Social Sciences

Social Sciences BS Degree Program

Written by Mamie M. Arndt

Interested in the forces that shape human behavior and give rise to social norms and
cultural patterns? Are you an avid “people watcher,” fascinated by how we interact
and communicate? Perhaps you are intrigued by political science and the law. Explore
interests and lay the foundation for a productive career. 

Choose from two options: law and society or interdisciplinary studies. Law and society
is tailored to students interested in law school or exploring policy-related careers.
The general interdisciplinary option gives flexibility to explore a variety of paths.

The general interdisciplinary option allows you to tailor a portion of your degree
to a disciplinary area of interest–such as sociology, political science, anthropology,
or history–while also providing broad exposure to the social sciences as a whole.
Choose courses that fit your interests: social science research methods, introductory
disciplinary courses, and advanced disciplinary courses. The method courses include
ethnography, demographics, survey methodology, social statistics, graphical information
systems (GIS), and historical methods. 

The Policy, Law, and Society concentration is more focused, but still adaptable to
personal interests and needs. This concentration provides a foundation in legal topics
with classes in government and policy issues, including American government, environmental
policy, and international law. Our broad liberal arts curriculum offers excellent
preparation for law school.

In both options, other electives and the University’s general education program, allows
you to pursue interests in other areas like business, communications, or the arts.

Play Building On Your Passions video

Building On Your Passions

Discovering her path after finding a truer sense of herself all while loving the journey?
That’s Michigan Tech for Kat Dvorak.

“In the Social Sciences at Michigan Tech, I have been given numerous opportunities
to work closely with faculty and peers on a wide variety of projects, both as part
of the curriculum, and through research opportunities provided by attentive and encouraging
faculty. Glad I transferred here! The breadth of experience it has afforded me, seems
in many ways to have made up for lost time.”Kyla Valenti, 2019, Social Sciences, Law and Society concentration


Susanna Peters

  • Lecturer in Law and Society

Learning goals

In this program, you will be expected to demonstrate:

  • An understanding of the disciplinary methods and core social theories associated with
    the fields of anthropology, geography, history, political science, and history.
  • An understanding of fundamental political, legal, and social institutions, processes,
    actors, behaviors, and ideas.
  • An ability to apply your knowledge in ways that contribute to the development of effective
    strategies in pursuit of a just, secure, and sustainable society.
  • An ability to design and carry out social science research to a social or policy issue
    and to communicate results in a professional setting

For students who choose the Law and Society concentration, more focus will be placed
on policy issues than social issues.

What jobs will I have?

We set you up for success in graduate school, law school, management, social work,
the ministry, government administration, and a myriad of professions—so set your sights
high and follow your passions. Social sciences alumni have landed diverse positions
with titles that include:

  • Attorney
  • Intelligence Analyst
  • Military Officer
  • High School Teacher
  • Pastor
  • Student Affairs Coordinator
  • Social Worker
  • Hazard Communications Specialist
  • Business Owner  

Beyond the classroom

Our low student-to-faculty ratio means individualized attention in classes and advising.
Your instructors will know you personally, so ask about how to gain real-world experience:
internships, study abroad, research opportunities, Enterprise projects, or completing
Air Force and Army officer training programs.

Professional development

Whether you plan to apply to graduate schools or interview for employment, our professional
development course prepares you. From guidance on writing cover letters and graduate
school essays to preparing for the GRE, LSAT, and your first job interview.

Specific courses also provide professional development opportunities such as using
geographic information systems (GIS) to analyze problems spatially, interviewing people,
and conducting archival research. Husky grit and tenacity guaranteed by graduation.

Research opportunities

Social sciences share the goal of understanding how human behavior is organized, how
people make collective choices, and how social structures and daily practices change
over time. Michigan Tech faculty conduct research to help communities and policy makers make informed choices in environmental and
energy policy and industrial heritage. Faculty are eager to guide students’ independent
studies, either in their field of research, or in one you identify. Many students
have earned a Michigan Tech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF).

Recent projects involving students include researching public concerns associated with the use of
autonomous vehicles in rural areas, helping a community establish a community solar
farm, and examining the possibility of using abandoned mines as a source of water
for geothermal heating.

About the author

Mamie M. Arndt