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Social Sciences

Welcome to the Social Science Department at GCC

Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

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Liberal Arts Social Sciences [LSS]

Why enroll in Liberal Arts Social Sciences? 

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 are the requirements of a Liberal Arts Social Sciences major?

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

Link to Courses/Selections

General Transfer Information Steps for Successful Transfer

  1. Contact a social sciences adviser in your first semester at GCC if you are interested in transfer in any of these disciplines to 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 GCC transfer counselor, Kathy Maisto by the second semester at GCC.  
  3. Check for updates on the GCC transfer page.
  4. Attend transfer day in early October at GCC- see schedule at GCC transfer page.

What is needed for transfer to UMASS Amherst for Psychology?

The UMASS Psychology department has determined a Psychology Major Checklist IE (1) to complete the major at UMASS.  Nearby colleges have similar lists.  Make an appointment to see GCC transfer counselor, Kathy Maisto

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 in psychology at University of Massachusetts 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.

How will I know when courses are offered at GCC in social sciences? 

The Social Sciences faculty have course periodicity lists published on the social sciences website.  Not every course is offered every semester, so it is important to work with your adviser on your course selections carefully.

What do students say about Social Science Courses at GCC? 

  •  It’s important to see the world [through a sociological lens] because our country and our society isn’t the only one in this world. Seeing the world sociologically helps us understand the differences better.
  • Coming into [sociology] I would just look at something and just accept it the way it was. I never really thought about why it is the way it is. I just figured it’s always been like that. Come to find out, almost everything we do has been constructed by us. All the things we do, society has given meaning to. These are not all acts that were here since the beginning of time, but have been established within different cultures. Understanding this is essential to understanding the world we live in. …  Understanding that there’s a reason for why we do what we do inspires me to dig deeper as to why it is  I do something one way and someone else does it different.
  • I think it is really important to know about your society, or at least be aware of what’s going on in the world, because everything around us affects us. … we can make a change if we know how and people need to find out what’s happening in society.
  • It’s important to see the world sociologically because it allows us to view the world through different lenses and to better understand how certain social changes affects us.  Viewing the world sociologically also allows us to look within our own culture while understanding that we are part of it ,and we aid in the norms.
  • Since taking [sociology] I have a better understanding of subjects such as social class and deviance.
  • In taking Sociology…I’ve learned what a huge role society plays in our lives, and it affects every little thing we do, from how you wash your hands to not being able to get a good education because of your social class.
  • I learned about how girls and women often self-silence themselves and how that can psychologically be harmful. 
  • Reading about real life stories in Psychology Of Women helped me connect theories and life.  It actually makes you care more about the human condition.
  • The small class size provided an opportunity for real authentic discussions and gave me a better understanding of the conditions of girls and women’s lives, especially how to create positive change.
  • Guest speakers in the class helped me connect the real world with book learning.

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

Yes.  For Fall 2014

Civic Literacy – 24963 – POL 216 – A

A Service Learning/Field Experience course. 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.

For more information, contact Buz Eisenberg at

More coming here

updated 3/20/13; 5/7/14

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