Why study the Social Sciences?

In the Social Sciences Division, students study complex questions about societies and human behavior, including how human communities develop, how they are organized, and how they shape and are shaped by individuals. By studying social processes, students develop valuable leadership skills and real-world experience.

Find Yourself in the Social Sciences


Social Sciences students learn to use a wide range of sophisticated research tools — from statistical programming to laboratory analysis to field research. Faculty engage in collaborative research to address significant social problems in local, national and global contexts. The Center of Studies in Demography and Ecology, the Center for Social Science Computation & Research, and the Center for Statistics & the Social Sciences are examples of the many research centers in the social sciences that provide opportunities for students to work with faculty on interdisciplinary projects.

More About Art & Sciences Research

Simona Liao on UW campus, with arms outstretched

At the Intersection of STEM & Feminism

With interests in STEM and feminism, Simona Liao pursued a double degree in computer science and gender, women & sexuality studies. Using what she learned in both fields, she launched a mentorship program for women in China interested in STEM careers. 

Read More about At the Intersection of STEM & Feminism

What do Social Sciences students do after graduating?

Students in the social sciences learn how people develop group identities, ensure cooperation, manage conflict, and regulate power through examination of economics, law, ethics, gender, race, and other areas. They pursue a wide range of careers including in journalism, politics, social justice, government, business and others that focus on individuals and societies.

Female student walking with laptop in front of Amazon spheres

My geography and history majors ask how … knowledge is made, who certain knowledge is created for, who is excluded, who is telling the stories, and why those stories are being told

Racquel West BA, History and Geography, 2020
portrait of Racquel West

Alumni Career Paths

  • Content manager
  • Policy analyst 
  • Financial planner
  • Human resources manager
  • Legislative aide
  • Community organizer
  • Reporter
  • Elected official
  • Marketing coordinator 
  • Outreach coordinator
  • Philanthropy officer 
  • Attorney 
  • Nonprofit manager 
  • Entrepreneur
  • Business analyst 
  • Foreign service officer
group of students sitting on lawn in circle with teacher

Social Sciences programs

Whatever your interest, there’s a program in the Social Sciences Division for you.

  • Department of American Ethnic Studies
    • B.A., American Ethnic Studies
  • Department of American Indian Studies
    • B.A., American Indian Studies
    • Certificate in American Indian and Indigenous Studies
  • Department of Anthropology
    • B.A., Anthropology
    • B.A., Anthropology of Globalization
    • B.A., Archaeological Sciences
    • B.A., Human Evolutionary Biology
    • B.A., Indigenous Archaeology
    • B.A., Medical Anthropology and Global Health
    • B.S., Anthropology
    • B.S., Archaeological Sciences
    • B.S., Human Evolutionary Biology
    • B.S., Medical Anthropology and Global Health
    • M.A., Archaeological Heritage
    • Ph.D., Anthropology: Archaeology
    • Ph.D., Anthropology: Biological Anthropology
    • Ph.D., Anthropology: Sociocultural Anthropology
  • Department of Communication
    • B.A., Communication
    • B.A., Communication: Journalism and Public Interest Communication
    • M.A., Communication
    • Ph.D., Communication
  • Department of Economics
    • B.A., Economics
    • B.S., Economics
    • Ph.D., Economics
  • Department of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies
    • B.A., Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies
    • Feminist Studies
    • Sexuality and Queer Studies
    • Ph.D., Feminist Studies
  • Department of Geography
    • B.A., Geography
    • B.A., Geography: Data Science
    • M.A., Geography
    • Ph.D., Geography
  • Department of History
    • B.A., History
    • B.A., History: Empire and Colonialism
    • B.A., History: Race, Gender, and Power
    • B.A., History: Religion and Society
    • B.A., History: War and Society
    • M.A., History
    • Ph.D., History
  • Integrated Social Sciences
    • B.A., Integrated Social Sciences
  • The Jackson School of International Studies
    • B.A., Global and Regional Studies
    • B.A., International Studies: Asian Studies
    • B.A., International Studies: Comparative Religion
    • B.A., International Studies: European Studies
    • B.A., International Studies: Jewish Studies
    • B.A., International Studies: Latin American and Caribbean Studies
    • M.A., China Studies
    • M.A., Comparative Religion
    • M.A., International Studies
    • M.A., Japan Studies
    • M.A., Korea Studies
    • M.A., Middle East Studies
    • M.A., Russian, East European & Central Asian Studies
    • M.A., South Asia Studies
    • M.A., Southeast Asian Studies
    • Executive M.A., Applied International Studies
    • Ph.D., International Studies
  • Department of Law, Societies & Justice
    • B.A., Law, Societies, and Justice
    • Graduate Certificate in Law Societies, and Justice
  • Department of Philosophy
    • B.A., History and Philosophy of Science
    • B.A., Philosophy
    • B.A., Philosophy: Ethics
    • Ethics
    • Science, Technology and Society Studies
    • M.A., Philosophy
    • Ph.D., Philosophy
    • Ph.D., Philosophy and Classics
  • Department of Political Science
    • B.A., Political Science
    • B.A., Political Science: International Security Option
    • B.A., Political Science: Political Economy Option
    • Ph.D., Political Science
  • Department of Sociology
    • B.A., Sociology
    • Ph.D., Sociology

Cool Courses

Get to know some of the exciting and innovative courses offered in the Social Sciences Division. Research- and project-based courses allow you to build relationships with your peers and faculty.

Polling station door

The Statistics and Philosophy of Voting

Take a deep dive into the complexities of voting, from majority rule to election forecasting to gerrymandering to voting rights.

Student standing and speaking while another student sits in front of her, taking notes.

Public Speaking

Through introductory and advanced courses on public speaking, students can become a more effective and confident speaking in front of any group. 

Close up of computer circuit board

Cybersecurity in International Studies

Explore cybersecurity in a global context through courses developed through the Jackson School of International Studies' Cybersecurity Initiative. 

Ready to dive into the Social Sciences?

Gain new and varied perspectives on societal issues and conduct research to better understand the complexities of who we are.

Divisional Dean of Social Sciences

Andrea Woody
portrait of Andrea Woody


Carina Moriss


Explore Our Other Divisions