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Social Sciences Department

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Why Social Sciences?

Our programs prepare you for dynamic leadership and responsible citizenship in the modern, complex world. We give you the opportunity to cultivate critical thinking, communication and technological skills that will continue to be of value. We offer outstanding instruction and intellectual challenge while emphasizing opportunities to engage in the international world.

The Department of Social Sciences builds bridges to the local community through academic internships, public events, partnerships with local institutions and sponsorship of academic programs and events for local schools' students and teachers. High-impact learning experiences are an integral part of all our social science degree programs.

As a major or minor in the social sciences, you will be prepared for a variety of careers and graduate programs in teaching, government service, law, historic preservation, business, health and human services and many other fields. Internships are particularly helpful in establishing career connections and building practical knowledge. You may apply for internships in a wide variety of regional institutions and organizations, including the state legislature, the George Washington Carver National Monument, and many others.

Real-Life Experience and High-Impact Learning

Internships are available in Geography, History, Political Science, and Sociology. Every year, our students gain valuable real-world work experience in museums, social service agencies, government offices, clinics and halfway houses, and other diverse areas. In addition, every spring, our department sends students to the Missouri State Capital in Jefferson City for a semester to serve as Legislative Interns to members of the State Assembly.

These high-impact learning experiences are available to all qualified Geography, History, Political Science, and Sociology majors, and they often lead to job offers for our graduating students.

Our award-winning Service Learning class (Soc 210, Social Problems) allows you to create and implement sustainable projects in the real world that make a difference in the lives of people in the Four-State region.

About Our Faculty

Located in Webster Hall, our dedicated faculty and multiple related programs allow us to offer exceptional educational opportunities.

All full-time members of the Department of Social Sciences have terminal degrees (Ph.D. or JD) in their field. When you take an Anthropology, Geography, History, Political Science or Sociology course at MSSU, the professor teaching the class often has published a book or article in that field of study. The Department of Social Sciences includes twelve published authors, of whom two are Fulbright Scholars and five are Outstanding Teaching Award winners. Our professors have also presented research at national conferences.

We are dedicated to our mission as educators and we go out of our way to provide the very best education to every student. This is reflected in the fact that our professors all teach introductory courses along with upper-division courses.


Giving Back to the Community

In addition to our teaching and research, faculty members in the MSSU Department of Social Sciences work hard to make our community and our world a better place.

Professors in our department serve on the following community boards: Joplin Parks and Recreation, the Sherwood/Rader Farm Civil War Park Board of Directors, the Jasper County Jail Review Board, Girl Scout Missouri Heartland Board, Cherokee County Toy Box, and the Spring River Soccer Association. Our professors are also involved with the Southwest Center for Regional Excellence.

Sociology 210, our award-winning Service Learning class, requires students to develop sustainable projects that make life better in the Joplin area. Their projects continue to make a difference long after they have graduated.

During election years, our faculty and students help hundreds of local residents register to vote. Our department sponsors presentations that are free and open to the public, and sponsors and runs the Region 6 National History Day event on campus each year.

Our student clubs also actively engage in philanthropy. The MSSU Department of Social Sciences consistently contributes more than any other department to the United Way campaign year after year.


Contact the Department

Dr. Megan Bever
Chair, Social Sciences Department