Social Sciences

What are the Social Sciences?

The Social Sciences are a group of related disciplines which use scientific methods to study human behavior, in individuals, in groups, and in cultural and political institutions. The specific fields included at Stevens College of Arts and Letters are: sociology, political science, and psychology.

Psychology is often defined as the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. These mental processes include: thinking, feeling, memory, learning, judging, perceiving, problem solving. However, psychology also includes the study of intelligence, language acquisition, as well as human development across the life span. Major emphasis is placed on the neural brain processes underpinning these processes. Behavior includes the study of personality, psychopathology, as well as treatment.

Entry level positions in Psychology or to answer the question, "What can I do with a BA in Social Science, concentration in psychology" See the following link: However, students who wish to pursue a career in psychology are encouraged to go on to graduate work on both the masters and PhD levels. Faculty will gladly help students in this endeavor.

Political science is the study of political systems, governments, and ideologies. For the most part, the discipline considers the nuances of power and politics ("those who have power" and "how they attained it" through social, economic and/or political capital). Political scientists often measure these phenomena through quantitative (statistical) or qualitative (historical, theoretical) analysis. Within political science there are several specialized areas: international relations, comparative politics, national politics, state and local politics. Lately, areas such as public opinion, political parties, legal studies, gender and racial politics have received the greatest attention.

Political science majors can pursue a variety of career options, particularly in the public sector (federal, state, county, local governments), research organizations, think tanks, non-profit organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). A number of majors pursue graduate education for these careers, particularly if they are interested in academia as researchers or professors. Attaining a master's degree or doctorate in political science is typical. However, many majors go on to law school (JD) or pursue a master's degree in public policy (MPP) or public administration (MPA).

Sociology can be defined as the scientific study of society and group behavior. The field is as broad as the social life itself. It examines the social world and our place in it. Thus, sociologists study issues from social relationships and interactions (also referred to as microsociology) to social institutions and organizations (also referred to as macrosociology) as well as the connection between micro- and macro-sociology. In order to understand the social world and groups behavior, sociologists use various scientific methods, including conducting interviews, analyzing census data, sending out their own surveys, doing participant observation, interpreting archive and historical documents, and conducting experiment.

The sociology concentration of the Social Science degree well prepares students for graduate study and a range of careers ( Undergraduate studies in sociology serve good foundations for graduate studies in sociology, social psychology, and related fields. In addition, sociology graduates may find work in government agencies, non-profit organizations, social service agencies, educational institutions, etc. They can also go on to plan careers in law, social welfare, education, public health, market research, public relations, management, human resources, etc.

Why study the social sciences at Stevens?

  • Outstanding faculty
  • Individual mentoring, low student faculty ratio
  • Students are able to explore the variety of the social sciences and yet concentrate in one field
  • Vast interdisciplinary opportunities both in College of Arts and Letters and within the Institute

Professional Organizations


Political Science