The social sciences and humanities broadly encompass academic disciplines examining society and how individuals function within it, such as economics, public policy, sociology, political science, and history.
Graduate programmes in this field are designed to help students think critically about people, relationships, and the world around them. Such critical thinking and analysis is a highly sought-after skill in today’s job market and will be even more so in the future.
Communication, empathy, and social skills are also important in a future of expanding technology. As artificial intelligence (AI) and automation become more widely used in business settings, these skills and new proficiencies that help facilitate the interfaces between digital systems, physical infrastructures and humans become even more valuable.
The College of Social Sciences and Humanities (CSSH) at Northeastern University in the United States offers highly relevant graduate programmes in the Experiential Liberal Arts, empowering students with the skills and real-world experiences that prepare them for the work of tomorrow.
Through a unique combination of experiential opportunities, interdisciplinary approaches, and access to research, these programmes allow students to dive deeper into their specialisations, while responding to the big questions of our day.
Cutting-edge graduate social science programmes
Known as the home of the Experiential Liberal Arts, CSSH offers all Master’s students a signature experiential learning option called co-op that provides a six-month, full-time work experience during the course of the programme.
The college’s graduate programmes are designed to prepare students to address today’s most pressing social and political issues and equip them with the latest digital and technological skills.
For example, the Master of Science in Economics provides students with a foundation in economic theory along with the opportunity to apply their learning to particular policy areas via different tracks such as data science and quantitative analysis.
Students develop presentation skills, produce project-oriented writing assignments, and are encouraged to work on co-op, providing ample opportunity to apply theory to practice.
Another innovative degree is the Master of Science in Urban Informatics, one of the only programmes offered in the US in this emerging field where big data meets urban life. As digital data are rapidly transforming cities, there is a need for a new generation of experts to understand and harness that data to improve decision-making and the well-being of cities. The programme at Northeastern offers the interdisciplinary integration of analytic skills with deep knowledge on urban policy and theory.
In a range of unique experiential opportunities, students can study and help solve real-world problems through partnerships with local agencies, companies, and non-profits.
Becoming leaders that make a difference
Programmes like the Master of Public Administration in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs prepare students to become leaders and changemakers in the public sector, equipping them with skills in policy analysis, programme evaluation, research methods, and written and verbal communications.
Students gain hands-on learning through co-op work opportunities as well as community-engaged capstone projects, partnering with organizations to solve a public problem. Graduates are well-prepared to work in both the public and non-profit sector at local, state, national or international levels.
She graduated last year and is currently working for the City of Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development as a housing development officer. In 2017, she completed a public policy summer fellowship from the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston.
She said, “Through this fellowship, I was paired with two Rappaport alumni mentors, Jessica Casey and Abudar Rahman, who are also SPPUA alumni. They both gave me great advice for succeeding within the fellowship, in my academic programme, and finding career opportunities post-graduation.”
Similarly, the Master of Public Policy graduate programme develops graduates who become leaders in the public sector. They learn how to analyse public problems, develop appropriate policy responses, and evaluate programme effectiveness through the analysis of data.
The programme also provides hands-on learning opportunities such as client-driven small group capstone projects and co-op.
The Master of Science in Security and Resilience Studies programme offers a one-of-a-kind curriculum that enables students to support government agencies, international corporations, and non-profit organisations in addressing complex risks that commonly affect society in the 21st century, such as organised crime, terrorism, and cyber-attacks.
Through a unique multidisciplinary programme students are well-trained to become leaders in preparing for, mitigating, responding to and recovering from disruptive events.
Kandyl Kotta, who graduated from this programme in May, said, “The courses I have taken at Northeastern opened my eyes to the depth of issues surrounding security. I never would have considered problems such as disease epidemics and pandemics as security concerns.”
Upon completion of a co-op at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, she discovered a newfound appreciation for collaboration. She said, “Vertex expanded my understanding of resilience and the need for the private sector, the public sector, and local communities to work together, as these three groups are all deeply interconnected.”
With its unique approach to experiential learning, Northeastern University’s College of Social Sciences and Humanities cultivates leaders and changemakers in the innovative and emerging fields defining social science and policy in the 21st century.