The College of Social Studies (CSS) is a rigorous, multidisciplinary major focusing on history, government, political and social theory, and economics. Reading and writing intensive, it encourages intellectual independence and developing original, critical perspectives within a vibrant intellectual environment. The CSS pedagogy emphasizes students' responsibility for their own education. In the CSS, students write papers on a subject before they've heard their professor discuss it, giving them the opportunity to develop their own approach to and synthesis of the materials they've read.

Students who major in the CSS often pursue careers in fields from law and business to government and academics.

What You'll Study

  • Interested students apply for CSS admission during the spring of their first year. The CSS program of study begins in the fall of sophomore year.
  • As a CSS major, your sophomore year will consist of three small (no more than 10 students), intensive tutorials in government, history, and economics, and one larger colloquium in modern social theory.

  • Junior year involves a philosophy colloquium on the modes of inquiry in the social sciences and two seven-week tutorials building on what you learned in your sophomore year. You'll also take several elective courses in the three CSS disciplines to enhance your research and writing skills. Juniors also have the option of studying abroad in their first semester.

  • In addition to a first semester CSS seminar, the senior year involves an honors thesis or other substantial piece of written work.