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Can a language be considered a social science?

comfortablycurtcomfortablycurt Registered User Posts: 2,182 Senior Member
edited November 2012 in College Admissions
Hey everyone. I'm trying to get my gened's figured out for the next couple of years, and I'm wondering if I could use a foreign language to fulfill my social science requirement. I'll have to take 2 years of a foreign language for my bachelors anyway, and I'm trying to squeeze in at least a year of it at my CC before I transfer. I know that I can use a language to fulfill my humanities requirements, but I'm planning on minoring in either philosophy or english literature of some sort eventually, and I'd like to use those geneds to work towards my eventual requirements for that minor.

I've been looking around online for an answer, and I'm seeing a lot of conflicting answers.

As a broader question, what exactly constitutes a social science? I know psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, and a number of other areas will fulfill that requirement. I'm seeing linguistics and communication on several lists of "what is a social science?" as well. Does this essentially mean foreign language? Would philosophy classes be considered a social science? What about classical literature courses?

I was planning on taking intro to sociology and intro to anthropology to fulfill my social science geneds, but if I can do double duty with those geneds and put them towards my degree, I'm all about that.

Any help would be much appreciated. :)
Post edited by comfortablycurt on

Replies to: Can a language be considered a social science?

  • comfortablycurtcomfortablycurt Registered User Posts: 2,182 Senior Member
    What about a World Religions class? Could that be considered a social science?

    The more I'm looking around, it's sounding like all the other classes I've named would fall into the humanities category.
  • SikorskySikorsky Registered User Posts: 5,851 Senior Member
    General education requirements vary from college to college, so there's no way to answer your question with complete confidence without knowing where you'll be going after you leave community college.

    But I can say this: I've never heard of a college or university that counted language classes as either social science or social studies.
  • CTScoutmomCTScoutmom Registered User Posts: 1,387 Senior Member
    Since yo're planning to transfer, you need to look at the requirements at the school where you will eventually transfer (or set of schools if you don't have a specific one chosen). No matter what we tell you here, their rules will decide what counts - and their rules will determine what will even transfer.

    Humanities and Social Sciences are two different parts of what is often called "social studies" in high school. There are some schools that consider languages as Humanities (many technical schools, where they have a Humanities/Social Science core requirement, for instance), but I have not seen them counted as social science. Social Science would be something more like a soft science - economics, psychology. History, which you list as a social science, is often not a social science, but humanities.

    Linguistics in not the same as language - it is the scientific study of language, and how it develops and is used.

    Perhaps more important than how to classify courses, you also need to consider that most colleges won't allow you to double dip. If you need 2 years of language for your bachelor's degree, they won't let you also use those 2 years for your social science requirements. If you already know you can use language to fulfill you humanities requirement, that would suggest that you already know the answer - it is categorized as humanities, not social science.
  • comfortablycurtcomfortablycurt Registered User Posts: 2,182 Senior Member
    Thanks for the info.

    I'm planning on transferring to UIUC...and they have a 2 year foreign language requirement for all bachelors degrees, aside from the core curriculum.

    I figured it wouldn't work out that way...but I figured I'd throw the question out there. It looks like I might just have to wait until after I transfer to start a language. With all of the core requirements I'll have before I transfer, plus my major studies, I'll have a very busy schedule the next couple years. I'm meeting with my counselor next week though, so I'll see what he says about some of these ideas.

    I'm going to Sauk Valley Community College, in Northern Illinois, right now...and their website doesn't have much of a real description of their core requirements. I can find a list of the required categores (i.e. life science-3 hours; social science-9 hours; humanities/fine arts-9 hours), but not real descriptions of what classes will fulfill their requirements.

    I've gotten most of them figured out, at least potentially. Philosophy and some type of world literature courses for humanities/fine arts, and history(assuming they'll allow it) and intro to sociology, for my social sciences. Would World Religions fall under a social science category? It's a philosophy course, but it might be seen as something of a social science as well.....?
  • bclintonkbclintonk Registered User Posts: 7,323 Senior Member
    I've never heard of foreign languages being classified as social science. Most colleges and universities would place foreign languages squarely in the humanities, alongside English, comparative literature, philosophy, religion, classics, and art history; many definitions also include the visual and performing arts in the humanities.

    Social sciences typically include political science, economics, psychology (except those branches that may be classified as natural sciences), sociology, anthropology, and human geography. History is sometimes included with the humanities, sometimes with social sciences. Archeology is another cross-over category; in some ways it's a straight-up social science, but to the extent it involves studying and interpreting ancient civilizations, it's often classified as part of the humanities. Linguistics, which studies how humans use and acquire language in a generic sense, is usually classified as a social science.

    I've never heard of philosophy being classified as a social science, either. Social sciences are usually (at least somewhat) empirical, though not necessarily quantitative; humanities tend to be less empirical and more critical, analytical, normative, and/or expressive.
  • comfortablycurtcomfortablycurt Registered User Posts: 2,182 Senior Member
    Thanks for the concise description. Sounds like my hopes of using a foreign language for my social science electives are out the window. That's ok though. I'm hoping that Sauk puts history classes in the social science category. Preferably I'd like to take history classes over the other options, but sociology or anthropology wouldn't be all bad either. Political science could be cool too. I'm definitely going to be steering towards philosophy and comparative literature courses for my humanities.

    I also need to take a life science...I'm planning on biology for this...are there even really any other options for a life science? Not that I'm opposed to bio, in any case. I'd actually really enjoy a bio class, I'm just trying to see what else might be out there.
  • CantConcentrateCantConcentrate Registered User Posts: 2,552 Senior Member
    Life science?

    I'm pretty sure anatomy and/or zoology would qualify.
This discussion has been closed.