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Social Sciences

  • Available as major (B.A. degree)
    “A Christian looks at the world in a fundamentally different way. Our job is to engage our students in a larger understanding of God’s purposes in the world.” Dr. Bill Dean, professor and chair

  • Study moral issues in history and human behavior. Consider human rights and cultural issues. Examine power, change and decision-making within a culture. Look at connections between humans and their environment. Prepare for a career in social science.

    At Olivet, you can:

    • Complete your history major as part of this degree program.
    • Study economics, sociology, world regional geography, historiography, psychology.
    • Learn to use customized computer software for conducting research.
    • Design and conduct your own research projects with help from faculty members.
    • And so much more!

    In difficult economic times, the social sciences are often more relevant and useful by providing tools and insights for a greater understanding of society’s major problems. From a Christian viewpoint, consider such social issues as the stigma of living with HIV, political institutions, effects of social networking, or the ethical issues of abortion.

    Be challenged to research, rethink and understand the effects of life’s circumstances and issues on individuals, families and societies. As part of your research projects, get practical experience in data collection and sampling, statistical analysis and methods, direct observation and archival research.

    Putting knowledge to work

    Join Capitol Hill Gang, the political science club open to all students. Dedicated to increasing political awareness and fellowship among students, this group educates students about what’s happening politically, both nationally and internationally. Students vs. faculty debates and service projects provide additional learning opportunities.

    Two educational trips to Washington, D.C., are offered each year:

    Federal Seminar program (study trip): For nearly 50 years, our students have spent a week in our nation’s capital each January. This trip is sponsored by the National Association of Evangelicals. Attend seminars by congressmen, senators, Supreme Court justices, ambassadors and the public liaison from the President’s office. Listen, learn, ask questions and hear the experts’ answers.

    Capitol Hill Gang trip (working trip): Get engaged in the activities of government. Interview congressmen and senators. Spend an afternoon as an intern in the office of a nonprofit or policy-making organization. Work for an evening in a community development program for a low-income neighborhood.

    Additional Opportunities

    American Studies Program (ASP) semester in Washington, D.C., helps you connect biblical faith with public life and vocation. Many internship opportunities are available with government departments and leaders, nonprofit organizations. Focus on domestic or foreign policy.

    Study abroad. Gain that understanding that only comes when you plant your feet in someone else’s backyard. Find a different perspective. See the world through someone else’s eyes. Gain a new understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of Western civilizations. Immerse yourself in life at a different level of economic activity. Become a different kind of Christian leader because of your experiences.


    Tailor your course of study to address your particular career goals. We help you prepare to pursue a career in the humanities, social sciences, law, politics, business, Christian ministry, education or other fields.

    If you are a person who:

    • Likes to analyze and organize facts
    • Has strong skills in reading and writing
    • Excels at critical thinking
    • Is sensitive to human and world problems

    then a social science career may be a good fit for you.

    Possible careers include: anthropologist, archeologist, professor, researcher, consultant, criminologist, national security, economist, transportation planner, policy analyst, gerontologist, lobbyist, urban and regional planner

    Social Science is part of the Department of History and Political Science within the College of Arts and Sciences. 

  • Social Sciences
  • Gain the skills and the knowledge you will need to become an agent for change in today's global economy.