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2021 General Social Sciences Degree Guide

General Social Sciences is multidisciplinary, liberal arts major that provides a broad understanding of the world we live in. Classes involve the exploration of the intellectual, social, and cultural world.

Areas of study will include psychology, sociology, gerontology, anthropology behavioral science, history, statistics, and economics. You will also learn about how to design research, measure variables, analyze formulas, and formulate models. Students may have the opportunity to choose a concentration in Research Methodology and Quantitative Methods.

General Social Sciences Degrees On The Rise

#51 Most Popular Major
19.7k Degrees Awarded
2.9% Increase in Graduates

General Social Sciences was the 51st most popular major in the 2018-2019 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 19,694 degrees in this year alone. This is a difference of 571 over the prior year, a growth of 2.9%.

Approximately 352 colleges in the U.S. offer a general social sciences degree of some kind. This year's Best Colleges for General Social Sciences ranking compares 54 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Explore this or one of our many other custom social sciences rankings further below.

What Are The Requirements For a Degree in General Social Sciences

Because the classes in this major pull from many different subjects, students should be flexible and have the ability to make connections across subjects. Time management and organization will help you complete assignments and projects by their deadlines. Communication skills are essential in this major. You will spend a lot of time writing papers, giving presentations and participating in class discussions.

Creativity and the ability to think up new answers to old problems is important. Be ready to take non-traditional paths to find an answer. Critical judgment and analytical skills will be important as you work in labs and research. You need to be able to use and understand the data you find and make conclusions about it.

Prior Education for a Social Sciences Program

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most social sciences degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. In addition to these basic general social sciences program qualifications, to serve in some social sciences careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.

General Social Sciences Degree Types

There are many different social sciences degree levels. You can spend many years getting as high as a research / scholarship based doctorate's in general social sciences to something that takes less time like a associate's. Depending on the general 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 50.7% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to social sciences tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 51.6%
Master’s Degree 29.6%
Doctoral Degree 7.7%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 3.3%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 2.7%

93.9% of social sciences workers have at least a bachelor's. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in general 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
$31.7k Average Starting Salary
8% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

A degree in Social Sciences will lead you to many different career paths. The skills, interests, and values you gain while in college will prepare you to work in careers where social sciences issues are important. You will be prepared to work in government, health services, law enforcement, business administration, elder care, community service, and human resources. You will also be able to easily transfer your skills to graduate studies in the social sciences, or even programs in law, business, or counseling.

Solid Growth Projected for Social Sciences Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your social sciences degree? General Social Sciences careers are expected to grow 8.1% between 2016 and 2026.

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

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
High School Teachers 1,095,500 7.5%
Managers 1,071,700 8.0%
Statisticians 49,800 33.9%
Social Scientists 44,900 6.7%
Social Science Research Assistants 35,500 4.4%

How Much Money Do Social Sciences Grads Make?

Recently graduated general social sciences students earned an average of $31,665 in 2017-2018. Earnings can range from as low as $19,500 to as high as $57,800. 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 general social sciences graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers social sciences grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Managers $115,590
Statisticians $92,600
Sociologists $90,290
Social Sciences Professors $87,950
Social Scientists $85,750

Getting Your General Social Sciences Degree

With over 671 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.

One of 13 majors within the Social Sciences area of study, General Social Sciences has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Economics 48,297
Political Science & Government 47,035
Sociology 37,611
International Relations & National Security 15,207
Anthropology 11,703

View All Social Sciences Related Majors >


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