The social sciences study the common elements and collective dimensions of the human experience. Scholars in this division of the College of Letters & Science focus on topics as varied as color perception, language acquisition, climate change, sexuality, social identity, markets and risk, wages and work, civil rights and political institutions, kinship and culture, international relations, epochal change, and child development.
The 12 departments that comprise the Social Sciences Division — African American Studies, Anthropology, Demography, Economics, Ethnic Studies, Geography, Gender and Women’s Studies, History, Linguistics, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology — are each among the most distinguished in the nation. The division is the largest within the university, with 20 percent of the faculty and 25 percent of student enrollments. It is also the most heterogeneous, offering diverse theoretical approaches and empirical methodologies for understanding the ways in which human beings, past and present, have organized their lives. This diversity offers scholars and students an unparalleled opportunity to range far and wide in their search for solutions to individual, social, and global problems.