Campus Public Affairs & Social Sciences Graduate Programs
Looking for Graduate Schools with Public Affairs Social Sciences programs? Many of the fields in the social and behavioral sciences are human-centered, and require communication and interpersonal skills. Many of the public affairs programs teach leadership or conflict resolution. What better way to learn than at an accredited university or college where you get a hands-on and in-person study experience?
Campus-based Degree programs in public affairs and social sciences are diverse, ranging from the study of artifacts and culture, to economic development, non-profit administration, psychology and urban affairs. Since graduate school is an opportunity to concentrate, research, and learn more in-depth topics about an academic field, knowing a bit more about what is available might help you to mold your education and potentially shape a career niche. Here are a few categories to get to know:
Behavioral Sciences graduate programs are disciplines that study the behavior of humans (and animals). Typically these include fields where there is decision-making and communication (e.g. psychology, cognitive science). Sociology and anthropology also fall into this category but are also social sciences. Behavioral Science fields typically use empirical data, experimental methods and research behavior in the natural and controlled setting.
Social sciences graduate programs focus on the human being in the social context. Fields are diverse, including political science, sociology, economics, geography, social organizations, and different contexts. Unlike the behavioral sciences, research techniques are usually conducted in person (interviews, observation methods, surveys). Generally speaking, social sciences focus on the larger social themes while the behavioral sciences concentrate on communication and decision.
Public Affairs graduate programs also focus on the individual and community but in different ways. These programs are geared for those who are interested in public services, civic engagement, public policy, non-profit organization and studying the extensive and sophisticated economic, financial and legal environments within which public institutions function.
Concerned about graduate program or graduate school accreditation? According to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) accreditation is possible for colleges, universities and programs not individuals. In the United States, accrediting agencies are non-governmental bodies created specifically to review higher education institutions and programs. The CHEA gives 4 main reasons why accreditation is important, and it is useful information when you start to search and see the plethora of Graduate Schools with Public Affairs Social Sciences programs.[i]
Since every field has its own accrediting body you are best to get up to speed with any licensing requirements or accreditation standards required in your discipline.
When you start to look for Graduate Schools with Public Affairs Social Sciences degree programs, you should consider not just the accreditation of the program, but also know the industry you hope to work in to find out what type of program is considered the best approach or preparation.
GradSchools.com makes it easy to navigate a search for the ‘right’ campus and university with the best program for you. Search by location; use the city, state or country tabs to find a graduate school in your preferred area. You can email the college directly from the site to ask pertinent questions. Then, create a spreadsheet with the names of your graduate school options on one column. Next to it, write the aspects that are most important to you in considering what programs are best (e.g. location, financial aid, cost).
Graduate programs in Public Affairs Social Sciences are available as Masters, PhD and graduate certificate. When you start to look for Graduate Schools with Public Affairs Social Sciences degree programs, you should consider not just the accreditation of the program, but also know the industry you hope to work in to find out what type of program is considered the best approach or preparation.
Masters degrees in Public Affairs Social Science disciplines build on undergraduate interests. Depending on your interests, find programs such as Masters of Social Work, Master of Counseling Psychology, Master of Public Administration (MPA), Master of international and Developmental Economics and Master of Arts in Social Justice and Ethics, amongst many others.
At the PhD level, find programs such as PhD in Health and Medicine, PsyD in Clinical Forensic Psychology, Doctor of Social Work (DSW) in Clinical Practice and Leadership and Doctorate in Anthropology amongst many others. Doctorate degrees are necessary for certain careers, and tend to be research-oriented.
Graduate Certificates in Public Affairs Social Science allow you to build credentials in specialized fields. Choose from any number of programs such as Gerontology Graduate Certificate, International Summer Certificate Program: Identity-based Conflict Resolution and Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis to name a few.
You have heard about online and are wondering whether it is a better alternative to exploring Graduate Schools with Public Affairs Social Sciences programs. While a personal choice, here are a few points to consider:
Variety of Programs: If you are choosing a person-centered field (social work, counseling psychology, gerontology) you may find that there are more programs available on campus than online.
Interaction: If you are choosing to work with public health, public administration, emergency management or other community-oriented programs, building leadership and interpersonal and communication skills may be more realistic on campus.
Access to facilities: As a student of any college or university, you get access to libraries, laboratories, and social services.
Social learning environment: Many students learn best with the hands-on and face-to-face approach that attending class offers. Whether you learn from your professors or through a brainstorming session with classmates, it is hard to replace this type of experience in a virtual setting.
You have found the subject you are most passionate about. Know how to search for grad schools with fascinating Public Affairs Social Science programs, and some criteria to help you narrow it down to a few good choices to compare and contrast. The next step is yours to take.
Sources: [i] chea.org/public_info/index.asp
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