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Social Science

To fulfill the Social Science requirement, students will complete nine (9) credits from the menu of approved courses.

Courses in this area introduce students to central concepts and methods of inquiry used to study human behavior, social processes, and social institutions. Additionally, courses will emphasize the use of theory and empirical analysis to address the complexity of human behavior and the variety and connectedness of individuals and social institutions. Only one course with a student’s major prefix can be used to satisfy the requirements for this category. A course or departmental prefix may be repeated one time.

Social Science Expected Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes

Syllabi for courses designed to fulfill the Liberal Studies Social Science requirement must provide course content that enables students to achieve the Expected Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes identified below. Course proposals may identify additional objectives from the list of Expected Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes as appropriate to the course content.

Informed Learners understand nature and society through forms of inquiry fundamental to the sciences, the humanities, and the arts. Learners are informed by knowledge and ways of knowing that extend beyond core concepts enabling them to link theory and practice.

As Informed Learners, students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the ways of modeling the natural, social, and technical worlds.
  • the past and present from historical, philosophical, and social perspectives.
  • the interrelationships within and across disciplines.

Empowered Learners are critical thinkers who demonstrate intellectual agility and creativity and the ability to manage or create change. They are able to derive meaning from experience and observation. They communicate well in diverse settings and employ various strategies to solve problems. They are empowered through mastery of intellectual and practical skills.

As Empowered Learners, students will demonstrate:

  • problem-solving skills using a variety of methods and tools.
  • critical thinking skills, including analysis, application, and evaluation.
  • reflective thinking and the ability to synthesize information and ideas.

Responsible Learners are engaged citizens of a diverse democratic society who have a deep sense of social responsibility and ethical judgment. They are responsible for their personal actions and civic values.

As Responsible Learners, students will demonstrate:

  • intellectual honesty.
  • an understanding of the ethical and behavioral consequences of decisions and actions on themselves, on society, and on the physical world.
  • an understanding of themselves and a respect for the identities, histories, and cultures of others.

Social Science Required Course Content

All courses designed to fulfill the Liberal Studies Social Science requirements must include content and instruction that:

  • allows students to apply empirical methodology and a theoretical framework to the study of the origins, development, and maintenance of individual human behavior and social groups, institutions, or organizations.
  • promotes an understanding of individuals, groups, and their physical and social environment by exploring and analyzing concepts developed in the discipline(s).
  • includes, where appropriate, discussion of other cultures and subcultures, underrepresented groups (including persons with special needs), minorities, and women.
  • conveys the major concepts, models, and critical intellectual questions/debates within the social sciences.

Individuals proposing courses to fulfill the Liberal Studies Social Science requirements are encouraged to include information and instruction that:

  • examines the nature of the reciprocal relationships which exist between individuals and their physical and social environments.
  • explores the values and ethical issues that underlie individual behavior and the functioning of social, political, economic, and cultural organizations.
  • examines the historical foundations as well as the spatial and temporal implications of contemporary social issues.

Social Science Common Learning Objectives

All courses designed to fulfill the Liberal Studies Social Science requirements will establish the following common course learning objectives.

  • At the conclusion of the course, the student should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:
    • the ways of modeling individual and social behavior and its interrelationships with other disciplines.
    • the past and present from historical, philosophical, social, and spatial perspectives.
    • the ethical and behavioral consequences of decisions on individuals, societies, and the physical world as appropriate.
    • him- or herself and a respect for the identities, polities, and cultures of others.
    • skills in problem solving, critical thinking, synthesis, and a commitment to intellectual honesty.
  • Liberal Studies Program
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