May 23, 2024  

Social Sciences Department

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The Social Science Department provides an introduction to the study of social and political organizations. In lower-division courses, students are exposed to fundamental knowledge concerning the development and operation of societies and cultures, from the broad view of history to the formation of individual values. At the highest level of study, students construct individualized research and applied skills development. The core disciplines include history, sociology, and political science. The curriculum is integral to the General University Course Requirements (GUCRs). In relation to the degree programs at Heritage, the Social Science curriculum promotes context — a framework for developing the specialized knowledge and skills that lead to criminal justice (law enforcement, corrections, corporate loss prevention), law, public service, nonprofit management, and post-baccalaureate degree programs.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  1. Describe the organizations, functions, policies, processes, and the legal environment that make up the criminal justice system in enforcing and adjudicating the law and administering justice
  2. Analyze and explain the social issues and processes that lead to and result from crime, including the behavioral causes and effects of crime
  3. Conduct research and interpret statistical data that may be used for planning, problem solving, decision making, and policy development
  4. Demonstrate an ability to work and communicate effectively with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds
  5. Apply critical thinking skills in evaluating principles, systems, policies, practices and situations involving criminal justice practitioners, including their professional and ethical disposition

What jobs are available for criminal justice graduates?

  • Law enforcement officer
  • Corrections officer
  • Probation officer
  • Federal agent
  • Detective/private investigator
  • Corporate security/loss prevention officer
  • Emergency management/Homeland Security officer

B.A. Interdisciplinary Contract

Students with unique interests may satisfy the requirements for a B.A. in Social Sciences through an interdisciplinary contract – a distinct program of coursework customized by the student and approved by the chair of the Social Science Department, the Office of Academic Affairs and an academic advisor. If students cannot find a major suited to their interests and aspirations for a career, they are encouraged to develop an interdisciplinary contract as early as possible. (For a general guide to an Interdisciplinary Contract degree, see Special Programs, in this catalog.)

Pre-law Student Information


College coursework recommended for Law School Admission Test (LSAT) preparation:

Other Recommended Courses

Most law schools do not require any prerequisite courses for admission. However, a broad liberal arts background is encouraged and expected. Writing and critical thinking skills are essential. Students are encouraged to take courses in composition, literature, philosophy, logic, history, government, economics, business finance, or accounting.


For other specific requirements, refer to information published by the Law School Admission Council online at, which provides a link to the home page of each law school.

Degrees and Programs Offered

The Social Science Department offers courses to complete the following degrees and programs:


    Associate of ArtsBachelor of ArtsNon-Degree


      Criminal JusticePolitical SciencePsychologySociology

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