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Social Science

Social Science

The objectives of the Social Science curriculum are twofold: to provide a transfer program for students in the Social Science disciplines as well as in areas such as the arts, sciences and business/ management; and to provide general education courses for students enrolled in other curricula.

For those students who transfer to four-year institutions (particularly state colleges and university centers within New York State), the program provides completion of lower-division requirements in any of the social science departments. The attainment of the Associate in Arts degree can confer full first-term junior status.

Erie Community College has agreements with the State University of New York at Buffalo, Hilbert College and various other four-year institutions to make it possible for students to achieve guaranteed course or program transferability and/or acceptance from SUNY Erie into the four-year social science major of their choice. Program requirements for both joint admissions and articulation agreements are specified in the Admissions section of this catalog.

The Social Science Program presents a broad spectrum of study in both the social and behavioral sciences, comprising the disciplines of anthropology, economics, geography, government, history, human service, psychology, sociology and interdisciplinary social science. The variety of topics available within these areas enables students to design a course of study specifically related to their individual academic and career goals. In a world of such rapid technological and social change, the social science major is uniquely qualified to adapt to new courses of study and job market fluctuations.

All degree candidates must complete a minimum of 60 credit hours to graduate. Students must seek approval for all courses from their adviser prior to registration. Courses not approved by a social science adviser may not be accepted as credit toward a degree. Social science majors must select the required 21 credit hours from among the social science disciplines which include anthropology (AN), economics (EC), geography (GP), government (GO), history (HI), human service (HU), psychology (PS), sociology (SO) and social science (SS).  Within these 21 credit hours in Social Science, students must take either PS100 OR SO100 and at least one History course. In addition, social science majors must receive a grade of "C" or better in all social science courses used to fulfill the 21 hours of social science elective credit in their degree program. Students must study from at least three disciplines and may not exceed 12 credit hours in any one discipline.

Program Competencies

Upon completion of the Social Science, A.A. program, students will be able to:

  • identify major concepts, models, and issues of at least one discipline in the Social Sciences;
  • describe and apply the methods social scientists use to explore social phenomena, including observation, hypothesis development, measurement and data collection, experimentation, evaluation of evidence, and employment of mathematical and interpretive analysis; and
  • demonstrate an understanding how historians use evidence to study the recorded past, to situate events, artifacts, and experiences in their historical context, and to analyze the process of change over time.

Admission/Academic Advisement

SUNY Transfer Path Requirement

Students matriculating in this program are required to fulfill the SUNY Transfer Path Requirement that most closely aligns with the program. Speak to your adviser for details.

Admission/Graduation Criteria

SUNY General Education Student Learning Outcomes

The SUNY General Education knowledge and skills areas and the two competencies now function as the basis for the Liberal Arts Program outcomes. These General Education Requirements are detailed in the Academic Information section of the College Catalog. Social Science students are required to fulfill the General Education Requirement in order to graduate.


Total Degree Credits: 60.0

7 Social Science courses**** (21 total credit hours)

  • EN 100 - Composition I: Rhetorical Strategies Credit Hours: 3
  • EN 101 - Composition for the Humanities Credit Hours: 3
  • EN 102 - Composition for the STEM Disciplines Credit Hours: 3
    Math elective (MT116, MT140, MT143 recommended):  3-4 credit hours
    Natural Science elective  3-4 credit hours
    Math or Natural Science elective  3-4 credit hours
    2 English/Humanities courses* (6 total credit hours)
    Liberal Arts elective**  3-4 credit hours
    Up to 15 credits of open electives***

For the recommended sequence, students should consult their academic adviser prior to registering.

Secondary Teacher Education degrees - Erie Community College has completed or is in the process of completing Dual Admissions/Cooperative Degree programs with Western New York colleges for students wishing to pursue a Secondary Social Studies Teacher Education degree. Because course requirements vary somewhat with each four-year school, it is strongly recommended that prospective students contact the department head for Teacher Preparation Programs at (716) 270-5211 to discuss appropriate courses within this associate degree program to insure a seamless transfer to the four-year college of choice.

All degree candidates must complete a minimum of 60 credit hours for graduation and seek approval for courses prior to registration from a Social Science faculty adviser. Courses not approved by a Social Science adviser may not be accepted for credit toward the degree.

** Liberal Arts Electives:

English/Humanities: EN 114, 140, 141, 150, 151, and EN 205 or Higher, music (MU), dance (DN), drama-theatre (DT), art (AT), philosophy (PY), French (FR), Sign Language (SL), Spanish (SP)

Mathematics: mathematics (MT): MT116, MT140, MT143 recommended

Science: biology (BI), chemistry (CH), physics (PH), physical geography (GP101)

It is recommended that a student wishing to transfer to a four-year institution take a laboratory course sequence in natural science.

Social Science: anthropology (AN), economics (EC), government (GO), geography (GP), history (HI), human service (HU), psychology (PS), sociology (SO), social science (SS).  

*** A student may fulfill these elective requirements with any degree level courses on campus. Students are encouraged to take higher level courses. Outside the liberal arts division, registration will be determined by the availability of space. Students should be aware that electives may not be offered each semester.

**** Social Science majors are required to take either PS 100 or SO 100 and at least one History (HI) course. At least one of the seven required Social Science courses must be a 200-level course.  Social Science majors must receive a grade of "C" or better in all social science courses used to fulfill the 21 hours of Social Science elective credit in their degree program. Social Science majors must select the required 21 credit hours from among the various Social Science disciplines: anthropology (AN), economics (EC), government (GO), geography (GP), history (HI), human service (HU), psychology (PS), sociology (SO), social science (SS).  To insure depth and breadth, the distribution will allow a maximum of 12 credit hours in any one discipline and must include some study in at least three disciplines.

SUNY General Education Requirement: Students must fulfill the SUNY General Education Requirement in order to graduate. The requirement calls for at least seven out of ten of SUNY's General Education knowledge areas to be fulfilled and for at least 30 units to be taken in General Education. General Education credits can simultaneously fulfill requirements in the Social Science major.

Available At:

City Campus
North Campus
South Campus

Recommended H.S. Courses and/or Experiences:

2 Years of Math
2 Years of Science

Pre-Admission Recommendations:

Math I
1 Year of Science

Career Opportunities/Further Education:

Transfer to Bachelor's Degree Program in Economics, Government, Education, History, Psychology and Sociology

Hegis Code:


Curriculum Code:



Liberal Arts
Liberal Arts - Social Science

Program Video

Need Help?

Liberal Arts and Science – Social Science Interest

Derek Bateman
City Campus
Room 541
121 Ellicott Street
Buffalo, NY 14203
P: (716) 851-1090
Danielle Piver
North Campus
Room K112A
6205 Main Street
Williamsville, NY 14221
P: (716) 270-2976
Jason Steinitz
South Campus
Room 4104A
4041 Southwestern Blvd.
Orchard Park, NY 14127
P: (716) 851-1305