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Social Sciences Major

Social sciences is a major that typically falls into the Social Sciences category.

There are 955 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in social sciences, 5,184 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 1,472 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 669 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a Social Sciences Degree?

This is one of the most frequently chosen college majors. It is the most popular in the country with students graduating with a bachelor’s in social sciences in 2017. According to recent stats this major attracts about equal numbers of men and women. Roughly 52.4% of the graduates are women, and 47.6% are men.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of social sciences majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 7.5%
  • Black or African American: 9.2%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 16.1%
  • White: 52.1%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 7.8%
  • Other Races: 7.3%
Social Sciences Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in social sciences. About 7.8% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending social sciences majors to the U.S. are.

What Will You Learn as a Social Sciences Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to social sciences to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Social Sciences Majors

Social sciences majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

Important Knowledge Areas for Social Sciences Majors

Skills for Social Sciences Majors

When studying social sciences, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

Important Skills for Social Sciences Majors

Abilities for Social Sciences Majors

As a social sciences major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

Important Abilities for social sciences Majors

What Can You Do With a Social Sciences Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with social sciences:

Careers Related to Social Sciences
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Political Scientists



City and Regional Planning Aides



Transportation Planners






Compliance Managers



Geography Professors






Economics Professors



Regulatory Affairs Managers



Clinical Data Managers



Social Sciences Major Salary

Social sciences majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $68,000 to $94,000. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a Social Sciences Major  ( 68000 to 94000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

Your salary will be largely dependent on the career path you follow and what area of the country (or world) you work. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Social Sciences Major Jobs

Some careers associated with social sciences may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much education do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to social sciences have obtained the following education levels.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Social Sciences
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma


High School Diploma or Equivalent


Post-Secondary Certificate


Some College Courses


Associate's Degree or Equivalent


Bachelor's Degree


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


Master's Degree


Post-Master's Certificate


First Professional Degree


Doctoral Degree


Post-Doctoral Training


Online Social Sciences Programs

There are 5,184 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in social sciences, with 298 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Many learners are drawn to online programs due to the ease of use and flexibility. Students should be warned that those who enroll in online programs can take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to drop out.

Is a Social Sciences Major Worth It?

The median salary for a social sciences grad is $86,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 120% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $937,000 after 20 years!

social sciences salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: AndrГ© KГјnzelmann via License

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