Social Science

A professor stands in front of the classroom as she addresses her students.


The Bachelor of Arts in Social Science is designed for students who have a broad interest in the behavioral and social sciences. It is an interdisciplinary program with a curriculum from the disciplines and programs of the College of the Behavioral and Social Sciences and the Department of History.

The program has two options to best meet the needs of our students: multidisciplinary studies and specialization studies. Both options are available to distance education students who do not reside in Chico.


The Bachelor of Arts in Social Science, Option in Multidisciplinary Studies is a 43-unit major with representative courses from the disciplines within the social sciences and history. Its primary intent is to give students a solid liberal arts grounding in the social sciences. This option also provides a waiver for the single subject matter competency requirement and CSET exam in social science for those pursuing secondary teacher preparation programs.

The Bachelor of Arts in Social Science, Option in Specialization Studies builds on social science core requirements and allows students to focus on an area of concentration. Many of our students plan to apply these concentrations in specialized fields such as environmental planning, gerontology, or vocational services. There are 20 areas of concentration from which to choose: alternative dispute resolution, anthropology, Asia, California studies, career and life planning, child development, community organizing for social change, economics, environmental planning, environmental studies, family relations, geography, gerontology, health science, history, international relations, multicultural and gender studies, political science, psychology, and public administration. 

The Career and Life Planning Certificate Program offers a training developed by the National Career Development Association (NCDA). To earn the Career and Life Planning Certificate, the three required courses may be taken either online or on campus. Professionals who earn the NCDA's Career Development Facilitator certificate work in a variety of career development settings. They may serve as career group facilitators, job search trainers, career resource center coordinators, career coaches, career development case managers, intake interviewers, occupational and labor market information resource persons, human resource career development coordinators, employment/placement specialists, workforce development staff persons, or school career center technicians. This unique program may be of interest to students who major in social science, sociology, psychology, social welfare, education, and human resources.

The Certificate in Gerontology consists of a multidisciplinary selection of courses which enables students to effectively work with older adults and their families in a variety of settings. This area of study can augment majors such as social work, recreation, nursing, psychology, sociology, nutrition, and other helping professions to work with older adults and their families. Sparked by the burgeoning older adult population, the demand for healthcare and social services will create excellent job prospects for professionals with this background.


Social science graduates are in demand for a variety of professions. Graduates are employed in public education, career centers, human resource organizations, local government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and the public sector.