College of General Studies

Social Sciences (BA)

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A degree in social sciences gives you a strong academic foundation and skills that employers find attractive, including oral and written communication, critical thinking, organization, problem solving, and interpersonal skills.

To learn more, schedule a preadmission counseling appointment with Director of Recruitment and Enrollment by calling 412-624-6600. Request more information today! 

Social sciences is a liberal arts major with a focus on courses from three social sciences departments. This major can be customized to meet your interests and personal or career goals. You will choose to concentrate in three areas from the list below and have the opportunity to take a variety of courses within those areas of study.

Also available is a pre-education option for those preparing for a teaching career.


Social Sciences Standard Major: 36 credits

A minimum total of 120 credits (approximately 40 courses) is required for a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in social sciences. Of this total, students must take a minimum of 36 credits (approximately 12 courses) according to the specifications. The remaining credits required for the degree are outlined on the Requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree information sheet. Choose a minimum of 36 credits (approximately 12 courses) from any three departments/programs below. All courses taken must be social sciences related.

Africana Studies (social sciences-related courses)
Anthropology (social sciences-related courses)
Economics
Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies (social sciences-related courses)
History
Jewish Studies
Legal Studies
Political Science
Psychology (social sciences-related courses)
Religious Studies (social sciences-related courses)
Sociology

Please note:

  • At least five courses must be taken from one department, and at least three courses should be taken from each of the two other departments.
  • At least half of the major must be upper-division (1000-level) courses.
  • All courses selected for the social sciences major must be approved by an academic advisor. 

Pre-Education Option

The College of General Studies and the Pitt School of Education have collaborated on a concentration in the social sciences major that incorporates the prerequisite science course work needed for admission into the certificate program in Social Studies Education. This option may be used by students interested in the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program and Professional Year (PY) Program offered in the School of Education. Completion of the prerequisites for the School of Education does not guarantee acceptance to its programs. Students must complete a minimum of 120 credits (approximately 40 courses) for a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in social sciences. Of this total, students must take a minimum of 36 credits (approximately 12 courses) according to the specifications. At least 18-credit hours must be at the 1000-level. The remaining credits required for the degree are outlined on the Requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree information sheet.

Social Studies Pre-Education Curriculum: 36 credits
AREA 1: History, Geography, Culture (15-18 credits) Choose one per category.
Category
Recommended CoursesCredits
U.S. HistoryHIST 0600 United States to 1877
HIST 0601 United States 1865 to Present
HIST 0670 Afro-American History 1
HIST 0671 Afro-American History 2
HIST 1610 United States Colonial
HIST 1611 American Revolution
HIST 1619 United States since 1945
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
Western European HistoryHIST 0100 Western Civilization I
HIST 0101 Western Civilization 2
3
3
World History (Non-western)HIST 0700 World History3

Ancient History

CLASS 0020 Roman Civilization
HIST 0400 East Asian Civilization to 1800
HIST 1775 Origins of Christianity
HIST 1781 Roman History
HIST 1783 Greek History
3
3
3
3
3
GeographyAFRCNA 0385 Caribbean History
HIST 0401 Modern East Asian Civilization
HIST 0501 Modern Latin America
HIST 1164 Small Countries & the European Union
3
3
3
3
World CulturesHIST 1796 History of Africa since 1800
HIST 0501 Modern Latin America
ANTH 0780 Intro to Cultural Anthropology
HIST 1433 Modern Japan
HIST 1423 Modern China
3
3
3
3
3
AREA 2: Civics (3 credits)
 Recommended CoursesCredits
 HIST 1641 Modern American Politics
PS 0200 American Politics
PS 1231 Political Parties & Elections
PS 1234 Electoral Behaviors & Democratic Process
PS 1252 State Government
PS 1378 Building Democracy Around the World

3
3
3
3

3
3

AREA 3: Economics (3 credits)  
 Recommended CoursesCredits
 ECON 0100 Intro to Microeconomic Theory
ECON 0110 Intro to Macroeconomic Theory
ECON 0800 Intro to Economics
3
3
3
AREA 4: Sociology and Social Foundations (3 credits)
 Recommended CoursesCredits
 ADMPS 1001 Social Foundations of Education
SOC 0005 Societies
SOC 0010 Introduction to Sociology
SOC 1107 Cultural Sociology
3
3
3
3
AREA 5: Foundations of Special Education (3 credits)  
  Required Course
Credits
  IL 1580 Foundations of Special Education3
Two 1000-level Electives (6 credits)
 Recommended CoursesCredits
 PS 0500 World Politics
SOC 1119 Urban Perspectives in Popular Culture
SOC 1445 Society and Environment
SOC 1448 Working Women
GSWS 1180 Politics of Gender and Food
PS 1536 Human Security
PS 1542 Global Environmental Politics
LEGLST 1210 Law and Politics
LEGLST 1320 Law and Environment
LEGLST 1152 Legal Issues in Public Service
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3

Please Note:

  • All courses selected for the social studies pre-education track must be approved by an academic advisor.
  • At least half of these courses must be upper-division (1000-level) courses.
  • Students are also encouraged to participate in an internship during their degree program and may fulfill some CGS general education and major requirements by completing a study abroad program. 

Requirements are subject to change. Check with an academic advisor before registering.

An internship program is available through the College of GeneralStudies. Please see your advisor for additional information.


Top 10 Jobs for Social Science Majors

  • Management Consultant
  • Operations Director
  • General/Operations Manager
  • Marketing Manager
  • Financial/Securities/Investments Analyst
  • Supply Chain Analyst
  • Executive Director, Nonprofit Organization
  • Business Analyst (unspecified type)
  • Account Manager
  • Land Surveyor

Source: PayScale.com