In the Social Sciences Division, we explore how and why people behave the way they do.

As the largest academic division on campus, we are home to over a dozen programs on Hope’s campus: seven departments, five interdisciplinary programs and four programs that serve the larger Holland community.

Our programs offer interesting and relevant courses, outstanding faculty and staff, and excellent preparation for graduate school or work after college.

  • American Ethnic Studies

    Declare a minor in American Ethnic Studies and enhance your understanding of American racial and ethnic diversity.

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  • Center for Leadership

    Take courses in becoming an influential and trusted advisor and learn about internships and mentoring support for budding student leaders.

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  • Communication

    Our nationally recognized curriculum integrates theory and practice in interpersonal, small group, organizational, public, and media communication.

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  • Economics & Business

    We provide a rigorous focus on the foundations of economics and business as well as hands-on opportunities to apply your education.

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  • Education

    Gain the performance skills, knowledge and dispositions needed to teach effectively and to make and implement professional decisions that prepare P–12 students for the world.

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  • Global Studies

    This program is designed for students who plan to pursue a profession in which an international focus will be especially valuable. It will prepare you for a life of service and success in a global society.

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  • Kinesiology

    We use the study and practice of human activity to transform the mind, body and spirit for lives of leadership, character and service.

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  • Peace & Justice

    Participate in a program that prepares students to assume their roles as global citizens and leaders by developing knowledge and strategies for promoting a more peaceful and just world.

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  • Phelps Scholars

    Join a program that combines community living, academic engagement and social activities in order to prepare students to be leaders in an increasingly global society and explore together the issues of diversity that shape our world.

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  • Political Science

    We help our students better understand the institutions that shape and implement public policy — in our society and in an increasingly complex and independent world.

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  • Psychology

    Develop knowledge, intellectual skills and personal character through the study of psychology and through relationships based on an appreciation of the whole person — body, mind and spirit.

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  • Sociology & Social Work

    Sociology studies to understand how human beings relate to each other, while social work emphasizes changing and improving lives so that people can reach their full potential.

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Our full-time faculty are exceptional classroom teachers, academic advisors and award-winners in their own right who emphasize learning by doing and incorporate a global perspective. In addition to our full-time staff, we have part-time instructors, coaches and staff members who work diligently on behalf of students in addition to supporting and communicating well with one another.

Hope by the Numbers

  • 151Faculty/Student Collaborative Research Projects

    In 2016, we had 151 faculty/student projects and 236 student researchers.

  • 130Faculty publications

    Faculty members from departments across the Social Sciences Division published 130 works in 2016.

  • 90%Students who would select Hope again

    90% of students surveyed would choose Hope College again as their first college of choice.

  • 4792016 social sciences graduates

    In 2016, 479 students graduated with degrees in a social sciences department or program (out of 805 total college-wide).