Undergraduate Program Social Science

PSU social science student holding a globe

Social Science Bachelor's Degree Overview

Social science help us understand how we relate to others in an increasingly diverse, polarized, and multicultural society. A bachelor's degree in social science from Portland State challenges you to be informed about what's going on in the world, to think about how it could be better, and the role you play.

As a social science major, you'll develop a broad knowledge-base about the world around you and gain valuable skills that will equip you to make an impact in a wide range of careers, including writing and presentation and public speaking skills, critical reasoning, social and environmental consciousness, research and analysis, and creative problem-solving.

Degree Details

Social Science Bachelor's Degree: Why PSU?

Our flexible but structured program allows you to tailor your major to best fit your interests and professional goals.

The courses provide you with a broad understanding and appreciation of the perspectives on contemporary social issues offered by multiple disciplines, including anthropology, black studies, Chicano/Latino studies, child and family studies, history, international studies, Judaic studies, indigenous nations studies, political science, psychology, sociology, systems science, urban studies and planning, and women, gender and sexuality studies.

Our faculty and advisors will ensure you have the support you need to succeed.

What can I do with a bachelor's degree in Social Science?

With a bachelor's degree in social science from PSU, you'll cultivate a broad base of skills that have nearly universal values and prepare you for a variety of careers, from business and government to health services, law enforcement, and community service.

Many of our students continue on to the Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP) to become an elementary teacher or a high school social studies teacher. Others have paired it with their majors in psychology and sociology as preparation for graduate studies in social work, counseling, and related fields.

Online Social Science Bachelor’s Degree Option

Earn a social science degree online and build skills you can use your whole life in any career. Designed for students who have completed the first two years of a bachelor's degree, our online program offers a flexible academic structure that you can modify to fit your own interests, schedule, and goals. You will:

  • Work closely with outstanding faculty. You'll take your online courses from the same instructors who teach on our campus.
  • Connect with other students. PSU's easy-to-use online course platform encourages direct interaction among classmates.
  • Take award-winning courses. Our online bachelor’s degree includes core coursework in PSU’s nationally recognized University Studies program.
  • Plug into Portland. No matter where you live, our online programs let you in on Portland's energetic and innovative spirit.

Finish your degree online and develop adaptable skills that employers value in every field. The social science program offers particularly good preparation for careers (and graduate school) in teaching, social work, and counseling.

Required Courses

In addition to meeting all of the non-major and general education baccalaureate degree requirements, a Science major must complete 52 credits in arts and letters or science or social science. A minimum of 32 of the 52 credits must be upper-division with at least 8 upper-division credits in each of two departments. In addition to 52 credits, all students must take WR 323 or a Writing Intensive course for a total of 56 credits.

Academic Distribution Area

The Social Science academic distribution area consists of undergraduate courses from the following areas: Anthropology (except 101, 102, 350, 355, 370/370L, 372, 373, 376, 379, 452-455, 471, 472, 477-479), Black Studies (except 221, 351-53, 421, 424-427), Chicano/Latino Studies, Child & Family Studies, Criminology & Criminal Justice, Economics, Geography (except 210, 310, 311, 312, 313, 314, 320, 322, 333, 340, 380, 407, 413-415, 418, 420, 440, 475, 480-482, 484, 485, 488*, 489, 490, 492, 493-497), History, International Studies, Judaic Studies (except 325, 431, 435), Native American Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Social Science, Social Work (310, 320, 340, 341, 350, 351, 384, 375, 399, 416, 430, 431, 432, 450 and 451 only), Sociology, Systems Science (336, 340, 342, 338, 350, 413, 418 only), Urban Studies & Planning, Women's Studies


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).