Scholars within the School of Social Sciences investigate issues that matter to society, spanning from an exploration of how changes in the brain’s neurons can lead to Alzheimer’s to an analysis of how broad government policies and decisions impact our day to day quality of life. The school’s interdisciplinary focus helps spark innovative solutions to real-world problems, from an anthropological discovery of a link between poverty and diabetes to sociological research on how aging and migrating populations affect our economy. The school’s research, teaching and outreach programs impact the world around us. From research on violent conflict prevention, programs that address early childhood development issues and value-added experiences that shape the next generation of leaders, UCI’s School of Social Sciences makes a difference.
The school is the largest academic unit on campus, representing 17 percent of the total student enrollment at UCI with more than 4,800 undergraduate and graduate students, and accounting for more than a third of UCI’s awarded bachelor’s degrees. Social sciences alumni, numbering more than 31,000, can be found making a difference every day in boardrooms, classrooms, law offices and nonprofit organizations around the world.
The school is home to nationally recognized departments and programs in:
- Chicano/Latino Studies
- Cognitive Sciences
- International Studies
- Logic & Philosophy of Science
- Political Science
The school also hosts research centers which include:
- Center for Asian Studies
- Center for Citizen Peacebuilding
- Center for Cognitive Neuroscience
- Center for Demographic & Social Analysis
- Center for Economics & Public Policy
- Center for Ethnography
- Center for Research on Immigration, Population & Public Policy
- Center for Research on International & Global Studies
- Center for the Study of Democracy
- Center for Global Peace & Conflict Studies
- Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences
- Institute for Money, Technology & Financial Inclusion
- UCI Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics & Morality
Faculty also collaborate with campus colleagues through the Center for Hearing Research; Center for Organizational Research; Center in Law, Society & Culture; and others.
The school’s 139 faculty experts are widely published in areas concerned with population, migration and diversity; international politics, markets, economies, cultures and societies; game and decision theory; and cognition and perception. Their research is frequently featured in top academic journals and their highly relevant, topical expertise often sought by national media for comments appearing in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times, to name a few. Faculty in the School of Social Sciences ensure students undergo a rigorous, interdisciplinary exploration of major social sciences issues both inside and outside the classrooms and labs of UCI. Students and faculty alike can be found withiin the local Orange County community and in places such as China, India, Sudan, Mexico and others putting theoretical and classroom knowledge to practice in real-world situations around the globe.
School-sponsored community outreach programs take a global approach to solving global community issues. On the local and state levels, programs including Global Connect and Jumpstart aim to increase knowledge and literacy in K-12 classrooms in areas concerned with current international events and English language and reading skills, while research centers provide community members an opportunity to hear professional public presentations by recognized political and social figures as well as public intellects and scholarly experts. At the national level, social sciences scholarship contributes to public policy developments in issues of great relevance to California and the nation. On a global scale, social sciences faculty and students spend many hours each year contributing their expertise to improvement of local, state, national and international communities and institutions.
Bill Maurer, Dean
Named dean in May 2013, Bill Maurer is a cultural anthropologist who conducts research on law, property, money and finance, focusing on the technological infrastructures and social relations of exchange and payment. He has particular expertise in emerging, alternative and experimental forms of money and finance, payment technologies, and their legal implications. He has published on topics ranging from offshore financial services to mobile phone-enabled money transfers, Islamic finance, alternative currencies, and the future of money. He is founding director of the Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and co-director of the Intel Science and Technology Center in Social Computing.
- Five faculty members are elected members of the National Academy of Sciences
- Ten faculty members are elected fellows of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences
- Seven faculty members are UCI distinguished professors, four are UCI chancellor’s professors, and one is a UCI endowed chair
- Anthropology 8th (Center for Public Anthropology)
- Economics 42nd (U.S. News & World Report)
- Logic & Philosophy of Science 23rd (Philosophical Gourmet Report); 1st in the decision, rational choice & game theory specialty area (Philosophical Gourmet Report)
- Political science 36th (U.S. News & World Report)
- Psychology 29th (U.S. News & World Report)
- Sociology 27th (U.S. News & World Report)