About The College of Humanities and Social Sciences

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences' departments and programs offer students the breadth of a traditional liberal arts education in the humanities and social sciences while preparing them to be members of a global society participating in a wide range of professions or advanced academic or professional study.  Students who graduate with a degree from H&SS are assured of having depth of understanding in their field of study and the useful core skills that are most attractive to prospective employers and most useful for success in graduate school.

Learning takes place both within and outside of the traditional classroom. H&SS provides many opportunities for students to be involved in faculty research projects, to participate in professional internships, and to be active members of student clubs.  Students can intern in Washington, D.C. or participate in one of several study abroad and study away programs that are offered within the College. The H&SS Interclub Council (ICC) provides additional leadership opportunities for students in the College and serves more than 50 clubs and organizations run by and for Humanities and Social Sciences students.

Please visit our academic programs and the many majors, minors, and graduate degrees offered within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. More information is available through the academic advising provided by each of the College's departments and programs as well as by the H&SS Student Success Center located in Humanities 112.

Message from the Dean

Dean, Sheryl Fontaine
Justice, freedom, democracy, race, the good life, religion, human responsibility to one another and to nature—the very concepts upon which modern society is built—are the subjects of study in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. We know from having surveyed our own students, from reaching out to the thousands of alumni who have been our students, and from watching what happens in our state every single day, what we teach our students today will influence what happens in Southern California and the country for years to come. We are fully committed to our responsibility to enhance student achievement with scholarships and high impact programs; support faculty excellence in teaching and in research; and increase collaboration among our faculty, our students, the community, and the state.


Dr. Sheryl I. Fontaine
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Banners outside of the Humanitites building.

College Mission Statement and Objectives

The mission of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences is to educate students to have a broad understanding of the cultural, historical, social, and environmental foundations of a diverse global society; and to prepare civically responsible alumni who are able to navigate an increasingly complex and interconnected world. We achieve this by:

  • Fostering in students an understanding of and appreciation for the rich traditions of thought and expression, ideologies, belief systems, and epistemologies that have shaped and continue to shape our world;
  • Engaging in scholarly and creative activities that advance disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge;
  • Creating a learning environment that promotes faculty and student engagement in scholarship and creative activity;
  • Serving as exemplary teachers, researchers, mentors, colleagues, and active members of our campus, regional, and professional communities;
  • Developing critical awareness, cultural literacy, and language and research skills in our students so that they can respond to intellectual challenges in voices that inform and inspire others;
  • Facilitating students' awareness of themselves as consumers and producers of information who act with ethical and academic integrity.


Core Values and Goals

Social Justice

  • To give voice to those who have not been heard, and to advance social justice and the common good of all, regardless of race, gender or class in our research and our teaching.
  • To provide support to the vibrant and engaged social justice community of our college.
  • To integrate classroom experience with community-based experience and professional practice in ways that prepare students to become engaged citizens with critical appreciation of their own identities as well as the necessary interconnected of all communities.
  • To serve as a resource to local and regional communities in fostering through the humanities and social sciences, an understanding and appreciation of social justice.


Global Awareness

  • To provide curricular, co-curricular, and off-campus opportunities that foster students’ development of cultural sensitivity and social responsibility towards our neighbors around the world. 
  • To create an intellectual environment that encourages students to develop a deep and critical appreciation of their own identities as members of both distinct and interconnected communities.
  • To provide students with educational experiences that create global citizens who are committed to preserving human rights for all, while respecting human diversity and the plurality of cultures and societies.
  • To graduate students who can be effective members and leaders of culturally and socially diverse communities, teams, and organizations.


Civic Engagement

  • To support faculty engagement within academic research, creative activities, and social inquiry.
  • To integrate our classroom environment with community-based and professional experiences that prepare our students to become active, engaged alumni and citizens.
  • To serve as leaders within our departments, the college, and university as a whole.
  • To provide collaborative research, networking, mentoring, service-learning, and other practices that prepare students to enter the local and global workforce.
  • To serve as a resource to the local region in supporting community education and welfare.
  • To provide local, regional, national, and international communities with opportunities both on- and off-campus to engage intellectually and professionally with the scholars and students in our college and across the university.