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Social Science (B.A.)

Website: School of Social Science and Human Services

Concentrations: Community Mental Health, Education Studies,
Ethnicity & Race Studies, Gender & Sexuality Studies, and
Labor, Work, & Organizations
Concentration: Society & Culture (Degree Completion Program only)


About the Major

Social Science is an interdisciplinary contract major offered through the School of Social Science and Human Services. It is designed to enable students with specialized and/or interdisciplinary interests in the Social Sciences to develop, in collaboration with a faculty advisor, a coherent program of courses in areas of inquiry for which regular majors are not offered, allowing students to explore specialized or emerging fields.  Since students design their own major in collaboration with a faculty advisor, interested students are encouraged to contact the Convener early in their college careers.

The Social Science contract major offers five possible concentrations to Ramapo College students; electing a concentration with the Social Science contract major is encouraged but not required.

Community Mental Health:  Community Mental Health constitutes a socially necessary set of institutions that provide services to millions of people on an annual basis and engages the participation of multiple professionals.  The concentration in Community Mental Health prepares students to understand the components needed to provide services at the community level and to develop skills for effective delivery.  This concentration is a good fit for students interested in public health, public administration, social work, law, and public policy.

Education Studies: The Education Studies concentration will allow students to explore the history of educational institutions and the social and cultural forces shaping educational thoughts and practices. Students who complete this concentration will also participate in fieldwork that will allow them to observe current educational practice and work with professional educators to hone their craft. Students who complete this major could find employment in many settings outside of schools that have educational functions.

Ethnicity & Race Studies:  The Ethnicity & Race Studies concentration focuses on historical and sociocultural scholarship related to race and ethnicity including, but not limited to:  contemporary race relations, inter-group dynamics, the African Diaspora, intersections with gender and class, and inequalities, privilege, and oppression.  This concentration is a logical component of a student’s preparation for a career with international agencies, law, business, and public health, the social services, and teaching.

Gender & Sexuality Studies:  The Gender & Sexuality Studies concentration focuses on interdisciplinary scholarship about women, gender, and sexuality across cultures and their intersections with race, class, nationality, ability, age, among others.  Students will also become acquainted with the current realities and history of feminism, gender, and sexualities in the US and worldwide.  Through courses in Gender and Sexuality Studies students gain a clearer sense of how to be engaged, ethical participants in the social world.  The concentration is a logical component of a student’s preparation for a career in law, business, public health, the social services, and teaching.

Labor, Work, & Organizations:  The concentration in Labor, Work and Organizations focuses on the historical and socio-economic aspects of the labor process, work organizations and the relationship between work and other aspects of life including, but not limited to:  the state, the legal apparatus, and the family.  In addition, students enrolled in the concentration will understand the role of human resources, education and training in the work environment.

Society & Culture:  Visit Degree Completion Program for more information.

It is recommended that students consider combining their major with an appropriate minor (e.g., Civic and Community Leadership, Sociology, Psychology, Substance Use Disorders, Gerontology, Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies, Africana Studies, Latin American Studies, Economics).

The major is offered by the School of Social Science and Human Services and leads to a BA degree. In addition to the major requirements, students must fulfill General Education and School of Social Science and Human Services requirements.

Outcomes for the Major

Goal 1:  Communicate effectively.

1.1 Students will write coherently organized, grammatically correct papers.

1.2 Students will demonstrate effective oral communication skills.

Goal 2:  Develop critical thinking skills.

2.1 Students will be able to comprehensively explain an issue or problem.

2.2 Students will identify underlying assumptions in theories, arguments, and methodological approaches.

2.3 Students will evaluate the validity and reliability of evidence.

Goal 3:  Understand and apply research skills in the social sciences.

3.1 Students will identify and integrate primary sources into a research paper.

3.2 Students will design, evaluate, and conduct quantitative or qualitative research.

Goal 4:   Engage in multidisciplinary perspective-taking.

4.1 Students will take courses for their major from at least two Social Science disciplines/perspectives.

4.2 Students will integrate multiple academic disciplines to gain understanding of an issue or topic.

Requirements of the Major and Concentrations
  1. Transfer students who have 48 or more credits accepted at the time of transfer are waived from the courses marked with a (W) below.  Waivers do not apply to Major Requirements.
  2. Students are required to take 11 courses (44 credits) to complete this major.
  3. Double counting between General Education, School Core, and Major may be possible.  Check with your advisor to see if any apply.
  4. Writing Intensive Requirement (five courses):  two writing intensive courses in the general education curriculum are required: Critical Reading and Writing and Studies in the Arts and Humanities; the other three courses are taken in the major.
  5. Not all courses are offered each semester.  Please check the current Schedule of Classes for semester course offerings.
  6. The Career Pathways Program requirements must be completed prior to graduation.  Visit the Cahill Career Center.

Note: A 2.0 GPA in the major is required for graduation.