The Faculty is widely recognized for its excellence and innovation in undergraduate teaching and the quality of its research programs. It is one of the largest and most diverse Social Science Faculties in Canada, made up of eight core Departments – Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, Psychology and Sociology, as well as the interdisciplinary Department of Women’s Studies (which is also part of Arts and Humanities), and the Aubrey Dan Program in Management and Organizational Studies.
There are just over 6600 undergraduate students registered in Social Science programs at Western. Undergraduate students at Western rank among the very best in the Province. The average graduating grade of students entering the University in 2011 was 86%. Having high quality students means that we can provide the highest standards of education. There are also almost 600 graduate students in Social Science, both Canadian and International, enrolled in Master’s and Ph.D. programs throughout the Faculty.
Western is proud of its reputation as the University that offers the “best student experience” to those who come here, but this is just part of the pursuit of excellence that goes on within the Faculty and across the University. In Social Science, we have some of the finest teachers in the University, the Province and the Country. “Dr. Mike” Atkinson pioneered the “Super Psych” class a number of years ago. A class of almost 1200 students taught in a large auditorium became the most popular course on campus because of the innovative teaching methods introduced by Dr. Atkinson. He is now regularly asked to provide advice to other institutions who also wish to offer similar large classes. For his excellence in teaching, Dr. Atkinson was awarded the national 3M Teaching Award, the most prestigious in Canada. And he is not alone in gaining recognition. Western has won 20 3M Awards, the second highest of any university in Canada, and 4 of these were to faculty members in Social Science. Our faculty members have also taken more of their fair share of provincial awards offered by the Ontario Council of University Faculty Associations and the internal university teaching awards given to the best instructors. Our “Wall of Fame” in the Social Science Centre recognizes the 40 awards received so far.
Social Science covers a vast range of topics, all related to the way that individuals and groups interact among each other and it is on the basis of work by social scientists that we can make decisions about how we might move forward as a society. At Western, although there are many professors and students working on many different projects, much of the work that they do falls under several broad themes. They are:
These themes have been described in more detail in the Faculty Academic Plan, and they represent the strengths of the Faculty and bind together the research that is done across our departments and programs.
As a student in the Faculty of Social Science you will have the opportunity to find out more about the work that is done in each of these areas, and in others, and to develop your own University program to fulfill your own aspirations and career goals.
Primary Areas of Research Interest