What are the Best Colleges for Social Sciences?

A broad class of studies that also provide laser-like focus, the Social Sciences are of ever-increasing importance to many educations.

The Social Sciences make for a unique major.

Most college majors are either very broad, or very focused. The Social Sciences, however, contain a mix of both characteristics.

They are a great place to go and get a broad outline of many disciplines. However, to a greater extent than most broad majors, there are a number of specialties that one can easily pursue within them.

One can become a psychologist out of the Social Sciences… or an economist. Many law schools consider the Social Sciences as good a preparation as pre-law – with the added bonus of bringing fresher perspective. The government is full of social scientists – both as elected officials, and, even more often, as members of the various branch staffs.

Indeed, the careers mentioned above – and a few others, like anthropology – are where most social scientists end up.

That’s one reason it’s a great major for a wide variety of students. If you’ve got interest in one of the main Social Science careers, wonderful. And if you don’t know what you want to do, but find the subject interesting, it gives you a leg up on your future career that English or History just can’t provide.

Today, let’s take a look at a few of the best colleges for the Social Sciences.


No surprise here – in fact, it’s barely worth mentioning that Harvard is amongst the top in a subject. It’s assumed.

However, in this case, Harvard is so far above the rest of the field, we’ve got to talk about it. According to one metric used by the US News and World Report, Harvard scores about 10% better than the number two school — and is doubling the score by the time you get to number twenty.

With so many great programs at the school – including the JFK Graduate School of Government – Harvard draws the best and brightest to this field. It is, bar none, the premier place to study Social Sciences.

University of California – Berkeley

Another elite school tops this list, but there’s a difference here.

For starters, of course, UC Berkeley is a public school – tuition is about 1/3 the cost of Harvard’s. It’s also a fairly large school, with around 4,000 students coming in with each class.

Stanford University

Located just outside San Francisco, Stanford is one of the top institutes of higher learning. It’s also one of the best places to get a Social Sciences degree.

Much like UC Berkeley, Stanford will provide numerous chances to practice the hands-on aspects of Social Science. But, surrounded by a beautiful campus in the midst of one of America’s great cities, Stanford also offers a tremendous chance to escape the stresses of the job.

Stanford also has one of the finest law schools around – if you’re interested in the policy and law aspects of the Social Sciences, there aren’t many choices better.

The University of Chicago

The University of Chicago has long prided itself on its strong interdisciplinary approach, and that approach truly shines when dealing with the Social Sciences.

Like with Stanford, The University of Chicago has a top law school – but it also has a top Economics program, offers strong sociology and anthropology studies.  And a few schools of thought that are born from its interdisciplinary beliefs – like a Social Sciences concentration in Comparative Human Development.

And, despite the wind and winter, Chicago remains one of the greatest cities America has to offer.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

You may be surprised to see MIT at the top of any ‘soft’ science, but make no mistake; you won’t only find engineers here.

To be sure, MIT has the strongest Linguistics program in the world. But it also excels at all the ‘hard’ aspects of the Social Sciences – whether we’re talking Economics, Statistics, or simply figuring out what makes for inequality between genders and how to solve it.

MIT isn’t known for its Social Sciences – but that’s only because it is so strong in other areas as well. It deserves to be on this list of the best colleges for the Social Sciences.

To your successful college pursuits,

Jodi Polster
Education Director, CollegeMadeSimple.com


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