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Social Sciences 

The Social Sciences program at College of the Desert consists of the seven disciplines of anthropology, geography, history, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology plus a certificate program in Alcohol Drug Studies. The courses offered in each discipline serve both as general surveys of each field and as general education and transfer requirements.
Social Sciences majors find jobs in social service agencies, non-profit organizations, government agencies, educational institutions, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, libraries, probation departments, and correctional institutes. Social Sciences majors also find jobs in business and industry in market research, survey research, public relations, management, advertising, human resources, sales, counseling, and as forensic anthropologists and archeologists. Careers that generally require graduate-level degrees include teacher, researcher, field anthropologist, historian, counselor, criminologist, urban planner, lawyer, political consultant, pollster, political campaign manager, philosopher, psychologist, psychiatrist, and human resources director. Even students who choose not to major in the social sciences find that coursework in the various disciplines prepares them to understand organizational and group dynamics, incorporate logic and reasoning in everyday life, understand research and statistical analysis, and connect personal problems to social issues through critical analysis.
College of the Desert’s Social Sciences program courses are designed to provide students with a general overview of various disciplines of the social sciences, help students meet general education requirements for transfer to four-year institutions, and provide them with supporting courses for majors in other programs. Within the social sciences program, students can earn an Associate of Arts degree in any of the seven disciplines and/or a Certificate of Achievement in Alcohol & Drug Studies. Students earning an associate’s degree within the social sciences program have a choice of pursuing positions as community support worker, gerontology aide, compensation/benefits worker, consumer survey advisor, delinquency counselor, insurance agent/broker, social welfare examiner, peace corps/VISTA worker, research assistant, claims representative, case aid worker, human resources assistant, public opinion surveyor, community service agency worker, or continuing their studies toward a bachelor’s or graduate degree. COD has transfer agreements with the California State Universities and University of California systems in the disciplines contained within the social sciences program. However, transfer requirements at four-year colleges and universities tend to vary from institution to institution; students should consult with a counselor for specific information regarding the transfer requirements of their preferred college or university. For more information please call (760) 773-2574.


Sara Butler - Political Science
Linda Emerson - Psychology
lemerson@collegeofthedesert.edu 760-776-7267
Ellen Hardy - Anthropology, Geography
ehardy@collegeofthedesert.edu 760-776-7449
Chris Jones Cage - Psychology
cjonescage@collegeofthedesert.edu 760-568-3264
Victor Rios - Sociology
vrios@collegeofthedesert.edu 760-776-7436
Michael Smith - Philosophy, Social Science
msmith@collegeofthedesert.edu 760-776-7404
Nicole Tortoris - Sociology
ntortoris@collegeofthedesert.edu 760-776-7349
Within the Social Sciences and Arts division, students may earn degrees and certificates in the following areas.

Associate of Arts Degrees

 Certificate of Achievement