The social services major at Earlham prepares ethical, culturally sensitive individuals who are prepared to thrive in a variety of careers in counseling, social work, human resources and other fields. Throughout the major, you will gain a deep understanding of how people and social systems affect one another. You will gain policy skills and knowledge and graduate equipped to make meaningful change in the world.
A degree in social services will prepare you for a variety of potential career paths, including social work, school and career counseling, marriage and family therapy, and human resources.
“I chose social services as my major because I hope to work in Human Resources, or more specifically, as a Title IX coordinator. I know that this major will help me accomplish this goal, while also allowing me to take classes that are both challenging and interesting. I’m very excited to continue my education as a social service major!”
Susan Johnson, ’23
Social services major
“I love helping students build on their passions to make the world a better place, especially by applying what they learn in the classroom to improve people’s lives in the real world.”
Rachael Reavis, Ph.D.
Associate professor of psychology
“I am very excited to pursue our new major of social services because it allows me to experience an interdisciplinary field of study that will best prepare me for my educational and professional career in Speech Pathology.”
Daniela Joseph, ’22
Social services major
“When Earlham came out with the social services major I knew it was just right for me since I have always been interested in individuals and social dynamics and how to make meaningful impacts on both. This major focuses on just that and shows the depth and breadth of knowledge needed to better the world for ourselves and generations to come. I know that with this major as my foundation I will be able to approach future academic goals like getting my masters as well as professional endeavors with more than enough to succeed!”
Micah MacColl Nicholson, ’23
Social services major
Thoughtful learning and practical experience
Practical experiences are woven into the social services major, and you’ll complete an internship practicum before graduation.
Our faculty come from a range of disciplines, including psychology and sociology/anthropology. We also have a practicing professional partner on staff, so you’ll get a firsthand look at careers in social services.
We bring a diverse set of perspectives from a number of fields to help you understand individuals, groups and social systems.
Social services majors take a variety of courses in social services, psychology and sociology/anthropology, as well as other disciplines, providing you with a breadth of knowledge and a grounding in ethical practices.
As a liberal arts college, Earlham offers multiple disciplinary and interdisciplinary majors and minors in which students cultivate deep and specific knowledge and experience. Equally important, the College expects every student to develop broad, general skills and proficiencies across the curriculum.
As part of their general education, students complete six credits in each academic division of the College: humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and visual and performing arts. In addition, students meet requirements for first-year courses, analytical reasoning, perspectives on diversity and wellness.
To earn a Bachelor of Arts in social services, you must complete the following courses, in addition to general education requirements:
Complete nine required courses (29-30 credits):
If you intend to pursue an MSW, you should take BIOL 112 Cells, Genes and Inheritance as one of your natural science courses.
- SOSV 101 Introduction to Social Work
- PSYC 115 Introduction to Psychological Perspectives OR PSYC 116 Behavior, Health Care and Society
- SOAN 118 Inequalities, Power and Society
- PSYC 220 Adult Psychopathology
- PSYC 230 Human Development
- PSYC 374 Introduction to Counseling
- SOAN 345 Social Research Methods
- SOSV 463 Field Study Internship
- SOSV 488 Senior Capstone
Complete four competency courses:
Complete at least 2 of the competency courses at the 300-level. Competency courses must be taken across at least two departments.
- Engage diversity and difference in practice (one of the following courses):
- AAAS 230/REL 230 History of African American Religious Experience
- AAAS 299/REL 299 Religion & Culture of Hip Hop
- AAAS 305/HIST 305 History of New Orleans
- AAAS 309/ENG 209/REL 209 Prophetic Black Women
- AAAS 354 The Black Middle Class
- EDUC 302 Disabilities Studies
- HIST 141 History of California
- HIST 204/JWST 204/REL 204 The New Promised Land
- POLS 303/PAGS 303/REL 303 Human Rights in the Muslim World
- PSYC 362 Cross-Cultural Psychology
- PSYC 368 Human Sexuality
- SOAN 355 Social Construction of Aging
- SOAN 365 Women’s Gender & Sexuality
- SPAN 346 Hispanic Cultures in the U.S. (topic varies & is taught in Spanish)
- Advance human rights & social, economic, & environmental justice (one of the following courses):
- AAAS 330/PAGS 330/REL 330 Mass Incarceration & Moral Vision
- AAAS 356/HIST 356 The Civil Rights Movement
- ENSU 141 Environment, Society, & Sustainability
- ENSU 323 Environmental Ethics
- HIST 351/PAGS 351 Workplace Justice
- PSYC 356 Psychology of Prejudice
- SPAN 202 Spanish for Social Justice (topic varies & is taught in Spanish)
- Engage in policy practice (one of the following courses):
- AAAS 340/PSYC 340 Racism & Public Health
- EDUC 101 Introduction to Population Health
- ENSU 322/POLS 322 Climate Policy
- HIST 306/PAGS 306 History of Union Organizing
- PHIL 363/ENSU 363 Bioethics
- POLS 121 Introduction to American Politics & Policy
- SOAN 333/PAGS 333 Medical Anthropology & Global Health
- SOAN 335 Health, Medicine, & Society
- Engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations, & communities (one of the following courses):
- MGMT 342 Leadership & Dealing with Difference
- PAGS 343/MGMT 343 Conflict Resolution
- PSYC 210 Social Psychology
- PSYC 366 Cradle & Grave
- PSYC 378 Psychoactive Drugs & Behavior
- SOAN 140 Urban Sociology
Total requirement: 13 courses (41-46 credits)
The social services major will prepare you for jobs and graduate/professional programs in social services, public health, counseling, human resources and many other professions. You will be equipped to understand societal and organizational structures and work in ethical ways to support the people living and working within these structures.
If you’re considering a career in social work, counseling, public health, human resources or another area that works with people and systems, the social services major could be the right fit for you. Social services majors are passionate about helping others and working to provide ethical, socially responsible services to their communities.