Bachelor of Arts in Spatial Social Sciences

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Spatial Social Sciences is grounded in Brandman University’s commitment to the liberal arts tradition united with intellectual abilities that are vital for 21st century challenges. The curriculum prepares students to create relevant empirical inquiries focused on solving real-world, integrated problems using applied research skills. The Spatial Social Sciences major brings together thoughts and approaches from different disciplines and teaches methodological, communication, cultural and interdisciplinary thinking skills that enable students to identify and analyze societal and workplace challenges. Students in the program develop skills for understanding people, the places they live, the complex challenges they face, and the interconnections among these dynamics. They creatively apply diverse and integrated methods (quantitative, spatial and qualitative) to generate policies and solutions.  Graduates of the program are problem-solvers who have the ability to think holistically, identify societal issues of concern, and use a variety of research methods to study such problems and develop solutions. This degree provides a strong foundation for careers in such fields as social services, health, analytics, government, non-profit and for-profit enterprises, teaching and environmental science. The Spatial Social Sciences major also prepares students for many fields that require analytical, problem solving skills and for graduate study in a wide range of disciplines.

The Spatial Social Sciences curriculum requires students to take 10 core courses and to choose five elective courses.  Moving through the core courses, students follow a progression that begins with learning how to think about issues in an integrated manner, how to identify a societal problem, and how to creatively approach problems using spatial thinking and cutting-edge effective technologies such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Additionally, students master interdisciplinary critical thinking skills and the quantitative, qualitative and spatial methods collectively needed to understand complex phenomena in society and the environment.   After developing spatial thinking skills in their coursework, students apply those skills in the culminating capstone experience, designing policies to help solve complex social and environmental challenges. 

Program Mission Statement

The mission of the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Spatial Social Sciences is to equip students with an understanding of interdisciplinary problem-solving, multiple research methods, policy, effective communication skills, and the relationship between society and the environment to creatively meet challenges in public, private, educational and non-profit sectors. 

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Integrated Research Methods: Employ multiple research methods within an interdisciplinary context.

  • Policy: Analyze the creation and application of policy in society.

  • Communication: Practice culturally relevant verbal and written communication.

  • Interdisciplinary Thinking and Evaluation: Evaluate a problem and determine creative solutions using holistic thinking.

  • Environment: Generate interdisciplinary connections between environment, health and societal well-being.

  • Spatial Thinking and Analysis: Apply spatial thinking to analyze and develop solutions to societal problems.

All courses taken in the major program must be passed with a letter grade of "C" or higher.

Courses may be used to fulfill both major and general requirements.

Major Core Requirements
SSCU 300Spatial Social Sciences Introduction: Policy and Action3
SOCU 301Social Research Design3
SSCU 303Social Scientific Perspectives on Media and Culture3
SSCU 317Quantitative Methods and Social Statistics3
SSCU 380Interpreting Data: Predictions, Patterns, and Communication3
SSCU 383Spatial Social Sciences Communications and Visualization3
ESCU 401Environmental Science, Policy, and Management3
SOCU 416Sociology of Health Care3
SSCU 477Geospatial Approaches to Society3
SSCU 494Social Science Capstone3
Spatial Social Sciences Electives
Select any five upper division courses from at least two of the following areas:15
Communications (COMU)
Criminal Justice (CJCU)
History (HISU)
Legal Studies (LEST)
Marketing (MKTU)
Organizational Leadership (OLCU)
Psychology (PSYU)
Political Science (POSU)
Social Work (SOWK)
Sociology (SOCU)
Total Credits45