Social Sciences: The Science of Human Experience

The social sciences encompass a variety of fields vital to understanding human activities. In general, social science can be recognized as a field of study relating to some aspect of human society, but is studied and verified through observed behaviors. Like natural scientists, social scientists conduct studies, isolate variables and use the scientific method to draw their conclusions.

Many social sciences are well known and taught as part of a comprehensive high school education. Some of the common branches of social science include:

  • Psychology studies the human mind and draws conclusions about the human psyche.
  • Economics is the study of trade, resource accumulation and production. Economics aims to understand how societies make their economic decisions and manage scarce resources.
  • Sociology is the study of human interaction, culture and institutions. It examines the ways that various social groups interact and the problems created and solved by this interaction.
  • Political Science studies the relationships of power and government within societies. The field is concerned with how governments function, how power changes hands and studying the behavior of citizens.

Note that these branches are rich academic fields. As such, they each have their own subdivisions depending on the university you attend. Be sure to consult our UNCF resources on each of these fields and talk to the faculty in the department.

Careers in Social Science

  • Photo of a teacher helping a student with an assignmentTeacher: Social science is an important part of education. Whether at a primary school or post-secondary institution, you can make a career out of being a teacher. While working at a university will require a higher level degree, many primary school teachers are able to get started with just a bachelor’s degree.
  • Data Analyst: Since many of the social sciences are empirical, your education will involve working with large amounts of data. This skill can be employed as a data analyst. Data analysts interpret, model, and present data for an organization.
  • Researcher: Success in the social sciences requires excellent research skills. Good researchers can collect, analyze and interpret data and draw conclusions. Researchers work in various fields including marketing. Market research is a rapidly growing field, seeing 18% growth over the next decade.

Want to learn more about this possible career path and college major? Have questions about which UNCF colleges and universities offer degrees in social science? Looking for help with financing this degree?

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How to Prepare for Success

All social scientists need to have some basic, foundational understanding of math, critical thinking, and statistics. Supplemental fields include natural science and humanities.

UNCF Schools to Consider

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Rust College

Three UNCF-member schools offer programs for students wishing to work in the general field of social science, including:


If you have a specific social science you want to study, see if your desired university offers a major in that field.

Professional Organizations

There are thousands of organizations in various fields of biology that offer more insight into working in those fields. A sample list includes:


Several scholarships are available through UNCF. The UNCF General Scholarship Awards are an excellent opportunity for any student going to a UNCF-member college, regardless of their major. The Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship Program awards a $10,000 scholarship to one exceptional HBCU senior each year who has demonstrated high academic achievement, strong leadership skills, commitment to community service and unmet financial need.

American Honda Foundation logoMany regional scholarships are available to students who live in a particular area or plan to study at a specific university. For instance, the American Honda Foundation Scholarship is available to students from the greater Los Angeles area.

Students should also check with each college or university to see if there are other scholarships available to study social science.

Reach out for guidance by submitting a major interest form if you are interested in a career in social science. Submit the form on our website to get started. And follow us on UNCF social media channels to receive notifications about our scholarships and member HBCUs. Reach out today!