Bachelor Degrees in the Social Sciences
Learn about bachelor's degree programs in the social sciences. Find out about courses, career options, salary trends and continuing education for graduates.
Students in a social sciences bachelor's degree program learn the historical, cultural, political and theoretical aspects of human behavior. They study how humans have evolved and continue to do so and how various institutions form. Coursework is often designed so students gain skills in critical and creative thinking, problem solving, decision making, writing, analysis and research while acquiring different perspectives. Internships and practical experiences may be included. Many colleges and universities offer social sciences bachelor's programs, and degrees are typically offered as a Bachelor of Arts.
Applicants to a 4-year postsecondary school typically need a high school diploma or its equivalent. The social sciences program may have additional requirements, such as completing a certain amount of college-level coursework before beginning the major's required classes.
Most bachelor's degree programs in social sciences involve multidisciplinary coursework from areas of history, politics, anthropology and sociology, which helps students develop a multifaceted worldview. Students also participate in practicums, internships or research projects. Some common classes may include:
- Political theory
- Research methods
- World religions
- Social theory
- Oral language
- Social statistics
- Community health
- Social statistics
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Individuals who graduate with a bachelor's degree in social sciences may qualify for entry-level work in a variety of fields. However, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), options may be limited because the majority of relevant occupations require an advanced degree. Some potential entry-level jobs are:
- Social worker
- Social science research assistant
- Market analyst
- Policy analyst
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a 19% increase in job opportunities for social workers is projected during the 2012-2022 decade (www.bls.gov). Sociologists should see an employment increase of 15%, and they will need the help of qualified research assistants. In May of 2012, the BLS estimated that child, family and school social workers earned an annual median income of $41,530, while healthcare social workers received $49,830. Social science research assistants earned a median of $37,140 that year.
A social sciences bachelor's degree provides a strong foundation for pre-professional graduate programs, such as law or medicine. Students can also pursue master's and doctoral degrees in fields related to social sciences, including political science, psychology or anthropology. Master of Arts programs in social sciences are also available, and students can often customize their curricula to meet their individual career goals.
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