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About Social Sciences at IIT

There is an important connection between the words social and science. Science is defined by its commitment to systematic observation and the systematic knowledge gained from that observation. In the Lewis College of Human Sciences at IIT, those of us in the Department of Social Sciences take the principles, methods, and goals of scientific inquiry and apply them to group-level, human endeavor. Social scientists conduct basic research into fundamental processes, concepts, and interactions. We also conduct applied research where we use theories, methods and findings to consciously inform and evaluate group-level decisions and practices.

Our Faculty

IIT's Social Sciences faculty draw from diverse backgrounds of study and life experience to inform both our basic and our applied work. We enjoy finding ways to incorporate talented and motivated undergraduates into our research and to engage undergraduates in lively and compelling classroom interactions. Our work complements much of the other research and interests found here at IIT and results in frequent collaborations with colleagues in other departments. Social Sciences faculty members have also been teaching in the new IIT Summer in Paris program and regularly offer courses and give talks at universities and other institutions across the U.S. and abroad.

Our Programs

IIT's Department of Social Sciences offers four undergraduate degrees: 1) a Bachelor of Science in Applied Economics, 2) a Bachelor of Science in Political Science, 3) a Bachelor of Science in Social and Economic Development Policy, and 4) a Bachelor of Science in Sociology. The department offers minors in political science and sociology, and participates with other IIT departments in offering interdisciplinary minors in the philosophy and sociology of science; law and society; technology and human affairs; and urban affairs.

Our department also offers a pair of accelerated degree programs: a B.S./J.D. program with IIT's Chicago-Kent College of Law that can be completed in six years and a B.S./M.P.A. program with IIT Stuart School of Business that can be completed in five years.

Research

Our faculty are engaged in an exciting range of research on science, technology, and the environment; designed objects and the built environment; urban affairs; international migration; American and comparative politics; and policy analysis. In addition, they have obtained a number of grants and fellowships, including awards from the American Political Science Association, the East Asia Institute, the European Union, the Fulbright Scholar Program, the German Marshall Fund, the Guggenheim Foundation, the International Studies Association, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Social Science Research Council and various government agencies.

Our Students

Our majors get special treatment and develop close relationships with their major advisor, instructors, and career counselor. We encourage our students to find the questions and modes of inquiry that fascinate them. We can even customize programs of study to suit an individual's interests. We work hand-in-hand to help students find the internships, externships, and jobs that will provide them with a real advantage in the post-graduate marketplace.

Careers and Outcomes

Our students receive the rigorous, multidisciplinary training that they need to embark on successful careers in the private, nonprofit, and public sectors. Our majors also are ideal preparation for law school and advanced degree programs in any of the social and applied sciences. These degrees are well suited for those seeking careers in management consulting, marketing, survey and design research, higher education, sustainability, urban planning, social work, and local, state, and federal government positions including the diplomatic corps. They are an excellent complement to more technical courses of study here at IIT, too, and are a good choice for students who pursue a dual degree.