A Community of Explorers

In the social science degree program, you'll explore the dynamics of human interactions in society.


Real World Experts

When you study social science at OSU-Cascades, you benefit from OSU's strength in environmental sciences and sustainability. Professor Elizabeth Marino's research looks at the challenges facing communities affected by climate change and other disasters. She was appointed by the White House as a delegate to the Second Arctic Science Ministerial, an international meeting in Berlin.

About the Degree

Students can pursue a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree in social science with an specialty option in either community development and leadership, culture and identities, humans in the environment, law and society, or general social science. You will investigate the social and cultural dynamics in our communities, explore how these dynamics impact the development of sustainable communities, and examine how effective community leadership impacts positive social change.

You will gain fundamental skills in communication, political science, anthropology, environmental studies and where these fields intersect with the arts and sciences.

Areas of investigation include wellness, place, dwelling, food and community, migration and sense of place, sustainable communication, and community dialogue and public environments. One of the most distinctive features of this program is that most programs of its kind are graduate certificate programs; this is an undergraduate degree program.

Undergraduate Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Arts in Social Science
Bachelor of Science in Social Science

Social science majors select at least one specialty option to complete their major requirements:

Community Development and Leadership Option

This option focuses on the social and cultural dynamics in our communities, how these dynamics impact the development of sustainable communities, and how effective community leadership impacts positive social change.

Cultures and Identities Option

This option focuses on cultures and identities as essential to understanding our lived community experiences. The coursework explores the processes through which we develop and negotiate identities and cultures.

General Social Science Option

The general option consists of 21 credits, selected with your advisor, from the following fields: Anthropology, communication, history, new media communications, political science, psychology, sociology, and social science.

Humans and the Environment Option

This option focuses on human relationships with the environment and decision-making. The coursework includes an understanding of the historical, cultural and economic systems which shape how humans interact with their environment.

Law and Society Option

A social science degree prepares students to be successful in a career in law. This option offers coursework focused on critical thinking, reading, writing, and argumentation for students who wish to apply to, and succeed in, law school.

Degree Requirements


Fueling a Dream

Taha Elwafati’s ambitions are big. He wants to reshape the country’s political landscape. At Summit High School in Bend, Taha served on student government. Now at OSU-Cascades and majoring in social science, he is developing political and leadership skills by serving as vice chair of the Student Fee Committee, and he's leading an effort to revise the committee’s constitution. It’s good training, as after he graduates, Taha hopes to work for the U.S. State Department and then attend law school and focus on civil rights. Read more

Sample Courses

 Environmental Sociology
Cultural Codes in Communication
Social Psychology
Communication and Cyberspace
Sociology of Intimate Relationships
Intro to US Government & Politics
Sustainable Communities
Social Aspects of Sustainability
Peoples of the World: North America
Anthropology, Health and Environment
Environmental Law & Politics
Welfare and Social Services
Introduction to Rhetorical Theory

Careers in Social Sciences

This degree provides you with the knowledge necessary to understand and make decisions in the growing fields of community development and leadership.

Social science graduates work in:

  • Youth and Family Services
  • Public Health
  • Education
  • Regional Planning
  • Community Organizing
  • Market Research
  • Government Policy
  • Environmental Leadership
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Contact Us

We're here to help! Future students can connect with an OSU-Cascades admissions advisor for admission and program questions.