If you’re looking for a traditional course of study that exposes you to a broad spectrum of subjects - and also teaches you to reason, question, and communicate - Onondaga’s associate in arts (A.A.) degree in Humanities and Social Sciences provides this experience.
In addition, this program satisfies the General Education Liberal Arts requirements at many four-year colleges and universities, enabling you to move seamlessly into any major course of study once you transfer.
Graduates of this program have earned four-year degrees in liberal arts in pre-professional areas such as journalism, history, English literature, political science, modern languages, psychology, philosophy, economics, sociology, anthropology and more.
You will study the same liberal arts courses that freshmen and sophomore students typically study at colleges across the country: English composition and literature, history, mathematics, science, philosophy, fine arts, global awareness and languages, plus social sciences such as political science, psychology, anthropology, geography, sociology, and economics. This diverse exposure broadens your perspective on life, and helps you make informed decisions about your career direction and future course of study.
This program also includes a generous choice of electives, enabling you to explore new ideas and then focus on the area that most appeals to you: music, art, business, journalism, communication, computer science and more.
Through the completion of degree requirements and with careful advisement in selecting electives, you may be able to complete a minor in a specific area of study. (Please see the section on Minors in the Catalog.)
If you wish to enter the workforce after graduation from Onondaga, this degree tells employers that you have a broad-based education – and that you have learned how to learn. Many employers prefer to hire generalists who have solid reasoning and communication skills and therefore usually make good candidates for specialized, on-the-job training.
The department of English/Integrated Learning Studies/Communications offers courses in writing, literature, reading, communication, journalism and cinema studies. Students must complete English 103 and English 104 before taking upper-level English electives. A wide range of upper-division (200-level) writing and literature courses is available, including Creative Writing, Report and Technical Writing, surveys of British and American Literature, World Literature, African American Literature, Women’s Literature, The Novel, and Voices of Diversity.
The Integrated Learning Studies discipline offers a variety of non-credit and credit courses. Non-credit courses are designed to help students develop their reading skills to meet the demands of college-level classes. Credit courses are available for students who would like to enhance their academic performance in college. Students may choose to focus on developing their vocabulary or improving their critical reading and study skills.
The Communications discipline offers courses in basic communication skills, public speaking, argumentation, interpersonal communication, gender communication, and small groups. Communication courses that respond specifically to the needs of international students are also available.
The Social Sciences and Philosophy department houses history and philosophy as well as the social sciences. The social sciences involve the study of human behavior and interactions. These sciences are anthropology, economics, geography, psychology, political science and sociology.
- Anthropology is the scientific study of humans across cultures and through time.
- Economics is the study of how society chooses to use limited resources in attempting to satisfy unlimited wants.
- Geography examines through spatial analysis the world’s social, political, cultural, economic and environmental processes, with a particular focus on space and place.
- History studies significant past events, explains their causes and effects, and their impact on the present.
- Philosophy involves the critical examination of our fundamental views concerning reality, knowledge and values.
- Political Science is concerned with the analysis of political and governmental institutions, public affairs and their interrelationships.
- Psychology seeks to discover the environmental and genetic factors that influence an individual’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
- Sociology focuses on the study of society and its institutions, and social relationships among groups of humans.
The World Languages department provides the opportunity to study languages other than English. Professors as well as students use the target language as much as the level of the course permits. Language study is complemented by learning about the cultures in which the language is spoken. In addition, courses on literature and civilization are offered (see list of courses under the Literatures, Cultures and Civilizations section). Knowledge of other languages and cultures is increasingly important for economic and social reasons.
Placement in language courses varies according to the high school background of individual students.
Humanities and Social Sciences Transfer Paths
SUNY has created transfer paths for most disciplines. These transfer paths will help you identify core coursework in these disciplines that will prepare you for multiple SUNY campuses. The transfer paths relevant to the Humanities and Social Sciences degree are listed below. All of the courses listed are three-credit courses, and may be used to fulfill other degree requirements, including SUNY General Education requirements. Make sure to consult with your academic advisor before choosing a transfer path.
The anthropology transfer path will provide students with a broad understanding of the human condition by introducing them to the sub-fields of cultural anthropology, archaeology, and physical anthropology as well as by providing them with courses in linguistics or in different topical areas. The goal of this transfer path is to prepare students to enter a four-year institution as an anthropology major at the junior level, ready to pursue more specialized courses in the discipline of anthropology.
The ideal preparation for the English major is familiarity with a broad range of ethnic and national literatures, literary periods and genres, and modes of writing. It is recommended, therefore, that students take as many courses as possible in different areas of literary study and writing.
History involves the examination of continuity and change over time. Historians investigate evidence from the past, interpret its meaning, and analyze the impact of the past on the world in which we live. Historical inquiry may be approached from a variety of perspectives and can lead to different interpretations, which makes the study of history both exciting and challenging. The history transfer path will provide students with a broad understanding of three major content areas within the history discipline: American History, World Civilization and Western Civilization. For students who plan to major in history, this transfer path will prepare them to enter a four-year institution as history majors where they will pursue more specialized courses in history.
Sociology is the scientific study of human societies, organizations and behaviors. Specializing in sociology prepares students for a variety of career and educational paths in social services, public policy and administration, international relations, demography and social research, community development, law and legal studies, journalism, public health, teaching, and more. Successful completion of the sociology transfer path includes completing SOC 103 (Introductory Sociology) and three additional SOC courses, one of which should address social stratification, gender, or inequality.
Program Learning Outcomes
- Use critical thinking skills, including analytic, research, and interpretative abilities, and problem solving techniques.
- Demonstrate effective communication.
- Demonstrate awareness of diverse cultures.
- Demonstrate an understanding of human behavior, institutions, and societies.
- Demonstrate historical understanding of human behavior, institutions, and societies.
- Make and defend judgements about literature.
- ENG 104 Freshman Composition and Literature II Credits: (3)
- SUNY Gen Ed Foreign Language Elective Credits: (3)2
- Science with Lab Credits: (4)
- Philosophy Elective Credits: (3)
- Social Science Elective (must be SUNY Gen Ed Social Science or Other World Civilizations) Credits: (3)
- ENG – 200 Level Literature Course Credits: (3) 3
- Humanities or Fine Arts Elective Credits: (3) 4
- SUNY Gen Ed Natural Science Elective (with or without laboratory) Credits: (3-4) 5
- Social Science Elective Credits: (3) 6
- SUNY Gen. Ed. Elective Credits: (3) 7
- History (Any HIS course) Credits: (3)
- Humanities or Fine Arts Elective Credits: (3) 8
- Transfer Path or General Electives Credits: (9) 9
Total Program Credits: 62-64
1. ESL 115 and ESL 116 can also be used to fulfill the language requirement. A waiver must be approved by the Chair of the Languages Department. Students who have finished high school in a language other than English may also apply for a waiver. In addition, two additional SUNY Gen. Ed. courses would need to be taken from at least two of the following categories: American History, Western Civilization, Other World Civilizations, and The Arts. These two courses must also be designated Liberal Arts courses.
2. Three of the six Language credits must be from the Elementary II level or higher.
3. The following courses will fulfill this requirement: ENG 203 , ENG 204 , ENG 209 , ENG 210 , ENG 213 , ENG 215 , ENG 217 , ENG 221 , ENG 222 , ENG 223 , ENG 224 , ENG 225 , ENG 226 , ENG 229 , ENG 230 , ENG 231 , ENG 233 , ENG 239 , ENG 241 , ENG 245 , ENG 250 , ENG 282 .
4. This course must also be a designated Liberal Arts course. Courses with the following prefixes will fulfill this requirement: ASL, CHI, COM, ENG, ESL, FRE, GER, HIN, HON, ILS, ITA, LIB, LCC, PHI, SPA, and WMS. The following courses will also fulfill this requirement: ART 105 , ART 106 , ART 114 , ART 221 , ART 253 , or 292, EMC 101 , MUS 103 , MUS 104 , MUS 105 , MUS 106 , MUS 166 , MUS 185 , MUS 186 , MUS 187 , MUS 188 , MUS 202T , and PHO 290 .
5. This course must also be designated Liberal Arts course. Courses with the following prefixes will fulfill this requirement: BIO (except BIO 161 ), CHE, GEO, PHY (except PHY 101) and SCI. SUS 101 will also fulfill this requirement.
6. Any ANT, ECO, GEG, HIS, POS, PSY, or SOC course; taking SUS 101 or WMS 101 will also fulfill this requirement.
7. This SUNY Gen. Ed. elective cannot be taken from the Basic Communication or Foreign Language categories.
8. Courses with the following prefixes will fulfill this requirement: ART, ASL, CHI, CIN, COM, ENG, ESL, FRE, GER, HIN, HIS, HON, ILS, ITA, LIB, LCC, MUS, PHI, PHO, SPA, and WMS. EMC 101 is also a humanities course and will fulfill this requirement.
9. The exact number of credits will vary according to course choices and should bring the total program credits to the 62 minimum. Consult with an advisor if you plan to complete one of the following SUNY Transfer Paths:
ANT 151 , ANT 152 , ANT 154 , and any one of the following: ANT 155 , ANT 175 , ANT 201 , ANT 203
ENG 103 , ENG 104 , and at least one course from two of the following categories:
World Literature: ENG 203 or ENG 204
English Literature: ENG 221 or ENG 222
American Literature: ENG 223 or ENG 224
Literature of the Other: ENG 225 , ENG 226 or ENG 250
Women in Literature: ENG 230
Western Civilization: HIS 103 or HIS 104
American History: HIS 105 or HIS 107
World Civilization: HIS 101 or HIS 102
Plus at least one additional HIS course from the following recommended list: HIS 106 , HIS 125 , HIS 207 , HIS 208 , HIS 209 , HIS 213 , HIS 214 , HIS 216 , HIS 217 , HIS 219 , HIS 221 , HIS 223 , HIS 224 , HIS 226 , HIS 240 , HIS 250 , HIS 261 , HIS 276 , HIS 286 , or HIS 292 .
Note: Due to the time period covered in OCC’s HIS 106 , this course may apply as either U.S. History I or II, or may be considered as an elective, depending on how the transfer institution accepts the course. Please speak to an advisor at your transfer institution to find out how it is counted.
SOC 103 , and at least one of the following: SOC 203 , SOC 208 , SOC 211 , SOC 214 , and any two additional SOC courses.