A Community of Explorers

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

“Yes” to Every Opportunity

Myra Flores, Social Science '23, started at a community college. But two full-time jobs on top of her classes became challenging. After a six-year break, a move to Redmond and a pandemic to prompt some self-discovery, she enrolled at OSU-Cascades, and, with scholarship support, found new motivation to pursue her dream of law school. Read more

About the Degree

Students can pursue a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree in social science with a 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

  • Degree Requirements
  • Social science majors select at least one specialty option to complete their major requirements

Options in the Social Science Major

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Intern in the Community

“The internship with the Latino Community Association gave me confidence in my abilities and created a path I didn’t know was there,” said Social Science major Aidan Thrower. LCA offers services for the Latino community to assist with navigating the challenges of their new country. Thrower, who moved to Bend from San Jose, used his Spanish to assist with citizenship applications, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals renewals, data entry and volunteer management in the Bend office. He graduated last spring.

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.

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
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.