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University Catalog


Amador Hall

The College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies (SSIS) provides a curriculum that examines human society in all aspects. The College focuses on such topics as relationships among individuals and groups, the functioning of the political system and economy, the nature and influence of culture, relationships among nations, and the relation of human society to the natural environment.

The College offers Bachelor's degree programs in Anthropology, Asian Studies, Economics, Environmental Studies, Ethnic Studies, Family and Consumer Sciences, Gerontology, Government, Liberal Studies, Psychology, Social Science, Sociology, and Women's Studies. Additionally, SSIS offers minors in most of the above disciplines as well as African Studies, Asian American Studies, Chicano Latino Studies, Middle East and Islamic Studies, Native American Studies, Peace and Conflict Resolution, Military Studies, California Studies, and Labor Studies. The College also has several Master's degree programs including those in Anthropology, Economics, Government, Psychology, Public Policy and Administration, Sociology, and a Special Masters in Gerontology and Public Policy and Administration. The University's new Educational Doctorate Program reflects a partnership between a SSIS department (Public Policy and Administration) and the College of Education. Finally, units within the College offer various academic certificates (e.g., Pan African Studies, Collaborative Governance).

The programs in the College use and teach skills in critical thinking and problem solving; finding and using information; oral and written communication; policy analysis; adaptation to a variety of situations; and sensitivity to and understanding of other peoples and their customs, problems, values, and aspirations. The College is further dedicated to developing a sense of responsibility to participate in and contribute to the human community and a healthy natural environment.

The knowledge and skills developed by the College's programs are applicable to a wide variety of careers. Students should consult with individual departments for further career and graduate and professional school opportunities.

Unique strengths of programs within the College include:

Program Descriptions


Located at the nexus of Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities, Anthropology integrates diverse forms of knowledge into practical indexes for engagement with our everyday concerns. The program provides students “hands-on” experience to complement their in-class learning. Undergraduate and graduate students can participate in various projects including archaeological excavations, community engagement programs, and intern at various governmental and non-governmental agencies.

Asian Studies

At a time when Pacific Rim developments are highly important to U.S. interests, the Asian Studies undergraduate major offers students a coherent introduction to the cultures of selected Asian societies. The major emphasizes are Japanese, Chinese, and South and Southeast Asian Studies.


The Economics major is designed to provide students with a liberal education with special emphasis on the economic aspects of society and familiarization with techniques for the analysis of contemporary economic problems.  A graduate degree is also offered.

Environmental Studies

The B.A. or B.S. in Environmental Studies degree can help students gain an interdisciplinary understanding of issues like pollution, wildlife and wilderness preservation, land use, biodiversity loss, resource depletion, energy conservation, and a generally healthful relationship between nature and society.

Ethnic Studies

Ethnic Studies offers an undergraduate degree through an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the cultures, languages, historical, and contemporary issues relating to African Americans, Asian Americans, Chicana/os-Latina/os, and Native Americans. The program directs students to critically examine the cultural contributions made by these groups to world civilization and to American society.

Family and Consumer Sciences

The undergraduate degree in Family & Consumer Sciences studies relationships between people and their diverse environments, focusing on the integration of physical, biological, cultural, economic and social influences on human behavior, lifespan development, and health.  These relationships are examined in the context of clothing and fashion, nutrition and food, family life, and resource management.


Gerontology is an applied interdisciplinary program offering courses from a variety of departments and colleges. The Program prepares students to address challenges and joys related to individual and family health and illness in an aging society. Students apply concepts and theories in several service learning courses and two academically structured internships which aids in providing a solid knowledge and experiential base for practice in a wide variety of settings serving elders.


Ideally located in the state capital, the Department offers students unique opportunities to integrate their studies of politics and theory through an extensive range of internships in state and local government. A graduate degree is also available.

Liberal Studies

Students enjoy a wide-ranging selection of courses in different disciplines as they prepare for careers in K-12 education or in business and government.


The undergraduate and graduate programs in Psychology allow students to develop a scientific understanding of the biological, cognitive, cultural, developmental, and social aspects of human behavior.

Public Policy Administration

The Master of Public Policy and Administration is a professional degree opportunity for graduate students interested in a career in public service. The program draws together the diverse perspectives, technologies, and skills now essential to a successful career in public management and/or in one of the many fields within the public policy arena. 

Social Science

The Social Science Program provides a major and concurrent subject matter preparation for the Single Subject Teaching Credential in Social Science.


 The undergraduate and graduate sociology programs allow students to understand and explain the way people are by appreciating the social, historical, cultura,l and organizational contexts in which they live.  Neither individuals nor society can be understood without such an understanding.

Urban Land Development

The Master of Urban Land Development is a professional degree opportunity for graduate students interested in a public and/or private sector career in land development in an urban setting. The program provides both the business finance/real estate knowledge and public policy skills necessary to be successful in this endeavor.

Women's Studies

One of the earliest programs in the country, Women’s Studies at Sacramento State is a dynamic interdisciplinary field which draws undergraduate majors and minors from diverse backgrounds, offering courses on a wide range of topics drawn from the Social Sciences and Humanities. Juxtaposing knowledge of feminist theory with political projects, internships and personal experiences, the department facilitates political activism through active community involvement.



The College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies has a long history of involvement in social policy-oriented scholarship and instruction. That history, and the College's current roster of talented researchers and instructors, has placed SSIS at the forefront of the University's efforts to diverse community needs, consistent with the stated values of the University’s strategic plan. Many of these efforts are channeled through centers and institutes that are under the College’s purview. Such centers include the following:

Contact Information

Örn Bodvarsson, Dean
Dianne Hyson, Associate Dean
Derek Bevers, College Resource Analyst
Marsha Robinson, HR Specialist
Heather Mummaw, Administrative Support Coordinator

For more information, visit the Web site for the College of Social Sciences & Interdisciplinary Studies at
Amador Hall 255
(916) 278-6504