Sociology is the scientific study of human society and patterns of social behavior. It is concerned with social structures and processes, including groups, organizations, societies, institutions, social-cultural change, socialization, social interaction, and social relationships. Sociology provides a foundation for further professional training in applied areas of social work, law, criminal justice, and gerontology, or graduate study in sociology toward careers in teaching and research.
Psychology is the scientific investigation of human thought and behavior. Course offerings in psychology are designed to meet the needs of students who plan to earn a Bachelor of Science degree with a major or minor in psychology. They include courses covering many of the areas of specific interest to psychologists, such as personality and human development, as well as more general subjects such as research methods and the history of psychology.
Political science is an academic and research discipline that deals with the theory and practice of government and politics and the description and analysis of political systems and political behavior.
Political science majors develop excellent critical thinking and communication skills as well as an understanding of history and culture and current events. Courses will introduce political concepts, political behavior, policy issues, and governmental institutions.
Historians interpret human experiences, achievements, and shortcomings. An understanding of the past is essential for the truly liberal education. History encompasses the growth of political organizations; the development of economic, social, and religious institutions; and the course of literary, cultural, and intellectual movements. Specialization in history illuminates the origins of our present world and prepares the student with research, writing, and analytical skills.
The Economics program at USAO is designed to give students a broad range of exposure to economic theory and applications. Because economics seeks to understand how societies arrange complex systems of production and distribution within larger political, cultural and social institutions, it is necessarily interdisciplinary in nature. The Economics program thus draws from the disciplines of history, political science, sociology, mathematics and other liberal arts disciplines.