Interdisciplinary Studies (Social Science Concentration)

The social sciences concentration within the Interdisciplinary Studies major covers a variety of fundamental concepts, from analysis of arguments to the examination of the inner workings of the mind.  

The concentration is tailored to the student’s specific interests, using six major courses in sociology/criminal justice, economics, history, political science and psychology. This program at Saint Joseph’s University is best suited for those who seek to gain a broader knowledge of all aspects of society including human behavior, relationships among different groups of people and past events and achievements. 

Goal 1: Students will develop content knowledge of the social sciences.

Outcome 1.1: Students will demonstrate knowledge of the key theories, concepts, and issues within the social sciences.

Goal 2: Students will develop effective written, oral, and technological communication skills.

Outcome 2.1: Students will demonstrate effective written communication that is consistent with the format and standards of social science disciplines. 

Outcome 2.2: Students will demonstrate effective and professional oral communication skills.

Outcome 2.3: Students will demonstrate effective communication using appropriate technology.

Goal 3: Students will develop an understanding of the methods of inquiry and critical thinking that typify the social sciences.

Outcome 3.1: Students will demonstrate the ability to locate appropriate sources by searching electronic and print databases.

Outcome 3.2: Students will demonstrate the ability to analyze empirical data and draw reasonable conclusions from them.

Goal 4: Students will develop an understanding of how social science disciplines apply the Ignatian principles of social justice, ethics, and service to others within our diverse society.

Outcome 4.1: Students will demonstrate an understanding of ethical and socially responsible behaviors as they relate to social science disciplines.

Outcome 4.2: Students will demonstrate an understanding of diverse human beliefs, abilities, experiences, identities, or cultures.

The General Education Program (GEP) at Saint Joseph’s University involves a distinctive liberal arts education in the Jesuit, Catholic tradition.  General education is essential to the University’s mission, providing all students with the broad knowledge, essential skills, appreciation of diversity, and ethically informed perspective needed by those who would aspire to be “men and women for others.” The GEP ensures mastery of skills required for further study, exposes students to the principal achievements and problems of the major fields of human learning, and introduces them to new disciplines that they may or may not wish to pursue. The Major component gives depth in a particular field and is thus a preparation for an effective career or for graduate study in that field. Free or general electives allow students to pursue interests, explore new fields, or to continue concentration in their major. 

The Degree Completion Education Program (GEP) applies to students who are completing a Bachelor of Liberal Studies (BLS) or Bachelor of Business Administration degrees (BBA). 

The Degree Completion GEP is comprised of Signature Core, Variable Core,  Integrative Learning courses and a Diversity Overlay.

Signature Core

PHL 154Moral Foundations3
THE 154Catholic Theological Tradition (or THE 153 Encountering the New Testament, or THE 155 Catholic Social Tradition)3
ENG 102Texts & Contexts3
HIS 154Forging the Modern World3
Any course certified as Faith & Reason3
Any course in written and oral communication

Variable Core

  • One approved course in Art, Literature, or Music, Theater, Film.

  • One course in the Natural Sciences (lab-based or lecture based) in biology, chemistry, environmental science, or physics.

  • Two courses in Mathematics.  BLS degree majors require MAT 101 or higher; BBA degree majors require MAT 103 (or MAT 120 precalculus) and MAT 123 (or an alternate calculus course).

  • One course in a Non-Native Language (e.g., SPA 111-SPA 112) or one approved alternative course in Literature in Translation or Classics. Students who are bilingual may request an exemption for the language requirement from the Department of Linguistics and Languages.

  • One course in the Social-Behavioral Sciences including Political Science, Economics, Sociology, and Psychology.  Please note that some majors require a specific course.

  • One course that is certified as a Philosophical Anthropology course.

  • One course from Religious Studies or Theology that is certified as a Religious Difference course.

  • ENG 101 Craft of Language.

Integrative Learning Courses

(2 courses required)

  • Courses approved for ILC requirements will vary by major. Some majors have specific courses that must be taken.


  • Adult Learner Program students are required to complete one couse that is certified as a diversity overlay.

Free Electives

Except for Early Childhood/Elementary Pre K-4 Education majors, all students must complete a minimum of 18 free elective credits.  Elective credits may be used to pursue a minor or secondary major.

GEP Integrative Learning Component

Any two courses in education, humanities, math, or natural science.

Social Science Courses

Select two introductory level Social Science courses6
Complete the following:
Intro Research Method Soc Sci
Select five upper division selections in the social sciences from three disciplines including:
Political Science
Sociology/Criminal Justice