Tower Hall, SJSU

The College of Social Sciences prepares students for impactful careers in fields such as business, government, communication and law, while empowering them as democratic participants in a rapidly changing world. Emphasizing the contributions of the many cultures that call Silicon Valley home, the 12 departments focus on personal interaction between students and faculty members, as well as service to the community.

African American Studies

Our goal is to empower students in African American Studies to expand their knowledge base connected to the intellectual traditions within the African Diaspora. Our curriculum, programming, and scholarship examine, explore, and engage the intellectual traditions within the African Diaspora from multiple perspectives.


We seek to enhance student knowledge and skills in understanding culture as the distinguishing phenomenon of human life, the relationship between human biology and evolution, awareness of human diversity, and the ways humans have categorized diversity.

Chicana and Chicano Studies

We are the oldest graduate program in the country. Our programs prepare students to critically examine and address intellectual traditions and contemporary issues resulting from race, ethnicity, class, and gender intersections in Chicana/o-Latina/o and other communities.

Communication Studies

The Communication Studies department’s mission is to educate individuals in competent and ethical communication for meaningful participation in diverse local and global communities.


We train students in the economic way of thinking. Economics uses data and theory to guide decision-making, to understand markets and institutions, and to write and speak about economic phenomena.

Environmental Studies

Our mission is to provide a rigorous, systematic, and integrated approach to the study, management, and solution of environmental and global challenges and issues which we achieve through our sustainability programs in environmental justice, natural resource management, policy/regulation, and global studies.


The skills possessed by historians, including the abilities to read and think critically, to write and speak, to engage in research and recognize patterns, to analyze data and synthesize evidence from a variety of sources, serve us well in rapidly changing societies. 

Justice Studies

We embrace an interdisciplinary approach to engage students in critical analysis of justice systems in practice, policy, and research. We equip students to be leaders, professionals, and agents of change in justice-related institutions and in diverse local and global communities.

Political Science

We engage in teaching and learning critically and systematically about politics, public affairs, public institutions, and their problems. Our mission thus embraces elements of the liberal arts, citizenship, and social science education.


Our vision is to provide high-quality education in psychology that fosters the development of students so that they will make worthy contributions to society, and it integrates undergraduate and graduate education, teaching, research, applied training, and service activities to further the overall mission of the University.

Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences

Sociologists analyze how social institutions and social structures affect individuals in society. We aim to provide students with the skills and knowledge to navigate the social, political, economic, historical, and cultural issues that build and sustain effective leadership in our complex global society.

Urban and Regional Planning

We offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in Geography and an accredited Master of Urban Planning degree – the only programs of their kind in Silicon Valley – along with three undergraduate minors and seven graduate certificate programs.