Division of Social Sciences & History

About the Division

Mission Statement

The Division of Social Sciences and History educates undergraduate and graduate students, provides expertise, leadership and energy to Delta State University, and interacts with and encourages the empowerment of the wider Mississippi Delta. Students develop intellectual curiosity, tolerance of and openness to different views and values, cultivate critical thinking and strong written and oral communication skills through seminars, community engagement, lectures and field activities via in-class, on-line, and hybrid instruction formats in the areas of community development, geography, history, paralegal studies, political science, pre-law, social justice and criminology, and sociology. The Division provides excellent advising and professional development programs. Students are exposed to an extraordinary educational experience that raises them to their highest potential as scholars and as effective citizens who help create strong and resilient communities. These endeavors are strengthened by two centers of excellence: the Center for Community Engagement and the Center for Social Justice and Civic Engagement.

Degree Programs

The Division of Social Sciences and History (DSSH) houses seven operational academic degree programs. Two certificate programs were also housed in the DSSH during the 2012-2013 academic year. The seven degree programs and two certificate programs housed within the DSSH are as follows:

  • Bachelor of Arts in History
  • Bachelor of Science in Education–Social Sciences
  • Bachelor of Science in Social Justice and Criminology
  • Master of Science in Social Justice and Criminology
  • Master of Education, Secondary Education–History
  • Master of Education, Secondary Education–Social Sciences
  • Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
    • English and Literature
    • Geography
    • History
    • Sociology
  • Certificate in Paralegal Studies
  • Certificate in Criminal Justice

General Views of Social Sciences

  • A good grasp of a range of social science perspectives is key for developing a scientific and humanistic interpretation of the social world; thus, by engaging in discussions and critical thinking, social science students have a distinct advantage in viewing the world in an interpretive way.
  • Students are given opportunities to apply concepts and theories learned in solving practical societal problems.
  • Social science students use facts and ideas to learn to think differently about their own lives, social behaviors, and the society in which they live; and, to begin to critically interpret and explain some of the differences that they observe around them.
  • Social science majors develop critical thinking skills that can positively impact graduate and professional programs in any of the above fields of studies!

So, what do we study?

  • A wide range of social problems
  • Social institutions – their structures, and how they affect human behavior and how they are affected by human behavior
  • Fascinating insights and diverse theoretical perspectives to help  interpret, explain, and understand:
    • political matters
    • environmental concerns
    • the criminal justice system
    • community and economic development processes
  • Political science where governments, public policies and political processes, systems, and political behavior are studied
  • Geography where the physical earth and its features and patterns, and spatial-social relationships are examined

In general, social science students gain an appreciation for the intellectual, historical, and political accomplishments of humankind. Our approach related to the concentration in Geography encourages problem solving that utilizes spatial reasoning and the analysis of questions at multiple spatial scales: local, regional, national, and global.

The Social Science Education program provides students with the opportunity to pursue challenging studies in education to prepare them for careers as teachers.  Delta State University offers two degrees in Social Science Education: the Bachelor of Science in Social Science Education and the Masters of Education in Social Sciences.

Definition and Nature of Our Work

Secondary school teachers instruct students in junior and senior high schools. They conduct classes in academic subjects, such as English and mathematics, or skills, such as mechanical drawing and woodworking. They start with the basics and add complexity to spur students’ imaginations and intellects and to prepare them for advanced education and jobs as adults.

Teachers also help their colleagues plan courses that use new methods and materials and organize extracurricular activities such as sports and social groups. They work as teams that include school administrators, school counselors, and school psychologists. Their work goes beyond the classroom to include parents, parent groups, and community and governmental agencies.

Junior high school teachers instruct students in the seventh to ninth grades, while high school teachers instruct the tenth to twelfth grades. In some school districts, junior high schools have been replaced by middle or intermediate schools, which start with the fifth grade

Because a broad background is recommended for those preparing for law school, students planning to enter the legal profession can consider either the Bachelor of Arts degree or Bachelor of Science degree.