student and professor doing field work on location



Social sciences provide an analytical approach to society’s problems. As a result, faculty and students in the social sciences often focus on complex and intersectional issues such as racism, international conflict and war, climate change, and poverty. Through an objective and empirical approach to these issues, the goal is to generate genuine passion and equip future leaders with the skills they need to address the world’s challenges. Explore majors, minors, concentrations, and academic programs in the social sciences. 


News from Social Sciences

February 21, 2024
POLITICAL SCIENCE - Chandler Hames and Neil O'Brien, both political science assistant professors, write in a Feb. 21 article in The Conversation about the White House race. The authors cite a recent poll they conducted that found mixed evidence that undecided young Democrats would be persuaded to vote for Biden based on any new information.
February 13, 2024
POLITICAL SCIENCE - Immigration is already a major polarizing issue in the 2024 U.S. presidential election. Arrests for illegal border crossings from Mexico reached an all-time high in December 2023, and cities like New York and Chicago are struggling to provide housing and basic services for tens of thousands of migrants arriving from Texas. Department of Political Science Professor and Philip H. Knight Chair of Social Science Dan Tichenor writes about immigration reform in The Conversation.
February 13, 2024
NATIVE AMERICAN AND INDIGENOUS STUDIES - It is with a heavy heart, but with an enormous sense of gratitude and love, that we send prayers for a good journey for Átway Tuxámshish/Dr. Virginia Beavert (Yakama Nation), who walked on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024. She was 102. During her life, she co-founded the Northwest Indian Language Institute, earned a PhD in linguistics at 90 years old, was an instructor and founder of the Ichishkíin language classes at UO—and more.

All news »

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students walking and holding possessions during Unpack the quack day

Your Gift Changes Lives

Gifts to the College of Arts and Sciences can help our students make the most of their college careers. To do this, CAS needs your support. Your contributions help us ensure that teaching, research, advising, mentoring, and support services are fully available to every student. Thank you!

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World-Class Faculty in the Social Sciences

portrait of Jo Weaver

Jo Weaver

Associate Professor, Global Studies and Director, Global Health Program

Lesley Jo Weaver is an academic expert in medical anthropology, global health, mental health, race, gender, chronic diseases, and food insecurity. She directs the Global Health Program at UO. Her research focuses, broadly, on the social production of health and illness. In India, Weaver’s National Science Foundation-supported research explores how the day-to-day management of type 2 diabetes shapes North Indian women’s abilities to participate in social roles considered appropriate for women of their age, class, and caste groups. In Brazil, Weaver’s work has examined how food insecurity influences physical and mental wellbeing.

Weaver co-hosts and co-produces the American Anthropological Association-sponsored podcast Speaking of Race, a longstanding program that explores the history and present-day reverberations of scientific racism around the world.

Mark Carey in Iceland

Mark Carey

Professor of Environmental Studies and Geography

Mark’s research focuses on the human dimensions of climate change and ice — from glaciers in the Andes to icebergs in the North Atlantic Ocean to glacial fjords in Greenland. The research centers on power, knowledge, and cultural narratives, with an objective to understand how knowledge systems, embedded storylines, social relations, and environmental injustices shape present-day environmental issues. The work is deeply interdisciplinary, and students in the Glacier Lab are central participants in these collaborations. Mark previously served as Director of the Environmental Studies Program.

Mark has two new interdisciplinary collaborative projects, one funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation on racial and climate justice in the Pacific Northwest (part of the Just Futures Institute) and another funded by NSF and the Navigating the New Arctic Program on “Global Changes, Local Impacts: Study of Glacial Fjords, Ecosystems and Communities in Greenland.”

Laura Pulido

Laura Pulido

Collins Professor of Indigenous, Race and Ethnic Studies and Geography

Laura is a qualitative social scientist who works at the intersection of geography and critical ethnic studies, especially Chicanx Studies. Her interest in these fields began as a young child fascinated by maps, landscapes, nature, and places. At the same time, everyday life taught her that we live in a racial, class and gender hierarchy that shapes our lives. Through her research and teaching she explores how these processes shape places and how places inform racial and economic processes. Most of her work explores the various ways in which racial inequality is actively produced, as well as the various means by which it is denied. She works together with graduate students in the Critical Race Lab.

She is the author of numerous books, including A People’s Guide to Los Angeles (with Laura Barraclough and Wendy Cheng, University of California, 2012). 


Paris, France cityscape at night

School of Global Studies and Languages

At the School of Global Studies and Languages (GSL), UO students engage with diverse cultures, languages, histories, and lifeways across the world. Students of the social sciences, from Anthropology to Sociology, will broaden and deepen their education in their field by viewing it—and experiencing it—through a global lens. GSL prepares our graduates for life after college with an interdisciplinary curriculum, innovative language teaching, abundant learning opportunities outside the classroom, and paths of study that lead to many options for real-world careers.

Explore the GSL

Research in the Social Sciences

Research in the social sciences investigates human behavior and the motivations that influence it. Although some of our research occurs in the lab, much of it is conducted out in the field using a variety of methodological approaches, from exploratory to experimental. The results of our research often carry societal-level implications and may point to solutions for addressing local, national, or global challenges.

Explore Other Majors and Minors in the College of Arts and Sciences


Meet Our Dean

Welcome to the social sciences division of the College of Arts and Sciences. Within our community, we address some of the world’s problems—big or small—through interdisciplinary research and critical thinking. What drives us is a passion for exploring human behavior and society.

The social sciences provide the necessary foundation for any academic inquiry, from the creative arts to the natural sciences. Inside the classroom, we lead courses that are engaging and thought-provoking, inspiring students to become better citizens of our world and work toward a more inclusive future.

We also believe real-world experience offers some of the most impactful learning opportunities. From internships to study abroad trips that offer new cultural experiences, our students regularly engage in hands-on learning work that reaches across social, disciplinary, and geographic boundaries, allowing them to forge new connections and spark new ideas.

We look forward to changing the world with you.

Bruce McGough  
Divisional Associate Dean, Social Sciences

Bruce McGough

Happening at CAS


UO College of Arts & Sciences (@uocas) • Instagram photos and videos

Feb 27
HOPE: A Human Right - Prison Education Program Art Exhibit 7:00 a.m.

Join SAB and UO Prison Education Program as we host HOPE: A Human Right art exhibit in the EMU McMIllan Gallery. This annual exhibit showcases art from currently and formerly...
HOPE: A Human Right - Prison Education Program Art Exhibit
February 5–March 8
7:00 a.m.–11:00 p.m.
Erb Memorial Union (EMU) Adell McMillan Gallery

Join SAB and UO Prison Education Program as we host HOPE: A Human Right art exhibit in the EMU McMIllan Gallery. This annual exhibit showcases art from currently and formerly incarcerated individuals in Oregon. This show is on view from February 5th through March 8th.

Meet some of the artists and the amazing students, staff and faculty of the UO Prison Education Program for a reception on Thursday, March 7th from 6-7pm; free refreshments and activities.

Feb 27
"Heart Quilt" - Washburn Gallery 9:00 a.m.

A solo exhibition by Grace Partridge.   /// *Note: UO ID card with building access is required to gain entry to Washburn...
"Heart Quilt" - Washburn Gallery
February 26–29
9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Ceramics Building Washburn Gallery

A solo exhibition by Grace Partridge.



*Note: UO ID card with building access is required to gain entry to Washburn Gallery.*

Feb 27
"honey drip" - Foyer Gallery 9:00 a.m.

New work by Jules Myers.   /// Map to location of Foyer Gallery in Lawrence...
"honey drip" - Foyer Gallery
February 26–29
9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Lawrence Hall Foyer Gallery

New work by Jules Myers.



Map to location of Foyer Gallery in Lawrence Hall

Feb 27
"Poetics of Relation" - LaVerne Krause Gallery 9:00 a.m.

The title of our show is Poetics of Relation and with it we ​seek to explore the difficulties of unknowingness and miscommunication within relationships and the...
"Poetics of Relation" - LaVerne Krause Gallery
February 26–29
9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Lawrence Hall LaVerne Krause Gallery

The title of our show is Poetics of Relation and with it we ​seek to explore the difficulties of unknowingness and miscommunication within relationships and the opacities that result from this conflict. Thus, true freedom of relation can only be achieved through accepting such opacities and existing in harmony with the unknown.  Niko Berger Abhishek Kulkarni Breanne Swindle