Tailor Your Education to Your Interests
All Social Sciences students begin by taking a general first year. The Level 1 program gives you the opportunity to study and explore the different departments in the Social Sciences. You have the opportunity to take a variety of classes so that in Level 2 (second year) you can feel ready to declare a major and apply to the program that is right for you.
You can do an Honours B.A. or a combined Honours B.A, as well as compliment your degree with a minor and/or affiliated certificate, giving you over 260 possible combinations to choose from. Are you a hands on learner? You can add valuable career experience to your resume with internship opportunities.
We also offer unique opportunities to combine a McMaster/Mohawk affiliated certificate with any degree program.
The Department of Anthropology combines long-standing commitments to the exploration of archaeological, physical, and cultural aspects of human and social being with expertise in a variety of ethnographic, physical anthropology, and archaeological data collection methods.
The Department of Economics offers a B.A. in economics, an Honours B.A. in economics, a number of combined Honours degrees, and a minor in economics for students pursuing an Honours degree in another discipline.
Geography & Environmental Studies
The Geography and Environmental Studies program is part of the School of Geography & Earth Sciences, an internationally recognized centre for research, education and training. Programs offered by the Geography and Environmental Studies program are designed to provide a background to the study of many of the world’s most pressing challenges (e.g. globalization, inequality, urbanization, climate change, resource depletion, etc.), and also equip students with the skills and strategies to tackle these challenges now, and in the future.
Health, Aging & Society
The underlying strength of the Department of Health, Aging and Society lies in its interdisciplinary composition. Our faculty members have backgrounds in economics, human geography, political science, social work, and sociology. These disciplines provide the multiple lens through which we view health and aging.
The Indigenous Studies Program (ISP) incorporates a unique teaching structure of Indigenous knowledge, which involves many Native peoples and Elders. This unique perspective assists all students from various cultures and backgrounds in learning about the history and lives of Aboriginal people with an Indigenous perspective.
Working closely with community partners and labour organizations, the School of Labour Studies is recognized as one of the premier Labour Studies programs in Canada. Our students enjoy learning in a cooperative, intellectually engaging environment and appreciate learning about the many dimensions of work, including the many forms of “precarious work”. In exploring these areas, our students are also challenged to examine the gendered and racialized aspects of work and society.
The Department of Political Science is home to an energetic group of internationally renowned scholars, award winning teachers, and inquisitive and accomplished students. We are large enough to have an impressive number of excellent researchers and teachers, but not so big that students feel lost or alienated from the faculty.
Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour
The Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour covers a wide range of topics including (but not limited to) perception, cognition, emotion and social behavior, psychopathology, development and evolution, and even how experiences can influence brain development.
Long noted for its strong faculty, commitment to diversity, and academic rigour, the Department of Religious Studies at McMaster has earned a reputation as one of the premiere departments of its kind in North America. Focused generally on studying major world religions through a variety of disciplines – anthropological, literary, historical, theological, and more – the strength of our program comes from its balance of broad, interdisciplinary study with intense concentrations in several sub-disciplines.
Social Psychology students will study various aspects of social psychology from a multidisciplinary perspective to gain an understanding of how individuals behave, how small groups and communities interact, and how societies form practices and priorities.
The School of Social Work aims to prepare students for practice in a wide variety of social and community services and for critical reflection on their activities as both professionals and citizens. Through research and community engagements, the School of Social Work addresses some of the tensions in contemporary social programs and, in the context of a changing world, strive to understand and challenge various forms and dynamics of social inequality.
The Department of Sociology offers a wide variety of courses in multiple areas of study and emphasizes experiential learning, inquiry-based learning, and problem-based learning. Students have a chance to work on a one-on-one relation with their professors in research and reading courses but are given a fair degree of autonomy in choosing personalized research topics, and collaborating with other students.