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Social Sciences Department

Social Science Index - Statue

A Tradition of Quality: Outstanding Scholars, Dedicated Teachers

Located in Webster Hall, our dedicated faculty and multiple related programs allow us to offer exceptional educational opportunities to students with a wide range of future goals.

All full-time members of the Department of Social Sciences have their terminal degrees (PhD or JD) in their field. When you take an Anthropology, Geography, History, Political Science, or Sociology course at Missouri Southern State University, 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 all presented research at national conferences and four have published books over the past several years.

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.

Real-Life Experience and High-Impact Learning

Student internships are available in Geography, History, Political Science, and Sociology. 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. 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. 

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 students to create and implement sustainable projects in the real world that make a difference in the lives of people in the Four-State region.

Social Science Degrees

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degrees:

  • Geography
  • History
  • Political Science
  • Sociology

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees:

  • Geography
  • Political Science
  • Sociology

Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S.Ed.) in Social Studies:

  • History
  • Political Science
  • Sociology

Social Science Minors (available with any Bachelor's degree):

  • American Studies
  • Geography
  • History
  • Legal Studies
  • Political Science

Our programs prepare students for dynamic leadership and responsible citizenship in the modern world. We give students the opportunity to cultivate critical thinking, communication and technological skills that will continue to be of value in the complex world of the 21st century. 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.

Students who major or minor in the social sciences are 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.

Social sciences students 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.

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 intimately involved with the Southwest Center for Regional Excellence.

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

This election year, our faculty and students helped hundreds of local residents register to vote. Every year, our department sponsors presentations that are free and open to the public.

Our department sponsors and runs the Region 6 National History Day event on campus each year. 

Our student clubs 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.

We are located in Webster Hall Rooms 225-246.  

Feel free to visit or contact us by telephone at 417-625-9564.