Division of Social Sciences

The objective of the Social Sciences curriculum is to provide students with the tools and perspectives they need to become engaged and knowledgeable global citizens. The ability to navigate varied social and cultural systems is an essential skill in a world increasingly interconnected by technology, media, and markets. Through courses that integrate insights and methods from sociology, anthropology, history, economics, political science, and social psychology, students come to understand the process of modernization in Western and non-Western contexts, and consequences for individuals living in these societies. Thus, the four-course sequence designed by the Division of Social Sciences seeks to provide students with a basis for understanding human social behavior and to help students understand today’s world in historical context.

Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the Social Sciences curriculum will be able to:

  1. Examine groups, nations, events, and ideas in historical and sociological contexts.
  2. Explore historical and cultural perspectives as analytical tools for the study of society.
  3. Analyze the relationships among social, economic, political, and cultural systems in their own society and others.
  4. Critically analyze primary and secondary sources.
  5. Develop informed arguments and express them in multiple formats (written, oral, and multimedia).

Requirements

All students entering as freshmen in Fall 2018 and after will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, a general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements are flexible and can be satisfied in many different ways, through coursework in and beyond the CGS program and, in some cases, through co-curricular activities. College of General Studies students will ordinarily, through coursework in the social sciences, satisfy some BU Hub requirements in Philosophical, Aesthetic, and Historical Interpretation; Social Inquiry; Diversity, Civic Engagement, and Global Citizenship; Communication; and the Intellectual Toolkit. Remaining BU Hub requirements will be satisfied by other College of General Studies courses as well as by selecting from a wide range of available courses within and outside the major or, in some cases, co-curricular experiences.

September Program

To fulfill the CGS Social Sciences requirement, students select at least three of the four CGS SS courses listed below:

  • Freshman year
    • CGS SS 101 How Societies Work: An Introduction to the Social Sciences (4 cr)
    • CGS SS 102 Modernization: Politics, Economics, and Culture (4 cr)
  • Sophomore year
    • CGS SS 201 Social Change and Modernization in the Non-Western World: Russia and China (4 cr)
    • CGS SS 202 America’s Response to Aggression and Revolution: US Foreign Policy Since the 1930s (4 cr)

January Program

To fulfill the CGS Social Sciences requirement, students must take SS 104 and select at least two other CGS SS courses listed below:

  • Freshman year
    • CGS SS 103 Politics, Economies, and Social Change in the West: The Ancient World through the Enlightenment (5 cr) 
    • CGS SS 104 Politics, Economies, and Social Change in the West: The Industrial Revolution to the Digital Revolution (5 cr) (London semester)
  • Sophomore year
    • CGS SS 201 Social Change and Modernization in the Non-Western World: China and Russia (4 cr) 
    • CGS SS 202 America’s Response to Aggression and Revolution: US Foreign Policy Since the 1930s (4 cr)