Skip to School of Social Science and Human Services (SSHS) site navigationSkip to main content

About SSHS

The School of Social Science and Human Services (SSHS) offers a rich and varied curriculum with well-prepared courses and plenty of opportunities for fieldwork and experiential learning. Our educational philosophy is based on the following set of core values about education and life.

To understand the complex worlds of people, at the level of individuals, small groups or whole societies or civilizations, it is imperative to have a sound historical grounding. History informs us how things came to be and, by implication, what constraints we face in trying to effect social change. Among the requirements for a Social Science and Human Services degree are introductory and upper level courses designed to mold historically and socially informed graduates.

Social awareness and insight is enhanced, and manifested, in our willingness to give back to our respective communities, as students, as educators, as human beings. Positive societal transformation occurs to the extent that an informed citizenry cares, and gets actively involved. The School of Social Science and Human Services tries to foster such convictions through, among other things, liberal fieldwork, co-op, service-learning and volunteer opportunities as well as first-rate classroom preparation.

Learning does not merely take place in the classroom. At least as important as listening to professors lecturing, are the direct “life experiences” each one of us has in our respective communities, provided these are accompanied by proper guidance and reflection. Again, this is the object of guided fieldwork, service-learning, co-op and independent study experiences, all of which are essential elements in the overall education offered in our school. Our students frequently take advantage of direct learning opportunities offered through the Cahill Center, the major source for Experiential Learning and Career Opportunities at Ramapo.

As we envision the new millennium technology is bringing the peoples of the world increasingly closer to each other, informationally as well as geographically. More than ever in human history the next century will force us to tackle issues of cultural and experiential diversity, as well as the ecological interdependency that these developments bring. This will require ever greater sensitivity to and understanding of the varieties of human sensibility and experience, within as well as outside our own culture. Students affiliated with the School of Social Sciences and Human Services are exposed to insightful analyses of prevailing societal patterns which impede cultural reconciliation and insight, such as divisions based on race, gender, disability, social class, national origin and differing cultural backgrounds. They learn to critically read and incisively evaluate the daily barrage of social science facts and fictions provided by the major media, through courses in social issues and scientific methodology as well as through practical experiences that foster social, statistical and ecological literacy.

The twelve credit program of Core courses, required of all students who graduate from the School of Social Science and Human Services, reflect the above goals.

Required Core Courses Credits
Total 12
Social Issues 4
History of Social Thought 4
Sustainability 4

Consistent with the school’s mission and its expression in the core, students affiliated with the School of Social Science and Human Services are offered a rich panoply of choices among majors, minors and concentrations which reflect the diversity of human endeavor. Leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree there are majors in Psychology, Sociology, Law and Society, Economics, Political Science and Environmental Studies. In consultation with a sponsoring faculty member a student can design a personalized “Contract Major” in Social Science, with a Concentration defined by a course of study fitted to the student’s specific needs. This option provides opportunities to serve long established concentrations with low current enrollments in Social Science (e.g. Community Mental Health or Business and Public Policy) or to be responsive to new intellectual trends in scholarship long before the ideas have reached the maturity and exposure to be offered as majors or minors (e.g. Cultural Studies, Africana Studies, Gender Studies). Reflecting the emphasis on practice, the School offers a rigorous major in Social Work (for the BSW degree), as well as a rapidly growing Certification program in Teacher Education for students who want to become Secondary or Elementary school teachers. Minors are offered in Women’s Studies, African-American Studies, Latin-American Studies and Gerontology, as well as in most of the majors listed above.