Skip to main content

This is your Donation message.

Academic Program Guide

Social Science, Interdisciplinary

College: Social Sciences and Public Policy
Degree: BA or BS
Limited Access: No

Contact: Dr. Lisa Turner De Vera
Address: 211 Bellamy Building, Tallahassee, FL 32306-21
Phone: (850) 644-4418

Description of Major
The Interdisciplinary Program in Social Science is designed to provide an integrated social science perspective on social issues, public policy and public affairs. It is flexible so that students may pursue their own individual specialized and pre-professional interests. Special interdisciplinary concentrations in urban studies, public policy, public service, law and society, social entrepreneurship and innovation, and environmental studies are offered.

Internet Supported Distance Learning
A bachelor’s degree program is available that enables students with an A.A. degree to earn an FSU degree without moving to Tallahassee. To be admitted, students are strongly encouraged to also have completed the University’s Oral Communication Competency requirement and the Computer Skills Competency requirement. Due to limited course availability, it is strongly suggested that students contact the distance learning advisor to review course planning options prior to admission. Instruction is delivered via the web. For more information, visit or contact the program advisor.

Prerequisite Coursework
that they have completed the University’s Oral Communication Competency requirement and the Computer Skills Competency requirement to be admitted." placeholder="Prerequisites for the Program">

Prerequisite Coursework:
XXX XXXX (6 hours) Two introductory courses in a social science discipline. (Examples: Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, Public Administration, Sociology, and Urban and Regional Planning.)

Note: State-wide common prerequisites are always under review. For the most current information and for acceptable alternative courses, visit the “Common Prerequisites Manual.” This is available from the Student Services section of .

Requirements for Progression to the Upper-Division Major
Students must complete at least 52 hours of credit with a minimum FSU GPA of 2.00 and most of the General Education requirements met, including freshman English composition and mathematics, or an A.A. Degree.

Internet Supported Distance Learning Prerequisites
In addition to the two required introductory courses in a social science discipline (listed above), students interested in this version of the major, it is "Highly Recommended" that they have completed the University’s Oral Communication Competency requirement and the Computer Skills Competency requirement to be admitted.


Major Program of Studies at FSU: (43 hours)
A major in the interdisciplinary program requires forty-three (43) semester hours. For the general option, work must be taken in at least three participating departments within the program. Participating departments include: Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, Public Administration, Sociology, and Urban and Regional Planning. Up to 9 of the required 43 hours may also apply to General Education requirements. 21 hours must be taken in courses numbered above 2999. A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 on all coursework applied to the major must be maintained. All coursework within the major must be passed with a grade of 'D' or higher.

Required Coursework:
Students must complete the required course, ISS4304: Contemporary Social Problems and Policy Solutions with a grade of 'C' or higher. This course is applicable to any concentration area within the structure of the major.

Students must also complete ISS 3923: Interdisciplinary Forum with a satisfactory grade.

Interdisciplinary Social Science, General Option (42 hours)
Students must have:
1. a primary concentration of 18 hours in one participating department
2. a secondary concentration of 12 hours in a second participating department, and
3. the remaining 12 hours distributed among any of the remaining participating departments that are not being used for the primary and secondary concentrations.

Alternatively, students may complete the requirements of special interdisciplinary concentrations in Law and Society*, Public Policy*, Public Service*, Urban Studies*, Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation* or Environmental Studies. For further details, speak with an advisor.

Specialized Concentration Areas*

*These special concentrations are not available to distance learners.

Public Service
The Social Science Interdisciplinary program provides an opportunity for students to acquire a broad background for understanding public affairs and social problems, with emphasis on public service. The program is not designed to give specific occupational training but rather to supply the generalist background attractive to many employers, particularly in agency work at state and local government levels. The program provides an excellent background for students interested in graduate work in public administration, urban and regional planning, and sociology.

Environmental Studies
This concentration is designed to provide an interdisciplinary study of humans as related to our environment and the problems arising therefrom. This concentration of study serves as a useful background for agency employment, teaching in the social sciences and employment related to the social sciences generally. It will fulfill requirements for the second concentration within the major. Biology BSC 1005 is required. The program provides a good preparation for graduate work in Urban & Regional Planning, Geography or oriented ecological social sciences.

Law and Society
Students may minor in Law and Society or select a major concentration in Law and Society through the Interdisciplinary Social Science major.

This is a distinctive program of study which focuses on the links between law and legal institutions and the social, economic, and political features of modern society. An approved curriculum is provided which includes courses in the departments of Economics, Geography, Political Science, Public Administration, Sociology, and Urban and Regional Planning and selected additional courses. These specially selected courses examine the way law affects society and the impact that social, economic, and political behavior has on the information and role of law in modern life.

A minor in Law and Society shall consist of at least five courses from the designated Law and Society curriculum.

A major concentration shall consist of six courses including POS 3691 Introduction to Law and Society, and either ECP 3451 Economics and the Law, or SYP 3540 Sociology of Law plus four others selected from the list of approved courses.

Urban Studies
The Social Science Interdisciplinary Program provides an opportunity for students to acquire a broad background for understanding public affairs with emphasis on urban studies. The program is designed to give an urban studies background that is attractive to many employers, particularly in local government. The program also provides an excellent background for students interested in graduate work in urban and regional planning, public administration, or sociology.

It is recommended that students planning on doing graduate work in Urban and Regional Planning consult with the Urban and Regional Planning Department at (850) 644-4510. Students planning to pursue graduate work are urged to take Statistics 4122.

Public Policy (Application Required)
An understanding of public policy issues and the process by which governments at all levels make policy decisions is a key element in occupations within the broad category of government affairs. Employment opportunities for people with this understanding can be found in the private sector interfaces with the non-government institutions and in government institutions themselves. The interdisciplinary social science program offers students an opportunity to gain some expertise in a specific policy area that they choose.

Students must complete: 21 hours of coursework for this special area: 1) health and aging; 2) poverty and inequality 3) risk management (environmental and personal); and 4) government regulation. One Quantitative methods course which is taken as part of the primary concentration, PUP Introduction to Public Policy, and Participation in the Public Policy Seminar.

Participation in this concentration is limited. Application Required. Contact an ISS advisor for application information.

This specialization is also available as an undergraduate certificate.

Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation
The Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation secondary concentration within the Interdisciplinary Social Sciences program focuses on how the emerging field of social entrepreneurship is promoting innovative, impactful, and sustainable approaches to addressing social and environmental problems.

Students will learn to leverage the resources of investors, consumers, stakeholders, and communities to address pressing social and environmental problems and innovate solutions for systemic change, whether in newly-created social enterprises; existing nonprofits organizations, government agencies, and philanthropic foundations; or institutions devoted to social impact start-up and investing. Competitive internships are available and offer unique and high-quality experiences within local, national, and internationals settings.

Minor: Neither a minor nor additional coursework is required, although a minor or second major is strongly encouraged.

Computer Skills Competency: (3 hours)
CGS 2060 (3) or CGS 2100 (3) will meet the requirement for this major.

Oral Communication Competency: (3 hours)
Students must demonstrate the ability to orally transmit ideas and information clearly. This requirement may be met with an approved college-level course.

Minimum Program Requirements - Summary
Total Hrs. Required 120
General Education 36*
Major Coursework 43*
Minor Coursework 0
Computer Skills 3
Oral Competency 3
Electives to bring total hours to 120

*Some courses may be applied to both General Education requirements (or the AA degree) and the major. Please see the ISS advisor for more information.

Mapping is FSU’s academic advising and monitoring system. Academic progress is monitored each Fall and Spring semester to ensure that students are on course to earn their degree in a timely fashion. Transfer students must meet mapping guidelines to be accepted into their majors. You may view the map for this major at

1. A minimum of 45 hours at the 3000 level or above, 30 of which must be taken at this University.
2. Half of the major course semester hours must be completed in residence at this University.
3. The final 30 hours must be completed in residence at this University.
4. Students who plan to earn the B. A. degree must complete both a foreign language through the intermediate (2200 or equivalent) level and nine additional hours in the fields of history and humanities.

Employment Information
Salary Information: For more information go to: National Association of Colleges and Employers ( or the Occupational Outlook Handbook ( provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Representative Job Titles Related to this Major: Management Trainee, Legislative Aid/Analyst, Research Analyst, Assistant Planner, Federal Service Worker, Agencies and government.

Representative Employers: Public School Systems, Higher Education, Federal Agencies, City Planning Departments, Large Corporations, County Planning Departments, State Agencies (examples: Division of Youth Services, Div. of Family Services, Dept. of Natural Resources).

View Social Science, Interdisciplinary Academic Map