Applied Social and Cultural Studies


Bachelor of Arts with a major in Applied Social and Cultural Studies
College of Arts and Sciences (CAS)


Dr. Samuel A. McReynolds


The mission of the Department of Society, Culture, and Languages is to offer a vigorous and exciting broad-based liberal arts education with an emphasis on cultural, global, and political dynamics. The department provides a combination of theoretical, scientific, practical, and experiential approaches to understanding and solving human problems. Issues of gender, race, class, and culture, as well as hands-on learning, are emphasized throughout the curriculum. Our goal is to graduate students with marketable skills that prepare them for careers in a variety of public and social services and/or for graduate study in related areas.

Major Description

The Bachelor of Arts in Applied Social and Cultural Studies is an interdisciplinary degree that allows students to integrate coursework from sociology, anthropology, political science, psychology, communications, and other related fields of study. The major core emphasizes social science methods and ways of knowing while introducing students to a variety of social science disciplines. Within the Applied Social and Cultural Studies degree, students will also pursue a concentration in one of the three particular content areas.

In addition to the interdisciplinary approaches to the social sciences, there are two unique elements to this program. First, students complete a 120-hour internship. This helps students to engage in experiential learning, apply social science to the real world, undertake career explorations. Second, upper-level students participate in a semester-long applied sociological experience. One option is an internship with a minimum of 360 hours of engagement to be selected from a variety of area schools, agencies, and programs. A second option is for a student to study abroad. While studying in a foreign society and culture is important, the primary focus is for students to take courses and engage experientially in a way that helps students develop their areas of interest. There needs to be an integrated social science experience that drives the study abroad learning as well as the opportunity to explore a new society and culture for this to be a successful experience.

Overall, this program will provide students with a strong foundation for understanding today's social issues and problems. The student will also have a wide range of skills and experiences that will enhance their future educational and career opportunities as well as enable them to be more active and aware citizens.

Curricular Requirements

CAS Core Requirements 42-26
ASCL Core  
Three (3) of the following four (4) courses:  
ANT 102 - Cultural Anthropology 3
SOC 150 - Introduction to Sociology 3
PSY 105 - Introduction to Psychology 3
PSC 105 - Introduction to Political Science 3
SOC 268 - Practice of Social Research 3
SOC 270 - Classical Social Theory or SOC 280 - Contemporary Social Theory 3
SOC 300 - Internship 3
SOC 370 - Applied Field Methods 3
Total ASCL Core Credits 21
Applied Capstone Experience (See Details Below) 9-16
Concentration Credits (See Options Below) 12
Total Credits in Major 84-95
Open Electives (needed to reach 120 credits) variable
Minimum Total Required Credits 120

Applied Capstone Experiences (ACE)

  1. Internship: Students may take between 9 and 16 credits to complete this ACE. Students may select from over 800 sites in the departmental database. This learning opportunity should parallel the student’s concentration and help him/her to gain experience, skills, and knowledge of how systems work and how to develop contacts in a given field.
  2. Thesis: Students may take between 9 and 16 credits to complete this ACE. The thesis should build on the work the student has done in the ASCS major and his/her chosen concentration. This academic work should prepare them for graduate study in disciplines that have been incorporated into their concentration.
  3. Study Abroad: Students will typically take 15-16 credits to complete a study abroad experience. While studying in a foreign society and culture is important, the primary focus is to take courses from the new institution that will help the student to develop his/her areas of interest as it relates to the major. In short, there needs to be an integrated social science experience that drives the study abroad learning as well as the opportunity to explore a new society and culture for this to be a successful experience. All study abroad experiences should first be cleared with the department chair to see if they qualify to meet the requirement for the Capstone.

Applied Concentration

There are three concentrations in the ASCS major: Health, Medicine, and Society; Society, Human Services, and Community; and Law, Crime, and Society. As soon as possible after arriving at UNE students should declare their major. By the end of their second year students should declare their concentration. There are no required courses in any concentration. In each concentration students, in consultation with their advisor, choose four courses from a variety of disciplines that will help them build foundations, skills, and develop expertise in their chosen concentration.

Health, Medicine, and Society

Sample courses include (but are not limited to)

ANT 211 - Medical Anthropology
SOC 228 - The Sociology of Aging
SOC 275 - The Sociology of Food and Health
SOC 355 - Medical Sociology
PSY 235 - Health Psychology
PSC 325 - Politics and Public Health

Society, Human Services, and Community

Sample courses include (but are not limited to)

SOC 215 - Poverty
SOC 320 - Community Organization
SOC 460 - Social Policy and Planning
SOC 480 - The Family
PSY 236 - Mental Health and Society
PSY 370 - Drugs, Society, and Behavior

Law, Crime, and Society

Sample courses include (but are not limited to)

ANT 224 - Forensic Anthropology and Human Rights
SOC 170 - Deviance and Crime
SOC 333 - Sociology of Law
SOC 241 - A Just Society?
PSY 252 - Forensic Psychology
PSY 255 or 255G - Social Psychology
CMM 411 - Communication, Law, and Regulation

Students in this major can participate in the pre-health graduate school preparation tracks.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Expand the awareness and application of the sociological imagination and how it is applied in the anthropology field.
    ​Students will be able to:
    • describe how sociology and anthropology are distinct from other social sciences
    • apply the sociological imagination to social phenomena
    • apply anthropology to social phenomena
  2. Emphasize the role of sociological and anthropological theory in social perspectives.
    ​Students will be able to:
    • Describe the role of theory in building sociological and anthropological knowledge
    • Compare and contrast different theoretical perspectives
    • Apply these theories to social conditions
  3.  Examine, apply, and critically assess the nature of evidence in sociology and anthropology.
    ​Students will be able to:
    • Identify the basic methodological approaches in building sociological and anthropological knowledge
    • Compare and contrast various research methodologies
    • Design and complete a written research project
    • Critically assess published research
  4.  Apply and assess a wide range of data analysis.
    ​Students will be able to:
    • Recognizes the role of data analysis in building sociological and anthropological knowledge and testing sociological theory
    • Use computer software for statistical analysis
    • Understand appropriate statistical techniques
    • Draw valid conclusions from the data analysis
  5.  Examine how cultural and social structures operate.
    ​Students will be able to:
    • Describe different social institutions and their various influences on the individual
    • Explain how the aforementioned institutions are interrelated
    • Evaluate them using sociological theory
    • Explain the concept of culture and its influences on human condition
  6.  Examine the diversity of human societies.
    ​Students will be able to:
    • Describe the significance of variation by race, class, gender, religion, and age
    • Explain patterns and variations using sociological and anthropological perspectives
    • Justify policy recommendations to address social inequalities
  7.  Communicate sociology and anthropology effectively.
    ​Students will be able to:
    • Produce well written papers that clearly express sociological and anthropological knowledge
    • Clearly express sociological and anthropological knowledge in verbal presentations
    • Demonstrate critical thinking

Honors Program

We offer qualified students the option of graduating with Honors. This includes significant research, scholarship or creative activity under the direction of a faculty member. Interested students should consult with their major advisor. 

Transfer Credit


Financial Information

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees for subsequent years may vary. Other expenses include books and housing. For more information regarding tuition and fees, please consult the Financial Information section of this catalog.

Notice and Responsibilities Regarding this Catalog

This Catalog documents the academic programs, policies, and activities of the University of New England for the 2020-2021 academic year. The information contained herein is accurate as of date of publication May 1, 2020.

The University of New England reserves the right in its sole judgment to make changes of any nature in its programs, calendar, or academic schedule whenever it is deemed necessary or desirable, including changes in course content, the rescheduling of classes with or without extending the academic term, canceling of scheduled classes or other academic activities, in any such case giving such notice thereof as is reasonably practicable under the circumstances.

While each student may work closely with an academic advisor, he or she must retain individual responsibility for meeting requirements in this catalog and for being aware of any changes in provisions or requirements.