The Department of Social Sciences plays a fundamental role in the education of Paine College students. Students must take at least six hours in the department as part of the general education curriculum. All students are therefore exposed to studies that promote the scientific exploration and understanding of specific human experience and general social awareness. In addition to the general education courses, students are provided opportunities to specialize in two major academic areas: Psychology and Sociology. The Psychology program offers emphases in counseling, experimental, and general psychology while the Sociology program offers emphases in criminology, social psychology, and general sociology. All students complete a core of courses in the major field designed to expose them to the concepts, theories, and research methodologies used in the behavioral/social sciences. Senior research thesis supervised by faculty mentors is an integral part of the program. Interdisciplinary opportunities are also provided as students in any major may elect to minor in either psychology or sociology.

The social sciences are concerned with the study of how human beings think and behave as individuals, in groups and in socio-cultural systems. Therefore, Social scientists employ a variety of quantitative and qualitative research methods in order to understand, generalize, and predict human behavior. We investigate matters of vital concern to society; from the dynamic interaction between biology and the environment; the behavioral and social determinants of health disparities, to the social influence of aging.

Students are encouraged to broaden their learning beyond the classroom, and are therefore provided support in identifying opportunities for faculty /student research collaboration, participation in internships, and in community service projects. Each student works personally with a faculty advisor who is eager to enhance their college experience. Specialized advisement is tailored for students who are interested in applying their academic experience as a foundation for employment in areas such as human services or law enforcement, and for those students who plan to obtain graduate degrees.

Housed in the School of Arts and Sciences, our programs reflect a commitment to the Paine College mission "to provide a liberal arts education of the highest quality that emphasizes academic excellence, ethical and spiritual values, social responsibility, and personal development”. To that end, high-quality undergraduate instruction and experiential learning opportunities are provided by dedicated faculty who teach courses and conduct research, and apply their studies to addressing contemporary concerns. The Annual Conference on the Black Experience is also hosted by the Department of Social Sciences.

The Paine College Department of Social Studies prides itself on promoting the love of learning, ethical respect for others, an appreciation for culture, civil discourse, and an appreciation for the process of scientific inquiry as a means by which to cultivate the next generation of leaders. If you would like to learn more about our department and its programs, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We welcome the opportunity to be of assistance in any way that we can. Our main office is located in Haygood-Holsey Hall, Room 301.


List of Majors Offered

  • Psychology
  • Sociology

List of Minors Offered

  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Social Work

Contact Information


Lawanda Cummings
Chair, Social Sciences Department