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Undergraduate study

The philosophy

As the most diverse school in the Utah State University system, students in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences have the option of majoring in 18 undergraduate specialties. Although individual disciplines offer specialized training and expertise, all liberal arts students graduate with marketable skills such as the ability to communicate clearly and effectively, to think analytically, and to question ideas with respect. Students gain real-world experience working alongside scholar-teachers on advanced research projects and are challenged to help solve the world’s most pressing problems.

The majors


Academic rigor

Classes are taught by faculty members who are respected researchers and accessible teachers. Many receive funding from prestigious organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts and National Science Foundation to support their work. Five of our 150 full-time professors are CASE/Carnegie Foundation Professors of the Year.

Students who want to get the most out of their college experience should consider applying to the Utah State University Honors Program. It enables students to pursue research as early as their freshman year and provides unique opportunities for one-on-one faculty mentoring. Honors classes are smaller by design and more competitive in nature. The Honors Program requires 27 credits of coursework and completion of a senior thesis or project.

Learning opportunities

The privilege of higher education comes with the responsibility for helping others. Community service is a longstanding component of education at the college and our faculty members routinely incorporate service-learning activities into their courses. For example, students in Conflict Resolution classes have taught anti-bullying techniques in local public schools.

However, our students do not just learn in the classroom, the library, or the laboratory. Each summer, the college’s anthropology students participate in a field school that teaches them hands-on quantitative research skills. Each semester, student journalists hold internships that give them professional reporting experience at local news outlets. By utilizing the college’s network of internships, students are able to discover what it is they love doing and develop the necessary skills to do it.


Internships provide students with professional work experience and serve as a powerful networking tool. They allow students to put into practice the skills they learn in USU classrooms. Each department has a list of internship opportunities available to CHaSS students. In the past, students have interned at the Smithsonian Institution, the United States Senate, and the university’s Undergraduate Teaching Fellows Program. Contact individual departments for a complete listing of internship opportunities. In some cases, funding is provided for students interning abroad. 

Our graduates

Our alumni have forged successful careers serving on staff for Senators Ted Kennedy and Orin Hatch, working to improve public health in Africa, and as wildlife planners for the Department of Transportation. Our alumni are CEOs, city planners, judges, attorneys, teachers, forensic anthropologists, doctors, and prize-winning authors.

Alumni of note:

  • Greg Carr, B.S., History, '82, human rights activist and founder of the Greg C. Carr Foundation to support human rights, education and the arts
  • Harry Reid, B.S., Political Science, '61, Democratic Senator of the state Nevada and the Democratic Leader in the United States Senate
  • May Swenson, B.A., English, ’34, poet and playwright, McArthur Award recipient, and chancellor of the Academy of American Poets