Social Sciences for Business Majors
Social Sciences courses expose you to a broad array of societal phenomena and emphasize critical thinking to enable you bring together knowledge from a variety of disciplines to better understand society. The result? A more well-rounded person ... the type of person that top executives seek in future business leaders.
Our courses also provide you with knowledge and skills that are especially applicable to business.
- Broaden your understanding of markets and economic thinking.
- Learn about the historical evolution of the economy and the economic impact of key historical events.
- Enhance your grasp of individual and institutional power and key institutions affecting businesses domestically and internationally.
- Improve your comprehension of the role of spatial analysis in understanding markets and culture.
- Explore the effects of business decisions on communities and the ways in which businesses can help address societal inequities.
The following descriptions and videos highlight a select number of SSCI courses being offered next semester that have particular relevance to business majors. For others, check out listings for Economics, Political Science, History, Urban and Regional Studies, and Geography in the course schedule.
History and Economic Impact---Culture in Key Business Regions
- HIST 3368: Germany Since 1945-- Germany's high quality of living and exceptional engineering makes it an attractive place to conduct business. This new progressive Germany contrasts with the country's conditions immediately after WWII. Considering its central role in the European Union and the overall prominence of its economy, exploring German history is fundamental for anybody interested in international business. Gaining an understanding of how specific events effected Germany society and culture, such as the impact of the Cold War on twentieth-century revolutions of society, culture, and sexuality, build cultural competency and context-awareness for entrepreneurship. The course also explores contemporary issues such as immigration, national identity, and citizenship.
- HIST 3380: The European City, 1750-2000-- Urban cities in Europe house much of the economic and business opportunities. Explore the growth and development of the city in modern Europe, focusing mainly on London, Paris, and Berlin. Learn about urban revolution of these cities through film, art, interactive maps, the popular press, and literature. Make connections between urban revolution and where the cities are today economically. Has this revolution contributed to tourism being one of Paris' largest industries? How does London's progression through history lead to financial services being the largest industry in the city? Take HIST 3380 to learn about the The European City and it's urban progression and impact ?
Markets and Economic Thinking
- ECON 201: Principles of Macroeconomics-- (DDC--Social & Behavioral) How do major economic concepts like income, wealth, employment, and prices at the national level work? How are they inter-related? How do they effect the economy? Explore these and other big questions to gain knowledge to help your business plan, grow, and thrive.
- ECON 202: Principles of Microeconomics-- (DDC--Social & Behavioral) Ever wonder how individuals and firms make purchasing and investment decisions? Why do companies produce certain goods and not others? What makes them decide to manufacture in China vs. the U.S.? How do they know how much to produce? Why do people spend instead of save? This course will help you develop fundamental tools of economic analysis to help you answer such questions. It will provide you essential knowledge to understand the fundamentals of how markets work, critical knowledge regardless of your major and chosen career path.
ECON 305: Economic Statistics-- One of the great contributions of economics is the ability to use numerical data to analyze past behavior and help predict the future. Economic statistics helps you better understand the complex array of statistical approaches used by economists to accomplish these goals. Topics covered include descriptive statistics, probability, estimation, hypothesis testing, and the use of linear regression analysis to study relationships between two variables.
ECON 448: International Trade-- Trade wars! What do they mean? What are their benefits and costs. In International Trade you'll critically analyze the debate of free trade vs. protectionism. You'll explore different theoretical models of the "gains from trade," as well as studies of their empirical validity. Some historical perspective is included, as well as discussion of the current dynamics in international trade. Students cannot receive credit for both Econ 348 and Econ 448
ECON 4085: Public Finance-- Analysis of the role of government in the economy. Course examines theories of the need for and nature of government intervention in economic activities. Includes analysis of public goods, externalities, taxation, state, and local finance, and models of public decision making. Students cannot receive credit for both ECON 4085 and ECON 481.
Power and Key Institutions Affecting Business
- POL101: American Politics-- (evening, online, and day options available) (DDC--Social & Behavioral) (Check out this video description) As the recent trade tariff war shows, business is greatly affected by and affects U.S. government policy. This course will deeply enrich your understanding of how our governmental system works so that you can help your company navigate the system effectively. You'll also explore core dimensions of power gaining critical insights applicable to both government and business.
- POL 201: Politics Around the World-- (DDC--Social & Behavioral) (Check out this video description) Whether you work for a global corporation or create your own start-up, your business will be immersed in the global economy, and economy that is deeply inter-connected with world politics and governmental institutions. You'll need to understand how those governments work and what the major differences are between foreign governments/politics and those in the U.S. Explore these and similar questions in POL 201 to give you a leg-up in the world of international business.
POL 322: Mich Gov, Pol, & Publ Policy--(DDC--Social & Behavioral) Having a background in state policy making is fundamental in becoming an leader in business. Not only does it equip you with information on policies that may impact the economy and market you work in, but also opens the door to opportunities in social entrepreneurship addressing social and cultural issues.
- POL 323: Urban Politics-- We know from living in and near Detroit that business growth and decline play fundamental roles in the way cities and metro areas develop. We also know that businesses are playing an important role in the revitalization of Detroit, and they can dramatically affect equity and sustainability. Urban politics will help you better understand the positive and negative contributions of businesses to urbanization. You'll learn how our metro area and others function politically and what the implications are for businesses and the broader society. You'll better understand the potential for businesses to play a thoughtful, helpful role in the improvement of our region.
- POL 300: Political Analysis--(DDC--Social & Behavioral) How do income, race, and family status affect voting? Do countries with market-based economies demonstrate more political stability than those without? How do socioeconomic variables affect positions on health care policies? These are the types of questions you can attempt to answer when you understand the research design principles, data collection tools, and analytical methods of political science and other social sciences fields.
POL 315: The American Presidency-- (DDC--Social & Behavioral) (Check out this video description) While the ability of the government or any of its individual leaders to drive the economy is limited, the current trade wars and immigration battles demonstrate that the President can take actions that dramatically affect business climate. The American Presidency examines the expansion of presidential powers, focusing on the constitutional and political development in the president's role as chief executive, legislative leader, and administrative head of state. Topics include: separation of powers, presidential selection, impeachment, relations with Congress and bureaucracy, emergency powers, presidential character, and leadership.
POL 472: American Foreign Policy II: Non-European countries play an increasingly important role in international business. Understanding how U.S. federal policy towards such countries has evolved and is formulated will help you better understand the interactions of foreign policy with the international economy. In American Federal Policy II, you'll explore the many dynamics associated with developing America's policies and approaches for dealing with countries in the non-European world.
Spatial Analysis of Markets and Culture
- GEOG 201: Cultural Geography-- The most effective businesses position themselves properly within a community's culture. Ethical business leaders do their best not to disrupt that culture. Accomplishing these goals requires an understanding of major components of culture, such as language, religion, economy, settlement patterns, and landscape. You'll explore such dimensions of culture in a spatial context to understand how they vary and are impacted by location.
- GEOG 206: World Regional Geography-- If you are interested in international business, this course will give you a great understanding of critical distinctions in the physical and human composition of the world's regions. Europe, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East ... these are a sample of geographic regions of the world where unique physical forms and societal traits, each impacted by the other, can be observed. Enroll in GEOG 206 to examine the physical, cultural, political, economic and social features of each region, along with special regional concerns or problems.
- GEOG 320: Global Climate Change--(DDC--Social & Behavioral) Global climate change is real and complex. It dramatically affects businesses and businesses contribute to it significantly. Be part of the generation of business leaders that takes on global climate change head-on. Get beyond the confusion of the popular discussion about climate change and understand the reality. In GEOG 320 you'll learn about the history of Earth's climate, causes of climate change and current research attempting to forecast change. You'll also explore the biotic, economic, and social implications of climate change.