Methods in the Social Sciences (3)
  • Coursework for the major SOCY 313 The Individual and Society (3)
    or other core course
  • Coursework for the major SOCY 423 Minorities in the United States (3)
    or other core course in the same discipline as the first
  • Coursework for the major SOCY 325 The Sociology of Gender (3)
    or other core course in the same discipline as the first and second
  • Coursework for the major ANTH 346 Anthropology of Language and Communication (3)
    or other supplemental major course

Capstone Course for Major (to be taken in the last 15 credits) 

  • Coursework for the major BEHS 495 Advanced Seminar in Social Sciences (3)     

Minor and/or Elective Courses (49)
(to be taken in the last 60 credits along with required major courses)

Recommended Electives 
  • EDTP 500 Professional Fundamentals of Teaching and Learning
    (for qualified students who plan to enter the MAT program at UMUC; students should note prerequisites and consult an advisor) 
  • EDTP 535 Adolescent Development and Learning Needs
    (for qualified students who plan to enter the MAT program at UMUC; students should note prerequisites and consult an advisor)

Total credits for BS in social science: 120

1 Source:Recovery: Job Growth and Education Requirements Through 2020,” Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 2013.

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