Our general Level I program gives you the opportunity to study and explore the diverse and multidisciplinary areas in the Social Sciences. It provides you with a year to discover and focus your academic interests, so you can then feel ready to apply to a program or combined program within the Social Sciences, or to combine your passion for Social Sciences with other subject areas outside of Social Sciences. Social scientists at McMaster come from a variety of backgrounds. They share a curiosity about individuals and society and use a number of approaches and research methods to advance our understanding of individuals, groups and social relationships and activities.
Study in the Social Sciences at McMaster will help you to engage with some of the most compelling questions in contemporary society: How did we get here? Where should we be going? How should we organize our economy? How do different institutions in society shape our experiences? How might we achieve a just society? Studying the Social Sciences will stimulate your curiosity, encourage you to seek the answers to important questions and develop the skills you need to engage the world around you.
The Faculty of Social Sciences at McMaster University offers you an educational experience of the highest quality. After our students complete their studies, they enjoy considerable success whether they go to graduate school, continue their education in some other way or enter the job market.
The flexibility of your first year in the Faculty of Social Sciences will help you to discover your interests by giving you the opportunity to take courses from a wide variety of disciplines.
First-year courses are designed to provide an overview of each discipline and to help you to choose a major (or majors) best suited to your interests and learning style. Elective courses taken to complement your studies may be selected from other Faculties, subject to meeting prerequisites.
OUAC Application Code: ML
Target Enrolment: 1000 Students
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Social Sciences offers:
12 departments of study are available
260 degree combinations
3 McMaster/Mohawk affiliated certificates
First Year Courses
Students in Level I Social Sciences have a great deal of flexibility in their course selection from within the Faculty of Social Sciences and from other Faculties across the campus.
Total: 30 units
Required:18 units (from the Faculty of Social Sciences, see below)
Note: The value of a particular course is indicated by the last digit of the course code (e.g. 1A03 = 3 units).
- Anthropology 1AA3 – Introduction to Anthropology: Sex, Food and Death
- Anthropology 1AB3 - Introduction to Anthropology: Race, Religion, and Conflict
- Cayuga 1Z03 – Introduction to Cayuga Language and Culture
- Economics 1B03 – Introductory Microeconomics
- Economics 1BB3 – Introductory Macroeconomics
- Geography 1HA3 – Human Geography: Society and Culture
- Geography 1HB3 - Human Geography: City and Economics
- Globalization 1A03 – Global Citizenship
- Health, Aging & Society 1AA3 – Introduction to Health Studies
- Health, Aging & Society 1BB3 – Aging and Society
- Health, Aging & Society 1CC3 – Introduction to Mental Health and Illness
- Indigenous Studies 1A03 – Introduction to Indigenous Studies
- Indigenous Studies 1AA3 – Introduction to Contemporary Indigenous Studies
- Labour Studies 1A03 – An Introduction to Labour in Canada
- Labour Studies 1C03 – Voices of Work, Resistance and Change
- Mohawk 1Z03 – Introduction to Mohawk Language and Culture
- Ojibwe 1Z03 – Introduction to Ojibwe Language and Culture
- Political Science 1AA3 – Government, Politics, and Power
- Political Science 1AB3 – Politics and Power in a Globalizing World
- Psychology 1F03 – Survey of Psychology
- Psychology 1X03 – Introduction to Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour
- Psychology 1XX3 – Foundations of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour
- Religious Studies 1AB3 – Archaeology and the Bible
- Religious Studies 1B06 A/B What On Earth Is Religion?
- Religious Studies 1I03 – Religious Themes in Modern Culture
- Religious Studies 1J03 – Great Books in Asian Religions
- Social Psychology 1Z03 – An Introduction to Social Psychology
- Social Sciences 1HS3 – Pathways to Inquiry in the Social Sciences
- Social Sciences 1SS3 – Inquiry in the Social Sciences
- Social Sciences 1T03 – Life, the University, and a Bit of Everything
- Social Work 1AA3 - So You Think You Can Help? Introduction to Social Work I
- Social Work 1BB3 - Re-Imagining Help: Introduction to Social Work II
- Sociology 1C03 - Canadian Society: Social Problems, Social Policy and the Law
- Sociology 1Z03 – An Introduction to Sociology
First Year Inquiry Seminars
SOC SCI 1SS3 is taught in small seminar classes of about 30 students and provides an opportunity for students to learn how to ask good questions, search out and evaluate evidence, develop well-reasoned conclusions and present their outcomes to the class.
This class provides valuable foundational research and writing skills. Research has shown that students who complete SOC SCI 1SS3 receive higher grades in university courses, complete their degrees on time and are more likely to obtain Dean’s Honour List standing.
Some 1SS3 topics include:
- Social justice
- Climate change in the global village
- Conspiracies and cover ups
- Google Earth effect: Is geotechnology changing our world?
After Level I you will further develop your academic interests. The Faculty of Social Sciences offers three- and four-year Bachelor of Arts and four-year Bachelor of Social Work degrees. You can choose from one (or two) of our innovative programs:
- Geography and Environmental Studies
- Health, Aging and Society (Health Studies & Gerontology)
- Indigenous Studies
- Labour Studies
- Political Science
- Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour (PNB)
- Religious Studies
- Social Psychology
- Social Work
THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS – earn a certificate from Mohawk College while completing your 4-year Honours Social Sciences degree!
The McMaster/Mohawk Affiliated certificates can be paired with any Social Sciences program and all classes are taught on the McMaster campus, so there is no need for extra travelling. The best part? Your Mohawk certificate is completed using your McMaster electives, which means no additional time is needed to complete your degree/certificate AND no additional fees are incurred.
Currently, we offer three affiliated certificates:
The Faculty of Social Sciences offers an education that combines academic study with hands-on experience – we call it Experiential Education. This unique blend provides you with the opportunity to:
- participate in the diverse learning strategies used by our award-winning professors, including: field trips, simulations, computer-mediated experiments and academic placements within the community
- pursue a placement or practicum that allows you to develop professional skills in the field while earning academic credit
- test drive your career choices before graduation through our paid internships, career placements or volunteer opportunities.
A well-rounded education can lead to success! Through our Experiential Education office you can participate in exciting immersive learning programs that will provide a solid foundation for a successful career.
McMaster’s Faculty of Social Sciences is currently based in Kenneth Taylor Hall, with departments and facilities spread throughout our campus.
L.R. Wilson Hall
L. R. Wilson Hall for Studies in Social Sciences and Humanities(our new $55 million home) opened in September 2016 and includes innovative classrooms, lecture halls, research space, a black-box theatre and a concert hall.
Please refer to our Virtual Tour (http://tours.mcmaster.ca) for images/videos of our facilities.
Medical Student, University of Alberta
BA (Hons.) Anthropology, BSc Life Sciences ’14
Project Manager for the Hamilton Conservation Authority
BA (Hons.) Political Science ’11, BA Geography ’12
Strategy Analyst, Ontario Ministry of Labour’s Prevention Office
BA (Hons.) Labour Studies and Political Science ’12
For a list of student profiles, please refer to the Faculty of Social Sciences website.
Graduates of the Faculty of Social Sciences have moved on to various fields/careers, including:
- Author and Editor
- Bereavement Counsellor
- Child & Family Therapist
- Corporate Communications (PR)
- Corporate Sponsorship
- Corporate/Community Relations
- Community Outreach Workers
- Conflict Resolution
- Financial Planning / Forcasting
- GIS Analyst
- Health Care
- High School Teacher
- Human Resources
- Human Rights
- Immigration/Settlement Services
- International Aid Work
- Municipal Government (Policy & Community Engagement)
- Museum Archivist
- Music Therapist
- Police Officer
- Policy Analyst / Researcher
- Real Estate
- Social Media / Journalism
- Social Worker
- Speech Language Pathology
For additional information about McMaster Social Sciences programs, please refer to the Faculty of Social Sciences website.