The Social Studies major provides students with a broad range of courses through which to examine and appreciate the processes and institutions that shape civilizations and social orders.

It seeks to recreate the context of changing human activities, be they cultural, economic, geographic, political, or social, and to explain and understand the contemporary human condition. Because of its interdisciplinary structure, the Social Studies major is valuable for those who want a multidimensional understanding of the human past and future, and of the contemporary world and their own place in it.

The degree was especially designed for students seeking to become secondary school teachers, but it could also provide background for those who seek a career in government work, law or business.

The Social Studies program is part of the Social Sciences Department, which also includes the Disciplines of EconomicsPolitical Science, History, and Urban & Regional Studies.

For more information about the Social Studies program, contact:

Lara Rusch, Ph.D., Faculty Advisor
Department of Social Sciences – 2154 SSB
The University of Michigan-Dearborn
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128-2406

Degree Requirements

The Major

This page provides a general description of the Social Studies major. The Social Studies major exposes students to a range of social science disciplines. Specifically, it requires 33 credit hours of coursework in Economics, Geography, History, and Political Science. For more detailed listings of course requirements please go to the CASL Undergraduate Catalog.

For Secondary Education students:

Please note that the College of Education, Health, and Human Services’ Social Studies Teaching Major requires the following specific courses (as of Fall Semester 2011):

HIST 101, HIST 103, HIST 111, HIST 112, HIST 3601, HIST 300-level elective
POL 101, POL 371
GEOG 206
ECON 201, ECON 202

Social Studies Learning Goals

  1. Explain, analyze, and interpret the major political, economic, social and cultural movements in United States and World history.  Assess the impact of the past on the present.
  2. Analyze and evaluate historical periods and contemporary societies from multiple perspectives, inclusive of race, ethnicity, religion, social class, and gender.
  3. Analyze spatial patterns on earth to understand processes that shape human environments and contribute to societal decision-making.
  4. Explain how people make choices considering scarce resources and how markets coordinate the choices of many decision makers; and analyze how these factors affect national and global changes in production, consumption, employment, and economic prosperity.
  5. Analyze and explain the conceptual foundations of civic and political life across various political systems.
  6. Explain the functioning of key government institutions and political organizations as they operate in the United States and other countries. Describe examples of conflict and cooperation between national governments.
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