Social Sciences

BAAS Course Block in Social Sciences

About the Social Sciences course block

Social sciences include a variety of academic disciplines that study the communities or societies in which people live, including anthropology, criminology, economics, linguistics, political science, social history, and sociology. The Social Sciences course block provides methods, tools, and concepts to help you understand human behavior and social interaction in a broad range of contexts, from interpersonal communication to cultural identification to global patterns. In these courses, you learn to think critically about how culture and group identities are created, maintained, and changed; how social structures and institutions affect the lives of individual people; and how social problems are defined and addressed by different groups.

Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree courses in the Social Sciences course block are offered on an accelerated (8-week) schedule. Courses in the block are largely asynchronous with some optional synchronous sessions to be scheduled by the instructors.

All Penn LPS Online courses offer academic credit.*

*Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). A course unit (c.u.) is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer). A c.u. (or a fraction of a c.u.) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.

The Social Sciences course block prepares you to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of key concepts and analytical tools used in social sciences
  • Learn conceptual frameworks to enable you to make connections between courses in different fields
  • Introduce key concepts and theories to contextual global studies
  • Think critically about social behavior in a wide range of contexts and at different scales, from interpersonal to global
  • Understand current sociological research on social problems, intercultural communication, globalization, and more
  • Study complex issues incorporating ideas from multiple disciplines, including history, economics, and politics as well as sociological research
  • Explore and examine the underlying social and cultural influences on diverse cultural perspectives

Meet the Faculty

Jackie Candido
  • Senior Director of Program Design & Delivery, Arts & Sciences Online Learning
Zephi Francis
  • Lecturer, Penn’s College of Liberal and Professional Studies
Christina Frei
  • Executive Director, Language Instruction, Penn Arts & Sciences
Deborah Harrold
  • Senior Lecturer, Political Science and Liberal and Professional Studies
Jerry A. Jacobs, Professor of Sociology
  • Professor of Sociology
Meryl Krieger, PhD
  • Senior Learning Designer, Arts and Sciences Online Learning, University of Pennsylvania
Mario Moussa, PhD
  • President, Moussa Consulting
Photo of Derek Newberry, PhD
  • Affiliated Faculty, Penn LPS Online Certificate in Organizational Culture and Collaboration
Rebecca Padot
  • Assistant Professor, Department of History and Government, Misericordia University
  • Senior Fellow, Penn Partnership for Religion and Urban Civil Society
  • Penn Partnership for Effective Public Administration and Leadership
Amrita V. Subramanian
  • Affiliated Faculty, Organizational Dynamics
Kimberly Torres, PhD
  • Affiliated Faculty, Organizational Dynamics; Center for Africana Studies
Greg Urban, PhD
  • Faculty Director, Penn LPS Online Certificate in Organizational Culture and Collaboration