Social Sciences

Social Science Notes

AP Credit Information

Please review the chart below to determine which course you have AP credit for.

  • Government and Politics - GOV 1100 (elective)
  • Psychology - PSY 1000 (elective)
  • Geography - SS 1000 (elective)
  • Microeconomics - ECON 1110
  • Macroeconomics - ECON 1120

Social science courses play an essential role in preparation for the Interactive Qualifying Project. Knowledge of the fundamentals of economics and of how society functions is important to everyone who intends to pursue a career in engineering or science. WPI degree requirements include two courses in the social sciences. This is in addition to the humanities requirement.

To obtain maximum benefit from their study of social science, students should choose courses that will provide knowledge and skills relevant to their IQP. These courses should be taken prior to or at the same time as the IQP and should be selected, if possible, after students have identified the general topic area in which their interactive project work will be done.

The social science courses offered at WPI are grouped into two broad categories. The first consists of core courses that help students understand the scope and limits of social science approaches and how they might be related to the design of IQPs. These include the introductory courses listed below:

  • ECON 1110--Introductory Microeconomics
  • ECON 1120--Introductory Macroeconomics
  • ENV 1100--Introduction to Environmental Studies
  • SOC 1202--Introduction to Sociology and Cultural Diversity
  • GOV 1301--U. S. Government
  • GOV 1303--American Public Policy
  • PSY 1400--Introduction to Psychological Science
  • PSY 1401--Cognitive Psychology
  • PSY 1402--Social Psychology
  • PSY 1403--Psychology of Work
  • SD 1510--Introduction to System Dynamics Modeling
  • SD 1520--System Dynamics Modeling

View the course offerings in A Term and B Term.

A second, more advanced set of courses looks in-depth at particular issues and problems, providing students with a more detailed understanding of social science disciplines and their use in social problem solving and interactive projects. The department recommends that the second course taken to satisfy the social science requirement be a more advanced course in the same social science discipline (economics, psychology, system dynamics, sociology or political science) as the first course.

In addition to administering WPI's two-course requirement in social science, the Department of Social Science and Policy Studies offers major programs in economic science, system dynamics, environmental studies, society technology and policy, and psychological science.

Additionally, students can pursue a minor concentration in any of the disciplines offered by the department. A minor in social science is also possible and would typically combine a personalized selection of social science courses.
A Social Science MQP can be double counted as an IQP. Thus, students may take a double major in social science and another discipline without completing an extra qualifying project.

Additionally, students can pursue a major or minor concentration in a growing new field of study, system dynamics, which involves computer modeling and experimental analysis of social problems. A major or minor in social science is also possible and would typically combine a personalized selection of social science courses. Students can also choose to minor in Law and Technology.

The department also offers minors in economics, sociology, psychology, and political science.

Students can also pursue a five year Bachelors/Masters program with an option to take an undergraduate major in any discipline, including social science, and a Masters in Systemic Dynamics.

Maintained by
Last modified: May 20, 2014 15:15:44