Social Sciences—BS

A Degree with Options

Have you ever wondered what forces shape human behavior and social norms, or how cultures are formed? Are you an avid “people watcher,” fascinated by how we interact and communicate? Perhaps you are intrigued by political science and the governmental sphere, or maybe you are interested in history and how our ancestors lived. You can explore all of this—and more—at Michigan Tech with the Bachelor of Science in Social Sciences.

Our faculty’s areas of focus include archaeology, anthropology, geography, history, political science, and sociology. All of these social sciences share the goal of understanding how human behavior is organized and how it changes over time.

While gaining an outstanding foundation in the social sciences, you will diversify your studies with course work in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math) and laboratory science, as well as in the humanities and fine arts. You can study philosophy or art history as electives, for example. The spectacular, broad-based liberal education you receive at Tech will prepare you to succeed not only in a rewarding profession, but also in your everyday life.

Social Sciences (BS) Learning Goals

  1. Students will understand core social theory in sociology, geography, anthropology, and/or history and be able to apply such theory to understand current social issues both domestically and internationally.
  2. Students will demonstrate an understanding of fundamental political, legal and social institutions, processes, actors, behaviors and ideas.
  3. Students will apply knowledge of social, legal and political institutions to address the development of effective action strategies in pursuit of a just, secure, and sustainable society.
  4. Students will demonstrate the ability to design and carry out social science research to understand an important social or policy issue and communicate results in a professional setting.

About the Program

  • You can count on small class sizes—and great opportunity for student participation and active class discussion. Virtually all social sciences classes are taught by faculty members, who are experts in their fields.
  • Get to know your instructors personally. Our department’s low student-to-faculty ratio (12:1) equates to more individualized attention and academic advising.
  • If you’re passionate about the social sciences, but you also have an affinity for STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math), there’s no need to choose between them. You’ll study the natural sciences as part of the history degree program, or you can even declare a double major. You can blend these interests with hands-on opportunities like Tech’s Enterprise program.
  • We offer hands-on research opportunities for undergraduate students. Our faculty are always willing to undertake independent study projects with students. Many of our students have participated in SURF, Tech’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program.   
  • During the archaeology summer field school, social sciences majors work alongside faculty and graduate students. Currently, we are studying the local ruins of the historic Cliff Mine, the first profitable copper mine in the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan. The focus of this ongoing research project is to thoroughly document the Cliff Mine site, with the goal of reconstructing the evolution of the industrial process during the mine’s heyday (1845-70).
  • Gain even more real-world experience with an internship locally or elsewhere.  We will work with you to develop a personalized internship in your field of interest. Also, a number of our students and alumni completed Air Force and Army officer training as undergraduates and now serve as officers.
  • The Mock Trial program gives students interested in law the opportunity to participate in a competitive trial simulation. Two student teams present on all aspects of a regular trial, and practicing attorneys and judges preside over these regional competitions.
  • All majors are invited to participate in the Anthropology Club, a student organization that promotes the field of anthropology through outreach and education.

Customize Your Degree

The social sciences curriculum is adaptable to your personal interests and needs. You can design your own BS in Social Sciences or choose from two predefined concentrations: law and society or secondary education.

Degree audit forms with a breakdown of required and elective courses for each major can be found here.

Law and Society

The law and society concentration provides students with a foundation in legal topics through course work in government and policy issues, including American government, environmental policy, and international law. Elective credits are also available for courses in communications and in business. Our degree program’s broad liberal arts curriculum offers excellent preparation for law school.

Secondary Education Concentration

Are you up to the challenge of teaching society’s future thinkers?  Complete additional course work leading to secondary-education teacher certification. When you become certified in the state of Michigan, you will be qualified to teach history, government, geography, and economics.

General Degree

The basic social sciences degree allows you the flexibility to tailor a portion of your degree to an area of interest, such as sociology, anthropology, or archaeology, while also providing broad exposure to the social sciences as a whole.

Career Pathways

The well-rounded undergraduate education offered by our social sciences program sets up students for success in graduate school, law school, management, and a myriad of professions—allowing you to set your sights high and follow your passions.

What could I do with a degree in social sciences?

A bachelor’s degree in social sciences prepares students for careers in teaching, law, the ministry, business, governmental administration, and social work.

Which professions have our alumni chosen?

Social sciences alumni have landed diverse positions including

  • Attorney
  • Intelligence Analyst
  • Military Officer
  • High School Teacher
  • Pastor
  • Student Affairs Coordinator
  • Social Worker
  • Hazard Communication Specialist
  • Business Owner

Where have our alumni enrolled in graduate school?

  • Yale University
  • Georgetown University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • University of Michigan