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2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin

College of Social Sciences and Public Policy


Dean: Timothy Chapin; Associate Deans: Jeffrey Brown, Deana Rohlinger; Assistant Dean: Tanya Perry

The University established social sciences as a separate College in 1973. The departments and programs that make up the College date from the earliest days of the University.

Students in the College excel in all aspects of University life. Graduates of the College have won some of the most prestigious academic awards available to undergraduate students, including the Harry S. Truman, Boren, and Rhodes Scholarships. More than twenty students from the social sciences have served as the Student Body President of student government. Our graduates have been ambassadors, senators, governors, and corporate CEOs, and have excelled in virtually all areas of the government, academic, non-profit, and private sectors.

The College's faculty teach courses and do research related to every socio-economic and political issue that confronts the United States at home and abroad. Among the distinguished faculty are nine eminent scholar chairs: the Mildred and Claude Pepper Eminent Scholar Chair in Social Gerontology, Jerry Collins Eminent Scholar Chair in Public Administration, Reubin O'D. Askew Eminent Scholar Chair in Florida Government and Politics, Rod and Hope Brim Eminent Scholar Chair in Economics, DeVoe Moore Eminent Scholar Chair in Economics, John and Hallie Quinn Eminent Scholar Chair for the Renewal of American Heritage and American Free Enterprise, Gus Stavros Eminent Scholar Chair in Economic Education, LeRoy Collins Eminent Scholar Chair in Civic Education, and Syde P. Deeb Eminent Scholar Chair in Political Science. A significant number of other faculty have been honored with named professorships because of their outstanding teaching and important research contributions.

Study in social science develops knowledge of people and society. Critical issues facing the United States and the world in the twenty-first century are the subject matter of our College. Here, critical thinking, analytical methods, and empirical skills are used to understand the key political, social, and economic issues that dominate our public discussions. Our subject matter helps the student understand those aspects of the basic liberal arts that deal with the individual in social context. This understanding includes the role of social diversity, such as the complex world of foreign cultures, the wide range of cultural experiences represented in the United States, and the value of recognizing these differences in one's own intellectual growth. The social sciences also foster analytical and critical thinking to better equip the individual to live in and understand our increasingly complex society. Finally, the social sciences help students explain different political, social, cultural, and economic structures, their importance, and the basis for their change and growth.

Programs and Structure

The College of Social Sciences and Public Policy focuses upon both basic knowledge and the application of that knowledge to policy questions and public affairs. In applied policy, the College's interests center on regional, national, and international affairs, and it has a particular interest in state issues, befitting the University's location in the capital of the state of Florida.

The College consists of one school, the Reubin O'D. Askew School of Public Administration and Policy; five departments: Economics, Geography, Political Science, Sociology, and Urban and Regional Planning; a number of research units: the Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy, the Center for Demography and Population Health, the DeVoe L. Moore Center for the Study of Critical Issues in Economic Policy and Government, the Collins Center for Public Policy, the Stavros Center for Economic Education, and the Florida Public Affairs Center; and interdisciplinary programs in African American Studies, Asian Studies, Demography, Environment and Society, International Affairs, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Law and Society, Public Health, Russian and East European Studies, and Social Science.

The instruction offered by the College meets a variety of needs within the University. Social science is a component of the Liberal Studies for the 21st Century and Honors programs, and each of the departments offering a bachelor's degree has course offerings in the general education curriculum and Honors. The social sciences residential learning program in Global and Public Affairs also helps students develop the critical capacities necessary for active participation in the affairs of the state, the nation, and the international community. The College offers eleven programs of study for the bachelor's degree with departmental majors in Economics, Geography, Political Science, and Sociology, and the interdisciplinary programs listed above. In addition to these programs, undergraduate minors are offered in Law and Society, Public Administration, Urban and Regional Planning, Sociology of Health and Aging, and Population Studies. Many students in other colleges of the University are either required to take some courses in the College as part of their program of study (e.g., all College of Business majors take two courses in economics) or choose to do so as part of their electives. The College encourages and welcomes diversity in student background in its courses. Finally, the College has a large graduate program, offering the master's degree in twenty-three areas, the Doctor of Philosophy in six fields, and numerous graduate certificates. For details of graduate programs of the College, refer to the University's Graduate Bulletin.

The College views its role in undergraduate education as having at least three main parts. First, in its contributions to general education and its courses taken by students as electives, the primary objective is to introduce students to the methods and modes of thought of the social sciences. Second, in its undergraduate degree programs, the College seeks to prepare its students both to be responsible and informed citizens with an appreciation of how the world works and to be ready for employment. Third, the College seeks to prepare students for further study in the social sciences or professional schools. Each undergraduate program has a faculty member as director, and academic advice is provided by the faculty. Professional academic advisors located in the College's student academic affairs office assist undergraduates with academic advising, career counseling, and graduation checks. The College actively participates in the liberal studies honors program and offers honors in the major in all of its programs. The College of Social Sciences and Public Policy's residential program in Global and Public Affairs provides opportunities for students to take courses on a variety of topics related to government and public policy. Participants involved in this living and learning community benefit from a variety of academic and social enrichments and enjoy interaction with their instructors and fellow students.

The Reubin O'D. Askew School of Public Administration and Policy, the Departments of Economics, Geography, and Political Science, and the Interdisciplinary Programs in International Affairs and Social Science offer internship programs for qualified undergraduates. Some are open not only to majors, but to other students who meet the programs' criteria (see relevant entries in this General Bulletin for details). The University's location in the state capital provides excellent opportunities for internships.

All departments and programs in the College engage in contract and grant research, and there are often opportunities for work-study employment for qualified undergraduates either on outside-funded research or on University-funded activities.

The College regularly sends faculty and students to the University's London Study Center, the Florence Study Center, Valencia Study Center, and other international programs throughout the world. A semester in either the London, Florence, or Valencia center will usually fit into a student's program of study without delaying graduation and is very appropriate to most of the College's undergraduate programs. Other international activities include studies at the University of Costa Rica, the Republic of Panama, Japan, the Netherlands, Croatia, China, Bali, and Turkey.


Undergraduate majors enter the College either from the University's Division of Undergraduate Studies or as junior-level transfers from other institutions or other colleges within the University. The Economics program is a limited access program, and students wishing to major in Economics should consult the "Department of Economics" entry in this General Bulletin for specific entry requirements. Students in good standing (i.e., with a GPA of 2.0 or better), on track with mapping, and eligible for upper division may declare other non-limited access majors within the College. Most majors do have some required or recommended courses that are advisable to take in lower-division study. For more information, please go to It is useful for potential majors to consult the relevant program entry in this General Bulletin well before they become juniors or enter the College.

General Requirements

  1. Compliance with general University regulations governing baccalaureate degrees.
  2. For the Bachelor of Arts degree, completion of the special University-wide requirements for that degree.
  3. Completion of a major and a minor, with the exception that interdisciplinary majors, International Affairs, Environment and Society, African American Studies, Russian and East European Studies, Asian Studies, Interdisciplinary Social Science, and Latin American and Caribbean Studies do not require completion of a minor.
  4. International Affairs, Asian Studies, Latin-American and Caribbean Studies, and Russian and East European Studies majors must meet University foreign language requirements in a relevant language whether they wish to receive a BA or a BS. Other majors in the College have no foreign language requirement if the student wishes to receive a BS.

Majors. Each candidate for the baccalaureate degree must complete major requirements in one of the departmental or interdisciplinary programs listed below. The major consists of thirty to forty-three semester hours. For specific requirements, refer to the individual programs in this General Bulletin.

Departmental Majors. Economics, Geography, Political Science, and Sociology.

Interdisciplinary Programs. African American Studies, Asian Studies, Asian Studies/Business, Environment and Society, Interdisciplinary Social Science, International Affairs, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies/Business, Public Health, and Russian and East European Studies.

Minors. Each candidate for the baccalaureate degree must complete a minor, unless he or she is pursuing an interdisciplinary major. The minor may be taken in a program offered through the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy or through another college of the University. The College offers minors in the programs that offer majors, as well as Law and Society, Population Studies, Public Administration, Sociology of Health and Aging, and Urban and Regional Planning. Students should consult their academic advisors on the choice of appropriate minor(s).

The minor will consist of at least twelve semester hours that meet both the requirements of the program offering the minor and the minor requirements of the student's major. Students pursuing two degrees (dual degree or a second baccalaureate degree) must have a separate minor for each degree that is awarded by this College if that major requires a minor. If one of the degrees is to be awarded by another college in the University, that dean's office will specify any minor requirements.

Coursework used towards satisfying minor requirements cannot be used towards satisfying General Education requirements. Coursework used towards satisfying minor requirements cannot be used towards satisfying the foreign language requirement. Generally, work used to complete the major may not also count for, or overlap with, a minor. Students should consult their academic advisor for additional information.

Consult program and departmental entries in this General Bulletin or see for specific minor requirements. Please note that completion of an FSU certificate program will not satisfy college minor requirements.

Double Majors

Many students take two majors, i.e., a double major, rather than a major and a minor, and an increasing number of students follow this route to the baccalaureate degree. For a double major, the student must meet the program requirements of both majors, with the following exception: Students completing a double major do not have to complete a minor. Students may overlap up to a maximum of six hours between majors within and outside of our College. Any specific questions about the overlap between majors should be directed to an academic advisor.

Dual Bachelor's Degrees

Students may pursue multiple bachelor's degrees simultaneously. To earn concurrent, or dual bachelor's degrees, students must satisfy the requirements for each major including required minors, foreign language, and college requirements for both the first and the second degree. Dual degrees require completion of a minimum 150 earned hours.

Second Bachelor's Degree

Students returning for a second bachelor's degree can overlap a maximum of 12 hours of coursework taken within the first bachelor's degree with the second bachelor's degree. To earn a second bachelor's degree, students must complete a minimum of 30 hours in residence at FSU beyond the first bachelor's degree. If pursuing a departmental major in the College, students must also complete a minor in addition to all major requirements. If pursuing an interdisciplinary major in the College, no minor is required.

Combined Bachelor's/Master's Pathways

The College's combined bachelor's/master's pathways provide academically talented students an opportunity to complete a bachelor's and a professional master's degree in a shorter time span. Qualified upper-division undergraduate students may take up to twelve hours for graduate credit, while counting those credits towards their bachelor's degree as well. Students from any undergraduate major taught at FSU may be accepted to the Combined Bachelor's/Master's Pathways of either the Department of Urban and Regional Planning (Master of Science in Planning), the Reubin O'D. Askew School of Administration and Policy (Master of Public Administration), Public Health (Master of Public Health), Center for Demography and Population Health (Master of Science in Demography), or Political Science (Master of Science in Applied American Politics and Policy). Students completing an undergraduate major in Geography or Environment and Society at FSU may be accepted to the Combined Bachelor's/Master's Pathway of the Department of Geography (Master of Science in Geographic Information Science).

Preparation for the Study of Law

Many of the College's graduates enter law school. There are no required courses for admission to law schools, and law schools advise strongly against attempts to construct "prelaw" majors. Appropriate law school preparatory study is, thus, very flexible, and all of the College's undergraduate majors are appropriate. Students intending to apply to law school may consult their undergraduate program director or the College's academic support program coordinator (see

Preparation for a Teaching Career

In order to teach in the state of Florida, a student must complete a teacher preparation program. The teacher education program may be combined with a baccalaureate degree from the College; however, students must formally apply and be admitted to teacher education, administered through the College of Education's Office of Academic Services, 203 Stone Building. Admission to teacher education is distinct from admission to a College or undergraduate major, and has different admission criteria. For details, consult the "College of Education" chapter of this General Bulletin. Undergraduates who may wish to teach should consider taking teacher education courses simultaneously with their major programs.

Honors in the Major

The College of Social Sciences and Public Policy offers honors in the major in all of the College's programs. For requirements and other information, see the "University Honors Office and Honor Societies" chapter of this General Bulletin.

Dean's List

Students in good standing who in any term carry a full-time course load of twelve or more graded semester hours with a term GPA of 3.5 or better earn the distinction of being on the dean's list.