Study Humanities & Social Sciences in the United States

Everything you need to know about studying Humanities & Social Sciences in the United States

Humanities & Social Sciences

What is Humanities & Social Sciences about?

Humanities and Social Sciences is all about humans and their behaviours. Humanities are academic disciplines that study aspects of human society and culture and use methods that have significant historical element, contrary to natural sciences which use mainly empirical approaches. The subjects in humanities include philosophy, history, literature, religion, music and human condition. Whereas social science is more related to human behaviour, it is a scientific study of human society and social relationships among individuals within a society. The field of study here is criminology, gerontology, law, political science, psychology and human development.

What are the major fields in Humanities & Social Sciences?

Human and Social Sciences as a whole has many major fields, which include but are not limited to:

The word “anthropos” in Ancient Greek means “human being”. Anthropology is a science of the totality of human existence, divided into four sub-fields: archaeology, physical or biological anthropology, anthropological linguistics and cultural anthropology. The goal of anthropology is to provide a holistic account of humans and human nature and Anthropology courses are offered at most undergraduate institutions in the United States. 

Political Science
Political science is an academic and research discipline that deals with the theory and practice of politics and the description and analysis of political systems and political behaviours. There are many subfields in Political Science, including political economy, international law, international relations, public administration, public law, political theory and philosophy and many more. Political Science is methodologically diverse and appropriates many method originating in social research. 

Psychology is an academic and applied field involving the study of behaviour and mental processes, which comes from the Ancient Greek “psyche” (soul) and “logy” (study). It also refers to the application of such knowledge to various spheres of human activity, including problems of individual’s daily lives and the treatment of mental illness. 

History is the story of humankind and how the the past has influenced the present. It involves more than facts, dates and events and explores the different ways in which societies, cultures and nations have evolved from the days of ancient civilization to the present. As a historical studies student, you will learn about historical developments, events, social and cultural conditions, major turning points and the lives of people who shaped them.

Sociology is the systematic study of society, pattern of social relationships, social interaction and culture of everyday life. The goal of sociology is to develop a body of knowledge about social order, acceptance and change or social revolution on subjects ranging from microsociology level of individual agency and interaction to the macro level of systems and the social structure. The focuses of sociology include social stratification, social class, religion, social mobility, gender, etc. 

What are the important skills I need in this field?

The study of Humanities and Social Sciences will require you to develop a wide range of skills that will be useful to you when you work in this field. Some useful skills:

Communication Skills
Communication skills are important to a Humanities and Social Sciences student as a student will have to be able to present findings in appropriate forms for different audiences and purposes using subject-specific terminology. Good communication skills are also important in this field as the interaction of humans in daily lives are based on interpersonal communication. 

Questioning skills are important in this field especially to a criminal investigator or a psychologist. The skill is crucial as important questions about events, developments, issues and phenomena related to Humanities and Social Sciences needs be developed in order to discover new findings in this field to benefit the whole society and humankind. 

Creative Thinking
Creative thinking is one of the fundamental skills that allow us to perform well in all fields, including Humanities and Social Sciences. Creative thinking skills are not only important  in this field, it is also important when it comes to personal development, and form a basis for understanding the human experience. Thinking creatively will enable you to come up with many solutions to problems related to Humanities and Social Sciences. 

Analysing, Researching and Evaluating Skills
As a Humanities and Social Sciences student or graduate, you will have to collect information, evidence or data and analyse them. The accuracy and reliability of these pieces of information will need to be identified and determined before carrying out an evaluation on these pieces of information and making a conclusion. The conclusions made need to be evidence-based, with explanations for events, developments, issues and phenomena. 

Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is important in all fields of study, including Humanities and Social Sciences. No matter which field you are in, critical thinking skills are important to help you analyze situations and make informed decisions. In the field of Humanities and Social Sciences, you will need to be able to understand problems, think critically and devise solutions to problems related to humans and society. 

What are the entry requirements and qualifications?

There are many institutions in the United States offering different programmes for Humanities and Social Sciences. These are the requirements needed to study a Humanity and Social Science programme in United States: 

Qualifications Requirement
Foundation, Diploma TOEFL (PBT): minimum score of 500
TOEFL (CBT): minimum score of 173
TOEFL (IBT): minimum score of 61
IELTS: minimum score of 6.0
PTE Academic: 53
SAT EWR 440 or higher
Bachelor's Degree TOEFL (PBT): minimum score of 500
TOEFL (CBT): minimum score of 173
TOEFL (IBT): minimum score of 61
IELTS: minimum score of 6.0
PTE Academic: 53
SAT EWR 440 or higher
Master’s Degree, PhD TOEFL (PBT): minimum score of 500
TOEFL (CBT): minimum score of 173
TOEFL (IBT): minimum score of 80
IELTS: minimum score of 6.5
PTE Academic: 53
SAT EWR 440 or higher
CGPA: 3.20 or higher

How long will I be studying this programme?

A Humanities and Social Sciences programme is available for different level of studies including Foundation, Diploma, Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree and PhD and the duration of study for these levels are different. The duration of study for a programme of the same level offered by different institutions could be different too. 

Study Levels Duration
Foundation 1 - 2 years
Diploma 1 - 2 years
Bachelor's Degree 3 - 4 years
Master's Degree, PhD 1 - 2 years

What are the job opportunities?

Humanities and Social Sciences is a very wide field and many Humanities and Social Sciences careers are financially fulfilling as well as personally fulfilling. There are many jobs that you can get with a Humanities and Social Sciences degree, including:

  • Lawyer
  • Litigation Paralegal
  • Criminal Investigator
  • Psychologist
  • Legal Administrative Assistant
  • Journalist
  • Lecturer
  • Social Worker
  • Travel Guides
  • Diplomates
  • Counsellors
  • Field Archaeologist
  • Policy Advisors
  • Political Advisors
  • Political Scientist
  • Public Administrator

Which recognised universities offer Humanities & Social Sciences in United States?

Humanities and Social Sciences is a popular field and many institutions in United States offer Humanities and Social Sciences programmes in different study levels. You can check out these top universities to study a Humanities and Social Sciences programme in United States:

  • Stanford University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Harvard University
  • Princeton University
  • Yale University

Stanford University

Stanford University

Stanford University is an international institution, enrolling students from all 50 US states and more than 90 other countries. The School of Humanities and Sciences is the largest schools of Stanford University and is comprised of academic departments, which are organized into three clusters: Humanities and Arts, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences. The courses in Humanities and Social Sciences include English, History, Philosophy, Economics, etc. 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MIT is ranked 2nd in US University Rankings 2019 and 4th in World University Rankings 2019 and is currently organised into five different schools. It is home to around 1000 faculty members and over 11000 undergraduate and graduate students. MIT’s Humanities and Social Sciences fields of study include Anthropology, Comparative Media Studies/Writing, Economics, Global Studies and Languages, History, Linguistics, Women’s and Gender Studies, etc. 

Harvard University

Harvard University
Harvard University is the oldest university in the United States and is regarded as one of the most prestigious in the world with a ranking of 6th globally and 1st in the US. The Division of Social Science consists of ten departments and degree program and aims to enhance the intellectual resources and maximize positive social impact in an increasing interdependent and diverse world. 

Princeton University

Princeton University
Princeton University is one of the oldest universities in the US and is regarded as one of the world’s most illustrious higher education institutions. It is acclaimed for its commitment to teaching and it also offers accommodation to all its undergraduate across all four years of study, with 98 percent of them living on campus. Princeton is also consistently ranked among the world’s top 10 universities and is renowned for its beautiful campus.  

Yale University

Yale University
Yale University is the third-oldest higher education institution in the US and is a private Ivy League research university. The university is made up of 14 schools and students follow a liberal arts curriculum before choosing a departmental major. It is renowned for their scholars and practitioners who critically examine human society and its interactions to address the challenges we face today.


Universities in United States with courses in Humanities & Social Sciences

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