Social Sciences (BA)

The CGS Social Sciences BA major is being phased out, with no new students being accepted after September 4, 2020.

Students already admitted to CGS who are undeclared or declared in other CGS majors will not be allowed to declare or change their major to Social Sciences after September 4, 2020

Students already in the Social Sciences major will be able to complete their major as planned. Current Social Sciences students should contact their advisor for further information. Current students will have until December 2028 to complete their degrees.

New students interested in interdisciplinary studies are invited to explore our other majors in the following career areas:

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.

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


Our Social Sciences degree progtam 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

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 choose a minimum of 36 credits (approximately 12 courses) from any three departments/programs below. All courses taken must be social sciences related. See our General Education program page for the remaining degree requirements.

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) 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. See our General Education program page for the remaining degree requirements.

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. 

Prerequisites and Courses

Social Studies Pre-Education Curriculum: (36 credits)

Area 1. History, Geography, Culture: (15-18 Credits)

Recommended Courses (Choose one per category)
  Catalog Number Title Credits
U.S. History      
  HIST 0600 United States to 1877 3
  HIST 0601 United States 1865 to Present 3
  HIST 0670 Afro-American History 1 3
  HIST 0671 Afro-American History 2 3
  HIST 1610 United States Colonial 3
  HIST 1611 American Revolution 3
  HIST 1619  United States since 1945 3
Western European History      
  HIST 0100  Western Civilization I 3
  HIST 0101  Western Civilization 2  
World History (Non-western)      
  HIST 0700 World History 3
Ancient History      
  CLASS 0020  Roman Civilization 3
  HIST 0400 East Asian Civilization to 1800 3
  HIST 1775  Origins of Christianity 3
  HIST 1781 Roman History 3
  HIST 1783 Greek History 3
  AFRCNA 0385  Caribbean History 3
  HIST 0401  Modern East Asian Civilization 3
  HIST 0501  Modern Latin America 3
  HIST 1164  Small Countries & the European Union 3
World Cultures      
  HIST 1796  History of Africa since 1800 3
  HIST 0501  Modern Latin America 3
  ANTH 0780  Intro to Cultural Anthropology 3
  HIST 1433 Modern Japan 3
  HIST 1423  Modern China 3

Area 2. Civics: (3 Credits)

Recommended Courses
Catalog Number Title Credits
HIST 1641 Modern American Politics 3
PS 0200 American Politics 3
PS 1231  Political Parties & Elections 3
PS 1234 Electoral Behaviors & Democratic Process 3
PS 1252 State Government 3
PS 1378 Building Democracy Around the World 3

Area 3. Economics: (3 Credits)

Recommended Courses
Catalog Number Title Credits
ECON 0100 Intro to Microeconomic Theory 3
ECON 0110 Intro to Macroeconomic Theory 3
ECON 0800 Intro to Economics 3

Area 4. Sociology & Social Foundations: (3 Credits)

Recommended Courses
Catalog Number Title Credits
ADMPS 1001 Social Foundations of Education 3
SOC 0005  Societies 3
SOC 0010  Introduction to Sociology 3
SOC 1107 Cultural Sociology 3

Area 5. Foundations of Special Education: (3 Credits)

Required Course
Catalog Number Title Credits
IL 1580 Foundations of Special Education 3

Two 1000-Level Electives: (6 Credits)

Recommended Courses
Catalog Number Title Credits
PS 0500  World Politics 3
SOC 1119 Urban Perspectives in Popular Culture 3
SOC 1445  Society and Environment 3
SOC 1448  Working Women 3
GSWS 1180  Politics of Gender and Food 3
PS 1536  Human Security 3
PS 1542 Global Environmental Politics 3
LEGLST 1210 Law and Politics 3
LEGLST 1320 Law and Environment 3
LEGLST 1152 Legal Issues in Public Service 3

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