Social Science

Social scientists study human interactions among individuals, families, communities, and nations. Using a range of analytical, interpretive, and experimental tools from anthropology, economics, sociology, political science, and psychology, social scientists seek to understand conflict and cooperation, epidemics of disease and poverty, social organization and social change, kinship and belonging, human development, systems of exchange, and other enduring questions at the center of our shared humanity.

Requirements for the Major

Students can choose to follow the academic bulletin from the year that they were admitted or a more recent academic bulletin. For example, if you were admitted to NYU Shanghai in Fall 2019, you can choose to follow the academic bulletin 2019-2020, 2020-2021, and 2021-2022.

Planning the Major

To declare the Social Science major, students who choose to follow the 2020-2021 academic bulletin or previous ones should currently be enrolled in or have a final grade of C or better in Global Perspectives on Society (GPS). For students choose the 2021-2022 academic bulletin and after, you should currently be enrolled in or have a final grade of C or better in a Social Science foundational course.

Faculty Mentors

Faculty mentors are the leading faculty and experts in the major disciplines. Students can reach out to faculty mentors for specific questions about the major, and references for connecting with relevant discipline resources. If you have specific questions about specific fields of study within the major, you can search for faculty through the faculty directory.

 Katie Aafjes-van Doorn

Social Science Area Head, Visiting Associate Professor of Psychology

Ivan Willis Rasmussen

Social Science Undergraduate Coordinator, Associate Professor of Practice in Political Science

Social Science FAQs
Why should I major in Social Science?

Students who complete the Social Science major at NYU Shanghai will be prepared to pursue careers and advanced study in fields as diverse as anthropology, business, development, economics, education, environmental studies, law, psychology, political science, public health, public service, sociology, and social policy. The major offers students a unique opportunity to explore broad areas of social science research and thought, while also allowing a concentration in one disciplinary area or a synthetic combination of fields within the major. The Social Science major encourages interdisciplinary inquiry into the complex problems of our contemporary world and the cross-disciplinary exchange that is at the heart of many of the most interesting advances in social science research today.

Social Science majors at NYU Shanghai develop competence in a variety of research tools in two methods courses and complete two interdisciplinary core courses on classic forms of social science analysis and new frontiers in social science research. Social Science majors select two foundational courses in the social science disciplines, and three focus courses chosen in consultation with their faculty mentor to deepen their engagement with a social science discipline (for example, anthropology, psychology, sociology or political science)* or an interdisciplinary topic of interest (for example, environmental studies, political economy, or global health). China––its peoples and politics––is an important focus for teaching and learning in the major, but the major is purposefully heterogeneous in the geographical, methodological, and analytical scope of its course offerings. Social Science majors complete an independent research project as part of a one-semester senior year capstone project.

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