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Philosophy and Social Sciences Department


Welcome to Santa Monica College’s Department of Philosophy and Social Science. Our Department includes courses that focus on the scientific study of human thought and behavior, interpersonal relationships, and the institutional structure and functioning of human society. The Department hopes to produce liberally educated students who not only think critically but also consider the ethical implications of their decisions. Our department is distinctive in its interdisciplinary approach to understanding, analyzing and critiquing the historical, social, political, economic, and cultural condition of women and people of color in our local community, California, the U.S. and globally. The department is committed to race/ethnic, class and gender equitable learning, teaching and community engagement. Many of our courses rely on Service Learning, which is a teaching and learning strategy through which students apply their academic skills and knowledge to address real-life needs in their own communities. Service Learning provides a compelling reason to learn and teaches the skills of civic participation and develops an ethic of service and civic responsibility.

Career Options

While the liberal disciplines do not provide vocational training, they do offer important general preparation. Employers seek flexible, well-informed graduates who are sophisticated communicators, capable of thinking analytically as well as creatively. The world of work is changing rapidly and graduates will need to take a global outlook and be adaptable in order to succeed.

Courses in our Department provide a rich base of skills and knowledge on which to build with professional postgraduate programs and training in the workplace. Even if you do not have career-specific training to offer potential employers, you still have developed many abilities that they might want, including all of the following: research and communication skills, team project experience, writing skill, computer and multi-media competency, habits of critical thinking, problem-solving heuristics, broad bases of knowledge, informed perspectives about the world, strong environmental ethics, and good habits of time management. These are all traits that employers find desirable and your skills apply to many different roles in many different organizations precisely because they are general.


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