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2023 Social Sciences Degree Guide

Do you want to better understand human problems and the world that we live in? The field of Social Sciences incorporates classes from a variety of disciplines in the liberal arts field allowing you to study the world from a variety of cultural, intellectual, and social perspectives.

One popular major in this field is Economics which involves the study of the distribution of goods and services. If you are more interested in criminal behavior, Criminology allows you to learn about the causes of crime, behavior of criminals, and the social justice system that we have in place today. More science and math minded students might prefer to study Geography and Cartography to learn about Earth's physical structures as well as the science of map-making. Major in Archeology in order to discover ancient civilizations of the past, while a major in International Relations and National Security focuses more on current affairs and national security issues .

Social Sciences Degrees Remain Stable

#5 Most Popular Major
206k Degrees Awarded
0.1% Increase in Graduates

Social Sciences was the 5th most popular major in the 2020-2021 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 205,984 degrees in this year alone. This is approximately the same as the 205,726 graduates the prior year.

Our 2023 Best Social Sciences Schools ranking analyzes 660 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for social sciences students. Explore this or one of our many other custom social sciences rankings further below.

2023 Best Colleges for Social Sciences
2023 Overall Best Social Sciences Colleges >

Best Social Sciences Schools by Degree

Associate Degrees in Social Sciences
Bachelor's Degrees in Social Sciences
Master's Degrees in Social Sciences
Doctorate Degrees in Social Sciences

Requirements for Getting a Degree in Social Sciences

This field of study requires a student who comfortable with abstract thought and theory and interested in applying learned methods to real-life situations. They will need to make connections between various subjects and will spend a lot of time researching papers and analyzing data. Creativity and problem solving skills will lead to success.

Communication skills are important in this field, as it will involve a lot of written reports and well as person-to-person interaction. Classes will include discussion and debate on controversial subjects. Students should be confident in their abilities to defend their opinions, while at the same time keep an open mind.

Social Sciences Degree Program Entry Requirements

social sciences degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. In addition to these basic social sciences program qualifications, to serve in some social sciences careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.

Social Sciences Degree Types

Social Sciences degree levels vary. You can spend many years getting as high as a in social sciences to something that takes less time like a . Depending on the social sciences degree you choose, obtaining your diploma can take anwhere from 1 to 4+ years.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to social sciences, with approximately 31.0% of workers getting one. Find out other typical degree levels for social sciences workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Doctoral Degree 33.7%
Bachelor’s Degree 27.4%
Master’s Degree 27.0%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 1.9%
Post-Master’s Certificate 1.8%

61.7% of social sciences workers have at least a master's. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in social sciences have received.


The education level required is different depending on the social sciences career you are seeking.

Career Opportunities for Social Sciences Majors

Above Average Number of Jobs
$36.3k Average Starting Salary
11% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Majoring in the field of Social Sciences will prepare you to work in many different occupations. Skills learned from your undergraduate degree can be applied to many different jobs and are also a good basis for furthering your education with an advanced degree in the social sciences, business or law.

Many graduates find work in law enforcement, homeland security, investigation, archeological consulting firms, community service and health services. Grads can also work in business administration, or work for the government as an economist, geographer or cartographer. Explore your options and choose a field that appeals the most to you. Previous work experience or an advanced degree will help you gain the position you desire.

Solid Growth Projected for Social Sciences Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your social sciences degree? Social Sciences careers are expected to grow 11.3% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to social sciences.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
High School Teachers 1,095,500 7.5%
Managers 1,071,700 8.0%
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists 733,700 23.2%
Statisticians 49,800 33.9%
Social Scientists 44,900 6.7%

How Much Money Do People With a Social Sciences Degree Make?

Social Sciences graduates between 2017-2019 reported earning an average of $36,335 in the 2019-2020 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $14,409 to as high as $99,068. As you might expect, salaries for social sciences graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for Social Sciences Majors

Salaries for social sciences graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers social sciences grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Economics Professors $117,180
Economists $116,020
Managers $115,590
Political Scientists $115,300
Political Science Professors $99,480

Getting Your Social Sciences Degree

With over 11,902 different social sciences degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased social sciences school rankings to help you with this.

Social Sciences Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Political Science & Government 49,282
Economics 49,055
Sociology 38,475
General Social Sciences 18,997
International Relations & National Security 14,306

View All Social Sciences Related Majors >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Education 327,871
Psychology 195,678
Communication & Journalism 120,571
Family, Consumer & Human Sciences 55,820
History 32,731

View All Social Sciences Related Majors >


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