Undergraduate Majors

Our departments include many of the College's core disciplines. In addition, the school houses a number of outstanding interdisciplinary programs and is home to the integrated studies program. Many HSS students double major or pursue one or more minors to explore their interests and fully customize their educational journeys.   


An education in the humanities exposes students to diverse ideas from around the world, broadening their knowledge and developing their critical thinking skills. Understanding the practical applications of the humanities will give you a competitive edge in your professional pursuits with its focus on communication, reasoning, teamwork and personal and social responsibility.
  • Anthropology

    The word “anthropology” actually means “the science of humanity.” Anthropologists study “everything human.” The field is traditionally divided into four sub-disciplines:

    • archaeology
    • biological anthropology
    • linguistic anthropology
    • sociocultural anthropology 

    Anthropologists do research in laboratorieson farmsin U.N. agencies, on football fields and in virtual worlds. They dig, count, interviewmap and run experiments. They study groups, from religious sects to country-western bands, and social movements, from #MeToo to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

    Why Anthropology?
  • Communication

    Learn to better understand the countless messages you receive every day. Better yet, learn how to more effectively craft your own messages. Whether you're learning about the smallest conversations or the biggest social media platforms, exploring political debates or strategic campaigns, you will be prepared to lead in a world where effective and ethical messaging matters more than ever. You'll work in fields like journalism, media, public relations, marketing, advertising, social advocacy, politics and at any of the many, many jobs where connecting with others is essential.

    Why Communication?
  • English

    If you are considering English as a major, you already feel the pull of the word and the image. You already know the pleasure afforded by language shaped into stories, poems, memoirs and essays. You already experience the thrill of entering other worlds, adopting other perspectives and grappling with big questions. You already experience the satisfaction of getting a sentence just right, expressing your idea and articulating your vision. What you might not yet know is that English represents a pragmatic course of study as well as a fulfilling one. 

    Why English?
  • Environmental and Sustainability Studies

    Are you passionate about sustainability and the environment? Do you want to learn how to make the world a better place, both for people and for other living things? In Environmental and Sustainability Studies, you'll gain the ability to understand the issues and the skills to make a difference. Some graduates go on to careers in environmental science. Others work in fields like environmental policy and law, sustainable business, and more.

    Why ENSS?
  • History

    As a history major, you will learn about the past, gain perspective regarding the present, and be in a position to shape the future. In addition, major in history and you'll have the tools to understand the world, to broaden your knowledge of society and politics and to improve your critical, analytical and writing skills. 

    Studying in the historic city of Charleston is particularly exciting. Our majors take advantage of independent research with faculty, win SURF grants and complete internships for academic credit in historic houses, archives and museums around the Lowcountry.

    Why History?
  • Philosophy

    Philosophy focuses on some of the deepest questions humans face:

    • Is there an objective standard of moral rightness?
    • Do humans have free will? 
    The methods used to tackle such big questions – imaginative “thought experiments” and rigorous analysis of arguments – enable you to build essential skills. Philosophy is learned through questioning, speculation and rational argumentation. We're empowering you to become active seekers of understanding rather than passive recipients of information. If your ideal career requires thinking, talking or writing, philosophy will prepare you. Why philosophy?
  • Political Science

    Are you interested in American campaigns and elections or international human rights? What about global climate change or criminal justice? Maybe you're more into:

    • foreign policy
    • urban planning
    • intelligence gathering
    • health policy
    • local community groups
    • international development agencies

    If any of this sounds exciting, the Department of Political Science is for you. 

    Many of our graduates pursue advanced degrees or enroll in law school. Our alumni have distinguished themselves as attorneys, legislative staff, political consultants, nonprofit fund developers, foreign service officers, policy analysts, private investors and in many other fields. 

    Why Political Science?
  • Psychology

    Psychology majors choose between two degree options, a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree or a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. This allows you to tailor your education to fit your professional goals. 

    The B.S. degree prepares students for advanced study in the field or a related scientific discipline. The B.A. degree provides a broad undergraduate overview of the field of psychology for students considering careers such as social work, education or business, or health-related occupations like nursing or physical therapy. Research opportunities abound in this department.

    Why Psychology?
  • Religious Studies

    The study of religion is an important part of comprehending the world in all its diversity. This department boasts a dynamic faculty with expertise in various religions, including:

    • eastern
    • western
    • indigenous
    • ancient
    • medieval
    • modern

    Acquaint yourself with religious traditions from all spheres and throughout history. By sympathetically grasping their force in culture, you gain a greater understanding of global events. In an increasingly complex world, the need to understand the beliefs, values and practices of diverse cultures has become a political and moral imperative.

    Why Religious Studies?
  • Sociology

    Sociology is the scientific study of human social behavior. It focuses on the factors that organize and structure social activities, as well as those that disorganize and threaten to dissolve them. You'll gain valuable insights into social factors, such as:

    • race
    • ethnicity
    • gender
    • age
    • education
    • social class
    • other characteristics that affect how businesses and organizations operate

    You will also be able to understand and address current social issues. Sociology majors are prepared for careers in business, law, education, medicine, social services and government.

    Why Sociology?

The sciences are the 'how,' and the humanities are the 'why' - why we are here, why do we believe in the things we believe in? I don't think you can have the 'how' without the 'why.'

George Lucas, filmmaker best known for creating the Star Wars and Indians Jones franchises

Interdisciplinary Majors

College is your time to expand your world view. Interdisciplinary programs can help. They draw resources from several different academic disciplines to approach topics from all angles.
  • Environmental and Sustainability Studies

    Why is a healthy environment important for human well-being, and how can we ensure that the environment continues to provide for us? 

    The environmental and sustainability studies program can help you make sense of important issues that confront the future of society, and that knowledge can give you an edge in the professional world or graduate school. Combine courses in:

    • the natural sciences
    • the social sciences
    • the humanities
    • business

    This program offers an appreciation for environmental and sustainability issues on a local, national and international scale. 

    Why the ENSS program?
  • Integrated Studies

    The Integrated Studies program empowers students to design their own curriculum by combining courses from various disciplines, providing a truly unique and personalized education. Perfect if you prefer not to choose a specific major, you'll instead have the opportunity to create a customized degree by choosing from more than 80 minors offered by the College. The flexibility of the integrated studies program provides you with a top-notch liberal arts education and allows you to create your own, individualized program of study. Be creative and build the degree that fits your academic needs! 

    Why Integrated Studies?
  • Urban Studies

    If you love cities and want to make them even better places to live, this is the major for you. Taught by faculty from:

    • business
    • economics
    • real estate
    • history
    • sociology
    • political science
    • historic preservation

    This program gives you the foundation you need to understand the problems and the potential of the city and urban environment. You may concentrate in urban policy and social problems or urban planning and administration. Graduates go on to work as city and regional planners, public administrators, real estate developers and educators.

    Why urban studies?
  • Women's and Gender Studies

    Do you want to examine society and history through a nontraditional lens or learn more about social justice and the relationship between research and activism?

    The Women's and Gender Studies program explores the intersections of gender, class, race, ethnicity, age, religion and sexuality. Its courses allow you to immerse yourself in the study of women and gender in different cultures, contexts and time periods. Faculty discuss complex cultural issues from historical to contemporary controversies. They teach students to think on their feet and develop a range of analytical approaches.

    Why the WGS program?