Investigating the World

The social sciences not only help us understand the world around us. Political scientists, social workers, journalists, economists, anthropologists and other social scientists undertake crucial work that impacts and improves the world around us.

Social science involves the systematic and evidence-based study of the social world — encompassing all of the political, economic, legal, technological and cultural ideas, structures and processes that we create to live together as a society.

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Social Sciences News

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New Faculty Focus: Kim Joseph Ruhl

He joins the Department of Economics with a focus on how economic policy can change the world. 

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Ready to talk

They’re politically savvy and well-versed in policy. But a group of political science students wants to do something practically unheard of in today’s partisan landscape: Listen to each other. 

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New Faculty Focus: Emily Juniper Ward

As part of the Department of Psychology, she leads the Visual Cognition Lab, which investigates the nature of human visual processing.

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Interdisciplinary Centers, Institutes & Special Projects

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Top-ranked programs

The La Follette School of Public Affairs is ranked 13th among 272 graduate programs in public affairs, according to U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 rankings. It also ranked in the top 12 for four specialty areas, including second in Social Policy.

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Five Things You Need to Know about the Social Sciences

#1

Social science is the study of life — of society and the ways humans behave and influence the world.

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Five Things You Need to Know about the Social Sciences

#2

The social sciences help explain events beyond our immediate experiences, from the causes of unemployment to what makes people happy.

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Five Things You Need to Know about the Social Sciences

#3

Social sciences do much more than study the obvious.

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Five Things You Need to Know about the Social Sciences

#4

Social sciences can change the world! Social scientists help solve problems such as political unrest, crime, energy crises, economic instability and health issues.

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Five Things You Need to Know about the Social Sciences

#5

Social sciences are just as important as STEM; they provide insights into how science and innovation work.

Careers in the Social Sciences

For me, it was the experiences in the community surrounding the classes. It complemented them tremendously.

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