Maureen Buckley, Interim Dean
Stevenson Hall 2078
The social sciences are united by the study of human behavior, society and social relationships. To comprehend adequately the state of the human condition, the interaction of people with their social and physical environments – past, present, and future – must be examined. Social scientists use their knowledge to contribute to the advancement of human and environmental welfare.
The School of Social Sciences at Sonoma State prepares students for living and working in an increasingly complex, globalized world. Our students (a) become familiar with the drivers and effects of globalization across time and in specific places, (b) examine cultural, economic, political, and environmental inter-relationships and behaviors, (c) learn how different cultures at different times organize themselves to deal with social groups beyond themselves, (d) develop skills in working with others, complex problem solving, critical thinking, and communication, and (e) explore the inter-relationships between individuals and their wider world, both social and environmental, and how each shapes and informs the other across lifespans and generations. Our School and its departments provide students with many opportunities to apply this knowledge in real-world settings.
Our School encompasses a particularly interesting combination of departments and programs. A student can choose from a variety of opportunities, ranging from the core of “traditional” social science fields with an emphasis on understanding human behavior and applying this knowledge (anthropology, history, political science, psychology, and sociology), to various cross-disciplinary programs (geography, environment and planning, women’s and gender studies, and human development), to programs with a professional emphasis (counseling, criminology and criminal justice studies, and public administration).
The school oversees several respected centers and institutes, including the Anthropological Studies Center, the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, the Northwest Information Center, the Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Analysis, the Institute for Community Planning Assistance, and the Center for Sustainable Communities. These centers and institutes generate a number of contracts and grants that come to the University and provide paid student internships on a large variety of applied projects.
Students in the social sciences have opportunities to work with faculty engaged in scholarship across varied domains including primatology, archaeology, human services, demography, cross-cultural and multicultural competence, globalization, development, social justice, and energy studies.
The School of Social Sciences is dedicated to achieving the University’s strategic priorities of student success, academic excellence, leadership cultivation, and transformative impact. Our programs embody the University’s core values of (a) diversity and social justice, (b) sustainability and environmental inquiry, (c) connectivity and community engagement, and (d) adaptivity and responsiveness.