Social Sciences

Dean Carla HesseThe Social Sciences study the common elements and collective dimensions of the human experience. Scholars in this division of the College of Letters and 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.


Dean and Staff


Academic Departments

African American Studies Chair Leigh Raiford
Anthropology Chair Cori Hayden
Demography Chair Joshua Goldstein 
Economics Chair Shachar Kariv
Ethnic Studies Chair Shari Huhndorf
Gender and Women's Studies Chair Charis Thompson
Geography Chair Nathan Sayre
History Chair Mark Peterson
Linguistics Chair Andrew Garrett
Charles & Louise Travers Department of Political Science Chair Eric Schickler
Psychology Chair Ann Kring
Sociology Chair Mara Loveman


In addition, the College offers interdisciplinary majors in Legal Studies (in cooperation with the School of Law) and in Social Welfare (in cooperation with the School of Social Welfare). The College also offers a wide variety of interdisciplinary major and minor programs through Undergraduate and Interdisciplinary Studies.


Related Research Units & Museums

*Reports to the Vice Chancellor for Research



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| Updated: Dec 17, 2015