Message from the Dean

Sheila Bienenfeld, Dean of CoSS
Sheila Bienenfeld,
Dean of the College
of Social Sciences

The College of Social Sciences is comprised of thirteen departments and interdisciplinary programs in Global Studies and Behavioral Science. The common thread uniting our diverse programs is the passion to understand the richness of human behavior and the complexity of our interactions among ourselves and with our environment. The departments include African American Studies, Anthropology (including both the Anthropology major and the interdisciplinary Behavioral Science major), Communication Studies, Economics, Environmental Studies, Geography (including the interdisciplinary program in Global Studies), History, Mexican American Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences (Asian American Studies, Women's Studies, and Social Science Teacher Preparation), and Urban and Regional Planning. The website of each department provides descriptions of major and minor programs for undergraduate as well as graduate program options. In the College of Social Sciences, we emphasize student and faculty collaboration on research projects and community service. To learn more, please consult department advisors, whose contact information is listed on the Departments page, along with information about offices and staff contacts. In each department's website, you will also find opportunities to participate in our co-curricular activities such as academic organizations, clubs in the major fields, the debate team, and Model United Nations, among many others. ACCESS, the College's success center, houses our professional and peer advisors. Check out our newsletter, Together, to get updates on faculty, students and alumni activities. To learn how to apply for admission, consult the CSU Mentor, which provides a wealth of useful information.

Our faculty is comprised of teacher-scholars who stay abreast of, and contribute to research in their academic fields, but who have a primary commitment to teaching. Our real heroes, however, are the alumni; once students in the college, they have gone on to make significant contributions in the community, state, and nation. Visit the Alumni page to read profiles of recipients of our Outstanding Alumni awards for the last few years.

In addition to strong departments with discipline-specific initiatives, the College of Social Sciences oversees some important inter-disciplinary efforts. In this respect, our top three college priorities are (1) immigration, (2) globalization, and (3) the social science study of technology. The college regularly hosts conferences, symposia, and lectures on these topics. Students, alumni, and community members are invited to participate. We also seek outside funding in the form of grants, contracts, and donations to further our research and student experience in these areas. Consistent with our goal to involve students in research efforts, the College of Social Sciences manages the inter-disciplinary Survey and Policy Research Institute in partnership with the College of Business. Also, our faculty and students are heavily involved in such “town-gown” initiatives as SJSU's CommUniverCity, a cooperative effort to re-vitalize a downtown neighborhood near campus.

So, welcome to the College of Social Sciences. We hope you will find a home here and meet other scholars who are committed to the concerns of citizenship and the study of human behavior.

Sheila Bienenfeld
Dean