Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

Why enroll in the Liberal Arts Social Sciences Option?

The Liberal Arts/Social Sciences Option (LSS) offers an opportunity to explore of a variety of academic disciplines, including anthropology, economics, environmental studies, political science, peace and social justice, psychology, and sociology. Students may concentrate on one subject, such as anthropology, sociology, or psychology, or they may take courses across the social science disciplines. A foundation in social sciences will help students develop critical thinking skills, and to develop a critical perspective on individuals and our social world.

Completing a degree in Liberal Arts/Social Sciences provides a strong foundation for students planning to transfer to a baccalaureate degree granting institution to major in psychology, education, environmental studies, sociology, anthropology, peace and social justice, women’s studies, political science or legal studies. Future careers may include those in public health, education, health and human services, government, business, environmental advocacy, or a variety of other careers.

What can I do with my degree?

The Liberal Arts/Social Sciences Option assists students to complete a degree for students intending to transfer in the social sciences.  Most students will transfer in these areas:  psychology, education, environmental studies, sociology, anthropology, peace and social justice, gender and women’s studies, political science, social and political thought and/or legal studies.

Where can I find social science course descriptions?

You can search our academic catalog for course descriptions. Courses in our department will have the following course codes:

  • ANT – Anthropology
  • EDU – Education
  • EVS – Environmental Studies
  • GWS – Gender and Women’s Studies
  • POL – Political Science
  • PSJ – Peace and Social Justice Studies
  • PSY – Psychology
  • SOC – Sociology

When are courses offered?

Check our online course schedule to see what’s available for the current or upcoming semester. Our course catalog and course descriptions also list periodicity for individual classes.

What classes do I need to graduate?

You should consult a degree completion checklist for your major to see graduation requirements. Degree checklists are available from the Registrar’s Office and at the website for your academic program.

What do I need to know about transfer?

  1. Contact a social sciences adviser in your first semester at GCC if you are interested in transfer in any of our disciplines to a major in psychology, education, environmental studies, sociology, anthropology, peace and social justice, gender and women’s studies, political science, social and political thought and/or legal studies.
  2. Make an appointment to see Kathy Maisto, Transfer Coordinator, by your second semester at GCC.
  3. Check for updates and resources on the GCC transfer site.
  4. Attend the GCC Transfer Fair that is generally held in early October of each year.

What do I need to know about transfer to UMass Amherst in psychology?

Students must complete PSY 210 Statistics for Psychology and Social Sciences (generally a fall offering) and PSY 212 Research Methods in Psychology (generally a spring offering) at GCC prior to transfer into the Psychology major in the UMass Amherst Psychology Department. See the UMASS Psychology Major Checklist for more information. Nearby colleges have similar lists; make an appointment early on with GCC’s Transfer Office for comprehensive transfer counseling.

When and why would I need to take PSY 210 Statistics for Psychology and Social Sciences and PSY 212 Research Methods in Psychology?

Students who wish to transfer to UMass Amherst in psychology need to complete both courses prior to enrollment as a junior majoring in psychology. Other nearby colleges also highly recommend that both these courses be completed at the community college.

Is it possible to do an internship in social sciences and get credit for it?

Yes. Visit our Internship site to see available opportunities and learn about the internship process. Periodically we offer POL 216 Civic Literacy, a service learning/field experience course. Contact your advisor or the Social Sciences Department for more information and availability.

POL 216 Civic Literacy
The course explores citizen’s rights and responsibilities in a democratic republic. Students spend one hour per week in the classroom focusing on academic inquiry and the acquisition of knowledge. Academic study compliments a minimum of 70 hours of practical work experience over the course of the semester, through field experience and/or service learning. Students engage in volunteer or paid placement in an agency or department of government, in a not-for-profit organization, or with a business that promotes the general welfare. Special Requirement: Class meets one hour per week, and over the course of the semester an additional 70 hours is required to be spent working in an appropriate service learning or field placement. Students may be required to have a CORI (Criminal Offenders Record Information) check.