Behavioral & Social Sciences Department
Welcome to the Behavioral & Social Sciences Department
Behavioral and Social Sciences study the actions and behaviors of people and societies throughout history and the world in order to strengthen our communities and improve our lives.
You can study these sciences through specific groups or subjects, such as Chicano Studies, African American Studies, Pan American Studies, American Sign Language, social justice studies, administration of justice, education, and political science. Or, you can study these more broadly through the fields of psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, or interdisciplinary studies which goes into all of these fields to give you a fully-encompassing look at how humanity behaves and responds to its world.
Please note: Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and to help protect the health and safety of the entire Los Angeles Southwest College community while remaining committed to fulfilling our mission, campus leaders have decided to offer remote and online instruction for the remainder of the Spring Semester. If you have immediate questions, contact the division dean or the department chair whose contact information is listed in the "Contact Us" box toward the top left of this page.
What Careers Can You Have with a Degree in a Field of Behavioral & Social Sciences?
Take a look at all of the Behavioral & Social Science programs we have below. Along with the degrees and certificates you can receive, you’ll also see some of the incredible careers these programs bring.
Click on any program link to find out more information on what these careers pay on average, how much school you’ll need, and what courses you’ll take at LASC:
Addiction Studies – Area of Focus
Careers: Addiction Counselor, Medical Billing Associate, Addiction Treatment Technician
Administration of Justice – Associate in Science for Transfer, Associate in Arts, Associate in Arts in Liberals
Arts, Certificate of Achievement; Skill Certificates in Fingerprinting, LAPD / LASC Partnership, Private Investigations
Careers: Lawyer, Police Officer, Juvenile Justice Counselor, Halfway House Manager, FBI Agent
African American Studies – Area of Focus
Careers: Community Outreach Coordinator, Lawyer, Literacy Program Coordinator, Media Relations
American Sign Language – Area of Focus
Careers: Special Education Teacher, Translator, Speech-Language Pathologist, Counselor
Anthropology – Associate in Arts for Transfer, Associate in Arts
Careers: Focus Group Researcher, Forensic Anthropologist, Public Health Specialist
Chicano Studies – Area of Focus
Careers: Community Development Specialist, Non-profit Organizer, International Business Relations
Ethnic Studies – Associate in Arts
Careers: Foreign Ambassador, International Business Developer, Public Policy Organizer
History – Associate in Arts for Transfer, Associate in Arts
Careers: Historical Novelist, Market Research Analyst, Journalist, Librarian
Interdisciplinary Studies – Associate in Arts for Transfer, Associate in Arts
Careers: Public Relations Manager, Paralegal, Copywriter, Marketing Manager, Behavioral Economist
Political Science – Associate in Arts for Transfer, Associate in Arts; Skill Certificate in Public Service
Careers: City Councilmember, Lawyer, Government Official, Public Relations Specialist, Policy Analyst
Psychology – Associate in Arts for Transfer, Associate in Science; Certificate of Achievement in
Chemical Dependency Counselor; Skill Certificates in Chemical Dependency Specialist
in Criminal Justice and Recovery Specialist
Careers: Therapist, Chemical Dependency Counselor, Recovery Specialist, Forensics Psychologist
Psychology of Substance Abuse – Associate in Arts in Liberal Arts
Careers: Addiction Psychologist, Substance Abuse Counselor, Detox Specialist, Social Worker
Social Justice Studies – Associate in Arts for Transfer
Careers: Health Educator, Civil Rights Attorney, Documentary Filmmaker, Interpreter, Researcher
Sociology – Associate in Arts for Transfer, Associate in Arts; Skill Certificate in Social Services
Careers: Media Planner, Child Welfare Case Worker, Clinical Social Worker, User Experience Designer
Teacher Assistant (Education) – Skill Certificate
Careers: Elementary Teacher Assistant, Instructional Aide, Paraeducator, Elementary School Tutor
Teacher Preparation – Associate in Arts in Liberal Studies
Careers: Adult Education Teacher, High School Counselor, Science Teacher, Middle School Teacher, Educational Consultant, Librarian, Training & Development Specialist, School Psychologist
Why Study Behavioral & Social Sciences?
If you’ve ever filled out a survey, liked a social media post, or gone to an amusement park, you’ve seen behavioral and social sciences in action. Studying human social behavior helps us learn what actions and reactions people have made in the past so we can make better decisions and predict what people might do in the future. Through these sciences, we can improve the things we need and use every day, such as creating better policies, advancing software programs, and improving health care.
For example, surveys help predict how someone might respond in the future. Liking a social media post shows what someone enjoys so apps can improve the kind of messages that a person sees. And, amusement parks use the information on how crowds have behaved in the past to make a better experience for people today.
You’ll learn how to study individual and group behavior of humans and animals from our dedicated and knowledgeable faculty using modern methods and important theories and practices. Our instructors will inspire you to be curious and teach you ways to observe those around you. Whether you open an ice cream shop or run for the city council, you can benefit from a background in behavioral and social sciences.
How Will Studying Behavioral & Social Sciences Help My Career in Other Fields?
Researching human behaviors and interactions can improve medical treatments and encourage people to eat healthier foods and exercise more. Studying how children learn creates better teaching methods. Asking someone what they need in order to feel happy and secure about their life improves city and state policies.
As people are interacting more and more with technology, this industry has seen the largest increase in behavioral and social science careers. Business leaders are realizing the value of behavioral and social scientists who can create models to predict a user’s behavior and track their habits. This useful information helps companies create better products, become more familiar with their audience, and meet their customers’ needs sooner. These sciences help build more user-friendly computers and phones so everyone can enjoy today’s technology.
People can behave in typical ways and in ways we didn’t expect. So, understanding what people do and why they do it can help change our society for the better. Knowing how people interact with each other helps us communicate better and create a stronger community.
The Department holds meetings every third Wednesday of the month at 1:00 p.m. in the SSEC Building, Room 309.
In case a meeting needs to be rescheduled, we recommend contacting the Department Secretary the day before to confirm. Everyone is welcome to attend.