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Social Science (Evening Degree)

Program Overview

103 Lewis Hall

This multidisciplinary major includes upper-division social science courses selected by faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences. Students explore diverse political, social, environmental, gender, ethnic, and cultural perspectives in pursuit of their degrees. Coursework encourages greater understanding of issues, ideas, and themes in history and in the contemporary world. Analytical, research, and communication skills which can enhance a person's career opportunities are emphasized.

The coursework in social science is organized into three tracks:

  • Social and Environmental Issues
  • Law, Politics, and the Economy
  • Gender, Ethnicity, and Culture

Social and Environmental Issues addresses key ecological, environmental, and social issues of tribal, peasant, industrial, and post-industrial societies from around the world. This track includes assessments of how technological, ecological, environmental, economic, cultural, and sociopolitical factors interact to affect the form and function of social, cultural, and political systems and institutions. It also features courses which explain classical and contemporary theories of anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, and sociology bearing on these issues.

Law, Politics, and the Economy deals with the role and function of government, legal institutions, and economic and political processes, focusing on the complex interaction of political and economic forces which shape social life. Important areas of study include the character of political power and inequality, law and other sources of state legitimacy, international relations and the economic interdependence of nation-states, and the role of the state in maintaining social order and ameliorating conflict within and between societies.

Gender, Ethnicity, and Culture studies the cultural, geographic, historical, political, psychological, and social factors which define, shape, and change the various peoples of the United States. Racism, age and sex discrimination, the status and role of women, the treatment of immigrants, the emergence of classes and sociocultural interest groups, and aspects of religious movements and religious conflict are core topics. Courses assessing theories that examine and explain these issues are also essential.

Undergraduate Program

103 Lewis Hall, Box 353921
(206) 543-6160

Social Science offers the following program of study:

  • The Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in social science

Bachelor of Arts

Suggested First- and Second-Year College Courses: English composition and additional writing. Introductory courses in Individuals & Societies (I&S); Visual, Literary, & Performing Arts (VLPA); and Natural World (NW). First-year foreign language study.

Program Admission Requirements

Students are not being admitted to this program for the 2014-2015 academic year.

  1. Admission to the Evening Degree program (separate from admission to the UW day program)
  2. 75 college quarter credits. Most students admitted have completed two years of lower-division college work.
  3. See adviser for evaluation of applicable courses and credits.

Major Requirements

60 credits from the approved list of social science survey and track courses, as follows:
  1. Survey courses (15 credits maximum). Normally at the 200 level
  2. Primary track (25-35 credits from one track)
  3. Track electives (10-20 credits). From courses in other than the primary track
  4. Minimum 45 credits in 300- and 400-level courses, including at least 15 credits in 400-level courses.
  5. Minimum 15 credits of 300- and 400-level social science courses that do not overlap with second-major requirements when double majoring in communication, English, and humanities
  6. Minimum 25 credits completed in residence through the UW.For list of applicable courses, consult the adviser or go to
Additional Degree Requirements
  1. English composition and additional writing (15 credits)
  2. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning (Q/SR) (4-5 credits)
  3. Foreign language -- through the third quarter of a single foreign language (0 to 15 credits, depending on placement)
  4. Areas of Knowledge
    1. Visual, Literary, & Performing Arts (VLPA) (20 credits)
    2. Individuals & Societies (I&S) (20 credits)
    3. Natural World (NW) (20 credits)
    4. Some credits in I&S and/or VLPA may count also toward the major
  5. Additional work to complete a minimum 180 credits overall.

Continuation Policy

All students must make satisfactory academic progress in the major. Failure to do so results in probation, which can lead to dismissal from the major. For the complete continuation policy, contact the departmental adviser or refer to the department website.

Student Outcomes and Opportunities

  • Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes: Social science graduates are prepared to think critically and communicate effectively about the interplay among political, demographic, cultural, and social dynamics in considering domestic and international legal, media, environmental, gender, and ethnicity issues. They are able to examine complex issues in a contemporary and historical context. Majors develop the ability to analyze and evaluate issues from varied disciplinary perspectives. A greater respect for diversity and the ability to integrate knowledge when applying learning to the challenges of living in a complex global society results.

    Specific skills acquired include writing, critical thinking, research, analytical thinking, integrative cognitive abilities, and effective public speaking.

    Social science majors pursue widely varied careers, including labor relations, human resources, law, social work, broadcast journalism, corporate training, private enterprise, education, public administration, mental health, marketing, and non-profit management.

  • Instructional and Research Facilities: Students use all university library resources and facilities corresponding with their individual research needs. In addition, each of the contributing social science academic departments offers individual resources to majors. Check with advisers for options.

  • Honors Options Available: None offered.

  • Research, Internships, and Service Learning: The program works collaboratively with students interested in pursuing independent study and research opportunities through academic departments that contribute to the major. Opportunities for work with the Carlson Center, Office for International Exchanges, and service learning are possible for all students.

  • Department Scholarships: The Evening Degree program awards need-based financial aid assistance each year to students from a general fund. Two additional scholarship resources are the Rodney I. Straub Endowed Scholarship and the Nicole Snyder Dettmar Endowed Scholarship.

  • Student Organizations/Associations: None