Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences

Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences

Shape the Society of Tomorrow Through a Variety of Perspectives

Investigate how societies function and evolve. By applying perspectives across political science, anthropology, sociology and other subjects, interdisciplinary social sciences majors acquire the analytical and quantitative tools to propose innovative solutions to today's pressing issues.

At the same time, develop the soft skills that are in demand in today's economy. Learn how to communicate better, conduct original research, collaborate with peers across different majors and hone creative problem-solving. See how this degree can set you up for success. 

Why Major in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences at Clarkson?

Our program sets itself apart in three distinct ways:

  1. Broad perspectives: Our flexible curriculum lets you explore your interests and passions across a wide variety of disciplines. This is where you can combine your love of politics with biological research or an interest in gender studies with data analytics.
  2. External field requirement: Complete courses in a pre-professional external field of your choice, like business, communications and media, pre-law, pre-medicine, etc. This combination gives you an advantage in the job market and makes it easier to integrate the skills you're learning through your major in a real-world, applied setting.
  3. Technological competencies: Use Clarkson's state-of-the-art computing resources and laboratories as you pursue your own interests. Plus, the interdisciplinary nature of the major means you learn from classmates immersed in more tech-heavy coursework.

Courses focus on current social and political issues and center on hands-on learning. Our approach is to apply the theoretical frameworks and research methods of the social sciences to real-world scenarios. By the time you graduate, your multifaceted skills can pave the way to a role in business, advertising, digital humanities, media, government or another field.

What You'll Learn

In addition to our two requirements — Introducing the Liberal Arts and Major Research Seminar — students take courses in political science, anthropology, sociology and pre-professional electives. The curriculum is flexible enough to complete a minor or second major, if you choose to do so.

Some of the courses include:

  • Advanced Topics
  • Introducing Liberal Arts
  • Introduction to Gender
  • Introduction to Human Geography
  • Introduction to Sexuality
  • Social and Political Issues in the Adirondacks

Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Core Requirements

The interdisciplinary social sciences program consists of 28 credit hours in social sciences. 30 credit hours are in free electives, which is enough to complete a minor or second major if you so choose.

All courses are 3 credits unless noted.

Students are required to complete the following courses:

Humanities and Social Sciences

  • HSS120 Introducing the Liberal Arts (1 credit)
  • HSS480 Major Research Seminar

Professional Experience

Students are required to complete the following Professional Experience:
HSS480 Major Research Seminar

Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Core Electives

Students must complete eight courses total from the following subject areas:*

  • Political Science (POL) 3-credit courses
  • and/or Anthropology (ANTH) 3-credit courses
  • and/or Sociology (SOC) 3-credit courses

*Students should work with their academic advisors to find the courses that best fit their interests.

Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Electives

Pre-Professional External Field Electives

Students must complete five courses in a pre-professional external field, such as business, communications and media, pre-dentistry, pre-law, pre-medicine, pre-occupational therapy, pre-physician assistant, pre-physical therapy, pre-veterinary, etc. This pre-professional concentration provides students with opportunities to increase career choices while exploring a wide variety of interests through their major.

Knowledge Area/University Course Electives

Students will have at least 15 credit hours available to use toward Knowledge Area and/or University Course electives to satisfy the Clarkson Common Experience requirements.

Free Electives

Students will have approximately 30 credit hours available to use toward courses of their choice.

Clarkson Common Experience

The following courses are required for all students, irrespective of their program of study. These courses are offered during the fall semester, with FY100 First-Year Seminar being required of only first-year students. Both FY100 and UNIV190 are typically taken during the fall semester of the first year at Clarkson.
FY100 First-Year Seminar (1 credit)
UNIV190 The Clarkson Seminar (3 credits)

As an interdisciplinary social sciences major, you have the option to add a concentration in gender and sexuality studies.

To complete this concentration, all students must:

  1. Satisfy the requirements for the BS in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences degree program (10 courses in the major — one introduction to Liberal Arts, one Major Research Seminar and eight content courses).
  2. Take 15 credit hours (five courses) in gender and sexuality studies, structured as follows:
    1. Students must take SS220, Introduction to Gender, or SS221, Introduction to Sexuality, as well as four courses from an approved list of gender and sexuality studies courses maintained by the Humanities and Social Sciences department.
    2. Three of the five gender and sexuality studies courses may be used to substitute three of the major's required content courses. The other two gender and sexuality studies courses may be used to satisfy undesignated electives.

Students who complete the gender and sexuality studies concentration will have this noted on their transcripts. Learn more about the gender and sexuality studies minor.

Apply the skills you acquire in interdisciplinary social sciences to a multitude of co-ops and internships. In the past, Clarkson students have found opportunities at organizations like:

  • Canton Central Schools
  • Clarkson University Library
  • Congressional Campaigns for NY Congressional District 21 for Elise Stefanik
  • North Country Children's Museum
  • Potsdam Public Museum
  • St. Lawrence County Government
  • St. Lawrence County Historical Association
  • Village of Potsdam Police Department

Learn more about co-ops and internships.

Faculty mentors value the skills interdisciplinary social sciences majors bring to their research projects, given the cross-disciplinary nature of most studies. At Clarkson, participate in research related to the environment, health, gender and sexuality and business. Learn more about research at Clarkson.

With more than 200 clubs and organizations to choose from, find chances to dive deeper into your academic interests — or pursue something far from them. Build leadership skills in ROTC, participate in a community service group or try a club sport. Explore Clarkson's clubs and organizations.

The interdisciplinary social sciences major devotes 28 out of 120 credit hours to program-specific classes. This gives you the flexibility to add a minor, concentration or second major, if you choose to do so. The Department of Humanities and Social Sciences oversees several that complement your degree.

Some of our most popular ones include:

Literature and the Arts

Explore the human condition through works of literature, film and drama across diverse cultures and perspectives. As a literature and the arts minor, discover how words and storytelling shape our understanding of the world.

Learn about the literature and the arts minor.

War Studies

What causes war? How has it affected societies throughout history — and how can we use those lessons to shape policies and decisions now? The war studies minor gives you the kind of research, analytical and communication skills valued by government, media organizations, NGOs and other employers.

Learn about the war studies minor.

Understand the many different ways societies and cultures are organized by studying abroad and seeing these structures firsthand. Spend a semester overseas to broaden your perspective and get exposure to even more knowledge traditions.

Learn more about Clarkson's study-abroad opportunities.

Career Possibilities

Interdisciplinary social sciences majors graduate with a strong set of transferable skills that can be applied to almost any industry.

The major prepares you for work in fields like:

  • Advertising
  • Business and finance
  • Communications
  • Consulting
  • Education
  • Human resources
  • Journalism
  • Law and advocacy
  • Marketing
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Politics
  • Research
  • Social work

Contact Us

Department of Humanities and Social Sciences
Phone: 315-268-4365

Want to talk more about Clarkson's bachelor's in interdisciplinary social sciences? Contact the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences today with your questions.

Go Global, Do Good

Give a voice to people who often go unheard. Our social documentation double major program gives you the tools to do that. Pursue a double major in communication to learn the research and production skills employers want — like developing websites or producing oral histories.

Social Documentation Double Major

Explore Boundless Knowledge

Span disciplines to chart your unique career path with an interdisciplinary social sciences degree from Clarkson University. Contact us today to learn more.