Shaw University 150

Department of Social Science

(Sociology, Psychology, & Political Science) 

Degrees Offered
Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Bachelor of Arts in Sociology (Concentration: Criminal Justice), Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, & Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (Concentration: International Relations) 

Purpose of Department
The primary purpose of this Department is to provide students with a liberal arts education that enables them to initiate career employment or to pursue their education in graduate or professional schools. Students of the Department will attain fundamental knowledge of the basic concepts, principles, theories, research methods, and skills required for critical thinking and problem solving. Students will also develop awareness about the value of life and commitment to human principles. 

The Department offers the following majors: 

  • Sociology 
  • Sociology (Concentration: Criminal Justice) 
  • Psychology 
  • Political Science 
  • Political Science (Concentration: International Relations) 

Students majoring in sociology, psychology, and political science are required to complete a minimum of 120 semester hours. This total is divided into the following: University Core (48 semester hours), Department Core (18 semester hours), Major Core (30 semester hours) and Electives (24 semester hours), which are divided into Restricted and General/Free Electives and which will be determined by the respective academic advisor. In the case of the criminal justice concentration and the international relations concentration, all courses are required and additional semester hours must be completed. 

Major in Psychology: Psychology is the systematic study of individuals’ behavior, affect, and mental processes. This major acquaints students with the fundamental concepts, theories, and methods of scientific research of the discipline. Through the engaged practice of reflection, and scientific research, the field of psychology explores the dynamics of personality, group interaction, biological functioning, human development and abnormal psychology.  Majors in this program are encouraged to engage in internships, research studies and in-class practice and assessment.  Upon graduation psychology majors can expect to find employment in a wide range of professions---from business management and human resources to clinical therapy and counseling; quite a few graduates in psychology have even found employment in the expanding world of technology.  Additionally, many graduates in the psychology program elect to continue their education in master’s and doctorate programs across the nation.   

Major in Sociology: Sociology is the study of society as a web of diverse and numerous social groups that interact with one another based on the respective values and norms. Students majoring in sociology will learn about society's many social institutions, social groups, social structures, and social processes, and the forces that underlie social change and stability in society. 

Concentration: Criminal Justice – Criminal Justice is the study of the administration of justice. Students having the criminal justice concentration will learn about the major systems of social control (law enforcement, the judiciary/courts, corrections), victimology, penology, juvenile justice, and comparative criminal justice systems. Students will also gain insight into how laws impact, and are impacted by, social changes and social problems. 

Major in Political Science: The Political Science Program provides students with the basic building blocks for satisfying a career in public service or education. Students develop critical thinking skills in logic, writing, and analysis. Many of the courses in this program emphasize research-based writing projects; majors learn to compare and contrast complex political issues/events within the context of the diverse political systems around the world. There are many career opportunities in both public and private sector organizations, including: positions within the federal, state, and local government; international, national, and community organizations; political campaigns and lobbyists; and business and law. 

Concentration: International Relations – This area is intended for students who wish to pursue a career abroad or with international dimensions. Majors are offered a broad overview of all aspects of international affairs---politics, economics, global issues, and world cultures. Additionally, majors will become proficient in at least one foreign language.