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.

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 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.

*NYU Shanghai students interested in a disciplinary focus in Economics are advised to pursue the Economics major instead of the Social Science major.


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