Divisions & Units - Social Sciences

Student mom Natalie Ruiz achieves her Berkeley dream, and shines

May 11, 2017
Majoring in sociology, studying abroad, joining student clubs, even learning to salsa dance. Natalie Ruiz was eager to see how much she could pack into two years at UC Berkeley when she arrived as a transfer student in fall 2013. Then, three weeks into first semester, 21-year-old Ruiz discovered she was pregnant. “My first thought was, ‘I’m going to drop out; there’s no way I can do school pregnant and with a child,’ ” she says. “I couldn’t envision my graduation from Berkeley anymore.” But this Sunday, May 14, Ruiz, now 25, will receive her diploma from the Department of Sociology, her 3-year-old daughter, Clara, beside her. Not only will she graduate with high honors and a 3.97 GPA, but she’ll give her department’s undergraduate commencement speech.

UC Berkeley to open first university center for Silk Road study in North America

May 3, 2017
UC Berkeley is opening the P.Y. and Kinmay W. Tang Center for Silk Road Studies, the first institutionalized center in the U.S. dedicated to the study of the historical trading networks serially known as the Silk Road, thanks to a $5 million gift by two branches of the Tang family.

Dothraki developer, invented-language leader to teach summer class

April 21, 2017

Back in 2001, Andrew Garrett, now UC Berkeley’s linguistics department chair, had a promising student by the name of David J. Peterson in his undergraduate historical linguistics class. While Garrett was impressed and intrigued by Peterson’s penchant for inventing new languages, he lamented to himself that such interest was likely to remain a hobby rather than a career path.

Celebrating 'barefoot anthopology' -- a Q&A with Nancy Scheper-Hughes

April 28, 2017
For more than five decades, UC Berkeley anthropologist Nancy Scheper-Hughes has worked tirelessly to expose “uncomfortable truths” across the world. To honor her work, Berkeley’s Department of Anthropology is holding a two-day conference on May 1 and 2 called “Anthropology on the Front Lines.” Berkeley News spoke with Scheper-Hughes about the philosophy she lives and works by and the role she thinks anthropologists should play in society.

SBES Alliance Schools

Below, find the schools currently participating in the National Science Foundation's Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Alliance, along with useful information for prospective students.

University of California, Berkeley
Program Coordinator: Ira Young
iyoung@berkeley.edu

Social Sciences Graduate Diversity Office

Welcome to the Social Sciences Graduate Diversity web page. 

I am the graduate diversity director for the Division of Social Sciences in the College of Letters & Science at the University of California, Berkeley. In line with Berkeley's institutional commitment to academic excellence through diversity, I am here to work with both prospective and continuing graduate students to ensure a most enriching graduate career.

With Google's help, psychologist tackles 'black troublemaker' school stereotype

April 26, 2017
This fall, with backing from tech titan Google, Jason Okonofua, a junior psychology professor at UC Berkeley, will launch an online intervention for more than 100 U.S. school teachers to motivate them to check their biases against African American students before meting out punishment. His approach is the first of its kind.

A day in the life of an academic mom

April 4, 2017

7:00 a.m. The little one wants oatmeal. The big one wants cereal. I just want coffee. I feed the kids, unload the dishwasher, assemble lunches and backpacks and sweaters and water bottles, brush teeth and hair. I am an octopus, all limbs in motion. Is that letter of reference due today?

Social Sciences: Distinguished Teaching and Service Awards

2015 – 2016

Distinguished Teaching Awards

Professor Martha Olney – Economics
Professor Ann Swidler – Sociology

Distinguished Service Awards

Professor Sharon Inkelas – Linguistics
Professor Alan Karras – Interdisciplinary Social Sciences

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2014  2015

Distinguished Teaching Awards

Professor Gillian Hart – Geography
Professor Laurie Wilkie – Anthropology

Distinguished Service Awards

New Tech Revives Sounds from Past Treasures

January 3, 2017
A team of Berkeley researchers is helping digitize fragile wax recordings of California's Native American languages.