Social Science (Interdisciplinary Studies)

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Dean: Joel Kassiola

Social Science Program
HSS 382
Director: Susan Taylor

Graduate Coordinator: Stanley Bailis


Professors--Bailis, Curtin, Flynne, Miller, R.

Associate Professors--Busacca, Keith


B.A. in Social Science: Concentration in Interdisciplinary Studies

B.A. in Social Science: Concentration in Criminal Justice

Minor in Social Science

M.A. in Social Science: Concentration in Interdisciplinary Studies

Program Scope and Career Outlook

This major provides an opportunity for students to construct an individually designed program which crosses disciplinary boundaries in the social and behavioral sciences and related fields. Programs can be designed to emphasize special theoretical and practical interests, including preparation for community-action oriented careers, secondary teaching credentials, and specialized graduate training.

The concentration in criminal justice is designed for students who wish to explore the field of criminal justice as liberal arts education, and/or as preparation for graduate education (e.g., law school, graduate school in one or more substantive behavioral and social sciences), and/or as a potential career.

The minor gives students an opportunity to complement their disciplinary major with an experience with several other disciplines as well as the interdisciplinary approach to knowledge.

The Master of Arts in Social Science with a Concentration in Interdisciplinary Studies is intended for students who want an inter-departmental program. Each student's program is planned around a topic or problem chosen in consultation with an adviser and committee. The degree program provides for students who are interested in: studying human phenomena through the integrated perspectives of several social and behavioral science disciplines; preparing for careers in public agencies or private concerns which require a broad and coherent preparation in the social and behavioral sciences; expanding their backgrounds for more advanced graduate study; and seeking secondary, single subject, or community college teaching credentials.


Each student's program is developed in consultation with the department advisers, in accordance with the patterns below. Courses for this discipline are listed in alphabetical sequence (consult Index for page reference).

Required Courses

SS 300	Social Sciences Core I						3
SS 301	Social Sciences Core II						3
SS 600	Seminar in Method and Interdisciplinary Analysis		3
SS 697	Senior Project Seminar						1
SS 698	Senior Project in the Social Sciences				2

Total required units							12

Individually Chosen Courses

Nine upper division courses in the social and behavioral sciences and related fields 
must be selected around a focus, theme, concentration, or integrating principle to 
form a coherent program based upon the individual student's interest. Approval of 
department adviser is mandatory. At least two of the nine upper division courses 
must bear the Social Science prefix, and not more than four of the nine courses 
can be from any one department or program. The total number of units will vary 
according to whether courses carry three or four units of credit.	27-36

Total									39-48


Core Courses

SS 300	Social Sciences Core I						3
SS 301	Social Sciences Core II						3
SS 600	Seminar in Method and Interdisciplinary Analysis		3
SS 697	Senior Project Seminar						1
SS 698	Senior Project in the Social Sciences				2

Total for core								12


One course from each of the following nine areas:
Area 1. Introduction to the Field of Criminal Justice			4
CJ 300	The Criminal Justice System (4)
Area 2. The Nature of Crime and Deviant Behavior			4
SOC 362	Deviance and Conformity (4)
SOC 451	Criminological Theory (4)
Area 3. Law and Justice in History and Society				4
CJ 500	Criminal Law (4)
SOC 459		Criminal Law and Social Process (4)
PLSI 552	Individual Rights and the Constitution (4)
Area 4. The Administration of the Law					3-4
CJ 450	Jails and Prisons (4)
SOC 455	Punishment and Social Control (4)
An upper division course on advisement
Area 5. The Law as Philosophy						3
PHIL 335	Law and Society
PHIL 380	Philosophy of Law
Area 6. Law Enforcement and Public Policy				3-4
CJ 400	Police and Public Policy (4)
An upper division elective course on advisment
Area 7. The Law as Reflection of Culture and Change			3
SS 360	The Individual in Modern Society
SS 410	Perspectives on American Culture
SS 510	Sociocultural Change and Interdisciplinary Analysis
Area 8. The Law as History or Economics					3
An upper division elective on advisement in
History or Economics
Area 9. Field Study in Criminal Justice					4
CJ 680	Field Course in Criminal Justice (4)
Total for concentration							31-33

Total for major								43-45


Program Requirements

SS 300	Social Sciences Core I						3
SS 301	Social Sciences Core II						3
SS 600	Seminar in Method and Interdisciplinary Analysis or

An equivalent methods course from another 	
discipline in the behavioral and social sciences			3-4

Three upper division courses from three different disciplines
in the behavioral and social sciences and related fields. These
courses must be chosen in consultation with an adviser, and
students majoring in a behavioral or social science may not 
double count courses taken in their major discipline to meet
this requirement							9-12

Minimum total								18-22


Admission to Program

Students must (1) complete the aptitude sections of the Graduate Record Examination; (2) complete a minimum of 24 upper division units of undergraduate study in the social and behavioral sciences with a 3.0 grade point average; (3) identify a core objective in pursuing a program of interdisciplinary study at the graduate level so that the graduate adviser may help to plan a coherent degree program. In exceptional cases, students who do not meet these criteria may be conditionally admitted subject to the approval of the departmental graduate advisers. These faculty members have final authority to determine the admissibility of students to this program in terms of all factors relevant to success in graduate study. With this in mind, applicants should send the following items to the graduate coordinator by March 1 for Fall semester admission or October 1 for Spring semester admission: (1) Statement of purposes describing core topic or theme, and a sample curriculum pursuant thereto, academic and/or career goals and relation between past employment and proposed graduate program; (2) Report of G.R.E. aptitude scores; (3) Complete transcripts; (4) Summary of all past course work and grades categorized by academic level and area; and, (5) Two letters of academic and/or professional recommendation. It should be noted that the student must file an application for admission to the university and that none of the above items are substitutes for the materials directly required by the university Admissions Office.

After the student has completed between nine (9) and fifteen (15) units of work toward the degree, the graduate adviser will assist in choosing a three-member faculty committee. This committee will normally include at least one member of the Social Science Program (Interdisciplinary Studies) and at least one member from the faculty of a specialized discipline who has an interest in the core topic around which the student plans the degree program. The full committee is responsible for guiding and supervising the student's graduate study.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One: completed by written work in S S 710. Level Two: completed by written work in S S 800.

Advancement to Candidacy

Before filing the Graduate Approved Program (GAP) students must have successfully completed at least nine units of course work including S S 710. Students must file their GAP before enrollment in S S 800.

Courses for this discipline are listed in alphabetical sequence (consult Index for page reference). Except for S S 600, 650, and 698, all upper division and graduate courses offered by all departments within the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, as well as certain courses offered elsewhere in the university, may be considered as potentially applicable to the student's program. At least one half of all units included on the GAP must be earned in graduate level courses.


S S 710	Interdisciplinarity in the Social Sciences			3
S S 800	Seminar in Interdisciplinary Applications			3

Graduate seminars in each of two social science disciplines relevant to focus of 
student's program							6
An advanced course in research methods and techniques			3

Additional upper division or graduate courses in two or more disciplines selected in 
consultation with adviser which are relevant to the topic or problem of student's 
program focus								15
S S 898	Master's Thesis							3

Minimum total								33
and Master's Comprehensive Written Examination

Thesis. The student is expected to select his/her thesis topic with the help of his/her faculty committee and file the thesis topic form as soon as possible but prior to enrollment in S S 800. Though filing a thesis topic form is required prior to enrollment in the thesis course (S S 898), the filing is a totally separate act from enrollment or registration in the course. The thesis proposal should be detailed enough to present a clear idea of the nature of the research effort. The thesis should be a serious effort to analyze an aspect of the problem or topic around which the student is focusing his/her program. Its primary objective is to serve as a training experience in gathering, evaluating and manipulating data within an interdisciplinary frame of reference. The completed thesis must be read and approved by at least a two-member committee, the chair of which must be a member of the social science faculty.

Examinations. The candidate will take a six-hour written examination after completing 24 units of course work and before enrolling for the thesis. Each member of the candidate's three-person committee will prepare questions designed to take the candidate approximately two hours to complete. The chair of the committee, who must be a member of the social science faculty, is responsible for coordinating the administration of the examination. The examination will cover knowledge of theory and method in the social sciences, both disciplinary and interdisciplinary, and substantive knowledge relevant to the individualized program of courses taken by the student. The candidate must pass all three segments of the examination as evaluated by the committee members. In the event of failure, the committee may at its discretion invite the student to take part or all of the examination a second time, but this may only be done once.

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