The Social Sciences Division

Study the Social Sciences

Student looking through shelves of historical items and documents

The Social Sciences focus on the complexity of the human community. Students explore how people develop group identities, ensure cooperation, manage conflict, and regulate power, looking at the economy, law, ethics, gender, race, and other areas.

Our Majors


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Why Study the Social Sciences

Students in the social sciences can learn to use a wide range of sophisticated research tools -- from statistical programming to laboratory analysis -- and conduct field research. By studying social processes that resolve conflict and accommodate competing perspectives, students develop valuable leadership skills.


Hear from our Divisional Dean and faculty members about why you should study the Social Sciences at the UW:




Abari Charles

UW senior, Sociology major; minors in African Studies and Entrepreneurship

"I think there is value in understanding how a society works on the micro and macro level. Being a sociology major has allowed me to have a variety of experiences from research practices to nonprofit work to corporate work. It has allowed me to see how my major translates to a job position beyond college."

Abari Charles selfie

Jessica Niewohner

UW senior, Law, Societies & Justice major

Law, Societies & Justice (LSJ ) is one of the few majors on campus that is deeply rooted in the promotion of global social justice. Professors don’t just lecture students in class, but also actively promote social justice in the community. When I joined the LSJ department, I became a student who was more motivated by a passion for learning than a passing grade.

Jessica Niewohner

Kyki Li

BA, Anthropology, Dance, 2018

"I planned to major in business and psychology, but then an anthropology course completely changed the way I view not just anthropology but also everything else. We covered a lot of topics that became very important for me including race, identity, collective memory, violence, and culture."

Kyki Li in dance studio

Enrique Pérez de la Rosa

BA, Communication (Journalism), 2018

“Journalism has taught me to look outside my own experiences and to listen and be open to conversation with absolutely everyone I can. Everybody knows something you don't; everybody can teach you something.”

Enrique Perez de La Rosa

Racquel West

UW senior, Geography and History major

“I value looking at the contexts and social processes through which knowledge is disseminated and power dynamics are reinforced. My geography and history majors ask how this 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 framed by shelves of storage at the Burke Museum.