Newsroom/Online learning tips/ Online undergraduate humanities and social sciences degrees

Online undergraduate humanities and social sciences degrees

February 13, 2019 · 10 min read · By ASU Online
ASU Online has multiple online bachelor’s degrees in social sciences and humanities to prepare students for careers in a variety of fields.

Online bachelor’s degrees, including those in humanities and social sciences, can help students gain skills and knowledge to start or advance their careers. Despite the long history of humanities and social sciences in the academic realm, some potential students still wonder, “what are humanities and social sciences?”

The former, humanities, focuses on understanding and documenting the human experience. Social science is similar to the study of humanities, detailing the social and cultural dimensions of human behavior.

Given the ubiquity of these topics and applicability in many settings, these undergraduate degrees can give students skills they can use in numerous careers. ASU Online has several humanities and social science programs to provide this knowledge, preparing students for their prospective careers or future graduate studies to advance to more specialized and technical roles.


Anthropology (BA)

An online Bachelor of Arts in anthropology can help students learn how human evolutionary biological, social and cultural trajectories affect past, present and future environments. The program can cover urban and environmental factors, as well as the intersections of food, health and culture across the globe.

Coursework is designed to help students improve their critical thinking and expression skills, use the scientific method, gather data and perform analysis to provide statistical meaning to study results. This work includes ethnographic study, excavation, measurement, participant observation and interviewing. Graduates who earn an anthropology degree may start working or pursue an advanced degree in anthropology, sociology, education, conservatorship or curatorship.

Courses cover subjects including:

  • Food and culture.
  • Globalization.
  • Human response to disasters.
  • Medical anthropology.
  • Urban and environmental health.


Possible careers include:

  • Anthropologist.
  • Compliance manager.
  • Museum conservator.
  • Postsecondary teacher.
  • Sociologist.


Community advocacy and social policy (BA)

Students who want to learn advocacy and intervention strategies to drive social change and explore issues of diversity, oppression and privilege can pursue an online Bachelor of Arts in community advocacy and social policy. This program can give students the skills required to enter the workforce or begin graduate education by helping them develop critical analyses of social policies. Topics covered may include advocacy strategy evaluation, policy analysis, knowledge base development and an empowerment perspective on social.

With a community advocate degree, students can be prepared for various positions in the social services field, including social action, community advocacy and policy, case management, campaign work, education and more.

The program focuses on two core areas:

  • Diversity/oppressed populations.
  • Social problems and interventions.


Courses cover subjects including:

  • Ethics in social services.
  • Human behavior.
  • Macroeconomic principles.
  • Social policy and advocacy.
  • Social services delivery systems.


Possible careers include:

  • Behavioral health specialist.
  • Campaign manager.
  • Government programs specialist.
  • Social services director.
  • Volunteer coordinator.


Community health (BS)

An online Bachelor of Science in community health is designed to help students comprehend the connections between community health and education, care coordination and advocacy. Students can learn how to create and sustain healthy communities by working in partnership with private and public organizations. Like other bachelor’s degrees in human services, this program can be a preliminary step to a graduate degree.

The health needs of diverse populations and special communities are a primary focus of this program, and skills development includes service coordination, education, monitoring, evaluation and interventions. Graduates may seek careers centered around health education, health promotion, health care navigation, care coordination and advocacy services for individuals and families in community settings

Courses cover subjects including:

  • Clinical health care ethics.
  • Elements of statistics.
  • Fundamentals of community health.
  • Health literacy.
  • Human development.


Possible careers include:

  • Community specialist.
  • Guidance counselor.
  • Medical and health services manager.
  • Patient advocate.


Family and human development (BS)

Individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in human development and family studies can begin by earning their Bachelor of Science in family and human development. This coursework is designed to equip students with knowledge of the entire lifespan of human development, including infancy, adolescence, marriage, parenting and aging. Students explore the impact of ethnicity, culture and gender on individual development and family interaction.

Students strengthen skills in the areas of written and oral communication, research methods and statistical analysis. Students who complete the program typically seek careers in government, business or social services, and they may also obtain graduate and postgraduate degrees with the intent to practice law or medicine.

Courses cover subjects including:

  • Aging.
  • Critical inquiry.
  • Human development.
  • Early childhood intervention.
  • Family ethnic and cultural diversity.


Possible careers include:

  • Guidance counselor.
  • Human resources specialist.
  • Marriage and family therapist.
  • Preschool teacher.
  • Social worker.


Global health (BA)

An online Bachelor of Arts in global health is a transdisciplinary program designed for students seeking an anthropological understanding of disease and health through social, historical, ecological and biological contexts. The curriculum may focus on developing critical thinking skills, as well as the ability to identify issues and approach complex problems. Graduates can use their knowledge to obtain leadership roles and drive global change through collaboration with diverse communities.

Students in the global health major must participate in an approved experiential or practical component. They can meet this requirement by completing an approved global health study abroad program or via another arrangement for those unable to study abroad.

Courses cover subjects including:

  • Epidemics and outbreaks.
  • Global health.
  • Human evolutions.
  • Medical anthropology.
  • Social statistics.


Possible careers include:

  • Community health worker.
  • Environmental protection specialist.
  • Epidemiologist.
  • Health and safety technician.
  • Supply chain manager.


Global studies (BA)

If students want to examine the causes and consequences of problems that cross national boundaries, they can improve their expertise by enrolling in a Bachelor of Arts in global science program. This social sciences degree can provide this knowledge and prepare students for additional professional and graduate education.

Global studies graduates can use their qualifications to seek employment with government, business and policy entities, developing solutions for these problems across economic, cultural and social contexts.

Issues examined in the curriculum include:

  • Economic and social development.
  • Global cities, urbanization and built environments.
  • Global governance of health and climate change.
  • Justice and human rights.
  • World culture, including religious identities, rights and conflicts.


Courses cover subjects including:

  • Anthropology.
  • Economics.
  • History.
  • Political science.
  • Sociology.


Possible careers include:

  • Archivist.
  • City planner.
  • Government programs specialist.
  • Intelligence officer.
  • Urban planner.
An ASU student poses for a picture while standing against a brick wall.

Philosophy (BA)

A Bachelor of Arts in philosophy program is designed to teach individuals how to structure arguments and communicate ideas. Students also learn how to read, comprehend and summarize difficult material, laying the foundation for a career built around critical thinking, logical thinking and idea conceptualization.

A bachelor’s in philosophy can give students the skills they need to obtain leadership positions in business, education, law, politics or medicine. Philosophy students also may earn graduate degrees and complete postgraduate work to practice a specialty in their chosen field.  

Courses cover subjects including:

  • History of ethics.
  • Languages.
  • Metaphysics.
  • Social-behavioral sciences.
  • Theory of knowledge.


Possible careers include:

  • Criminal investigator.
  • Intelligence officer.
  • Law clerk.
  • Mediator.
  • Regulatory affairs manager.


Philosophy (morality, politics and law) (BA)

The specialized Bachelor of Arts in philosophy (morality, politics and law) expands the analytical approach of philosophy. It emphasizes the moral questions that arise in political and legal systems, including conflicts due to contested values regarding individual liberty, equality and justice.

This philosophy degree requires students to complete coursework in philosophy and related disciplines. The curriculum is designed to enhance comprehension of the intersections of morality, politics and law, and graduates often pursue postgraduate work in law, policy or politics.

Courses cover subjects including:

  • American political thought.
  • Bioethics.
  • Cultural diversity.
  • Philosophy of mind.
  • Social-behavioral sciences.


Possible careers include:

  • Business intelligence analyst.
  • Legal court hearing officer.
  • Political analyst.
  • Politician.
  • Public relations manager.


Psychology (BA)

An online Bachelor of Arts in psychology program illustrates the study of human behavior through a scientific approach with an overview of the field’s many areas. The curriculum employs the context of cultural, socio-historical and transnational issues, and requirements include the completion of upper-division language and culture courses.

A bachelor’s in psychology equips graduates with critical thinking, quantitative research skills and qualitative research skills while building their ability to interact with people of different backgrounds. Many students subsequently complete a graduate degree or post-graduate clinical training to work in the social, law or health psychology fields.

Courses cover subjects including:

  • Cultural diversity.
  • Effective thinking.
  • Neuroscience.
  • Social-behavioral sciences.
  • Statistics.


Possible careers include:

  • Health educator.
  • Patient representative.
  • Psychiatric aide.
  • Social and human service assistant.
  • Social science research assistant.


Psychology (BS)

An online Bachelor of Science in psychology degree is designed to provide students with an understanding of the relationships between psychology and other social and behavioral sciences. This program provides basic and applied courses in cognitive systems; behavioral neuroscience; and developmental, organizational and social psychology. Requirements include the completion of upper-division language and culture courses.

A bachelor’s degree in psychology can supply skills and expertise required to pursue a career in the field. While many students advance their studies and complete a graduate program, others enter the workforce immediately. The critical thinking skills, communication abilities and core knowledge this program provides can prepare graduates for supporting roles in interdisciplinary fields.

Courses cover subjects including:

  • Computer applications.
  • Cultural diversity.
  • Literacy and critical inquiry.
  • Sensation and perception.
  • Social psychology.


Possible careers include:

  • Environmental fundraiser.
  • Health services manager.
  • Human services manager.
  • Nursing assistant.
  • Social worker.


Psychology — forensic psychology (BA)

A Bachelor of Arts in psychology — forensic psychology program helps students gain the qualifications to pursue careers in which psychology and the law intersect. Forensic psychology students receive general training in psychology combined with specialized coursework in criminal law and behavior.

Many students who complete a Bachelor of Arts in forensic psychology with a concentration in forensics enter law enforcement, corrections or criminal justice administration. Those who pursue a career as a forensic psychologist require graduate training. 

Courses cover subjects including:

  • Computer applications.
  • Cultural diversity.
  • Literacy and critical inquiry.
  • Sensation and perception.
  • Social psychology.


Possible careers include:

  • Corrections officer.
  • Data manager.
  • Human behavior researcher.
  • Police officer.
  • Psychiatric aid.


Psychology — forensic psychology (BS)

The ASU Online Bachelor of Science in psychology — forensic psychology program helps students understand how the criminal justice system and the field of psychology work together. Students receive instruction in the biological and neuroscientific aspects of psychology that are vital to modern research and clinical forensic practice.

A Bachelor of Science in forensic psychology includes advanced statistical training to further prepare students for careers in psychological, clinical and legal policy research. Additional education can qualify students for clinical practice, and graduate training can equip those who wish to enter the field as forensic psychologists.

Courses cover subjects including:

  • Abnormal psychology.
  • Correctional psychology.
  • Criminology.
  • Statistics.
  • Substantive criminal law.


Possible careers include:

  • Addiction counselor.
  • Crime scene investigator.
  • Intelligence officer.
  • Neuropsychologist.
  • Social services director.


Religious studies —religion, culture and public life (BA)

An online Bachelor of Arts in religious studies, with an emphasis on religion, culture and public life, focuses on religion’s social and public effects across the globe, including diverse religious beliefs, traditions and cultures. The study of religion also includes representations of these belief systems in various media.

This religious studies degree examines the processes required to find, critically analyze and communicate information. It also teaches professional skills, such as intercultural literacy and analytical writing.

Courses cover subjects including:

  • Religion theory and practice
  • Natural science
  • Cultural diversity
  • Religions of the world
  • Social psychology


Possible careers include:

  • Religious education director
  • Social services director
  • Cultural studies professor
  • Community specialist


Sociology (BS)

An online Bachelor of Science in sociology details social life, change, and causes and consequences of human behavior. Students explore traditional and contemporary social situations and institutions, with coursework that investigates the political roles held by race, ethnicity, religion, gender and health in today's society.

Students who select the sociology major can gain analytical and critical thinking skills, as well as proficiency in written communication, statistics and research methods.

Courses cover subjects including:

  • Global awareness.
  • History of social thought.
  • Racial and ethnic relations.
  • Social statistics.


Possible careers include:

  • Community specialist.
  • General counselor.
  • Patient advocate.
  • Probation officer.
  • Social worker.


Women and gender studies (BA)

A Bachelor of Arts in women and gender studies can empower students to challenge gender conventions and facilitate change through academic research and critical knowledge. This program builds writing, critical thinking and problem-solving skills that can prepare graduates for leadership roles in government, education, business, consulting and other settings.

Women and gender studies students can examine feminist theory and practice delivered in coursework that frames issues against the backdrops of culture, literature, film, history and more.

Courses cover subjects including:

  • Domestic violence.
  • Global feminist theory.
  • Race, gender and class.
  • Women and health.
  • Women in the visual arts.


Possible careers include:

  • Cultural studies professor.
  • Mediator.
  • Public relations specialist.
  • Social services director.
  • Urban planner.


Earning a humanities and social sciences degree online with ASU

The broad range of skills students gain with a degree in social sciences or humanities from ASU Online can allow them to achieve various professional and educational goals. Those seeking to enter the workforce can use their new competencies to qualify for jobs in the private and public sectors, while others may pursue graduate or postgraduate degrees. With their education and future career experience in roles like urban planner and law enforcement, students can pursue positions that align with their goals and create visible change in their communities.

Program details are subject to change. Current information can be found by visiting ASU Online's humanities degrees page and social and behavioral sciences degree page.


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