Online/Blended Degree and Certificate Programs


The online Bachelor of Arts in Social Science provides students with transferable knowledge and skills that apply to careers including social work, psychology, and the Social Science. It also is excellent preparation for graduate study in psychology, school psychology, counseling, elementary or secondary education, public administration, law, and social work. Most courses in the program require students to conduct research, write papers and give presentations.

Students in the program gain insights into human behavior, society and culture. They also acquire creative problem solving and critical and analytical thinking skills. Course assignments emphasize the transfer of theory into practice. Additionally, distance learners develop their technological literacy by using our online learning platform and multiple other state-of-the-art technologies.

The BA in Social Science culminates with a two-course capstone sequence, an experience that students report challenges and rewards them personally and professionally. Students demonstrate their learning through a summative research paper akin to a thesis, and commonly use their capstone project to help them gain admission to graduate school or obtain employment.

Credits required to graduate: 120 of which 90 must be in the liberal arts
Credits required in the Social Science major: 40
Required GPA: 2.0
Required GPA in Social Science Major: 2.5

Program Structure

The online BA in Social Science is a four-year degree program offered through the Adelphi University College of Professional and Continuing Studies (CPCS). Students can begin the program in the Fall, Spring or Summer semesters. Online courses begin two weeks after the start of the semester, and one week prior to the end of the semester (for a total of thirteen weeks), based on the University’s academic calendar.

Though it is a part-time program, you can take up to 18 credit hours per semester (or more with advisor permission). Most courses are four credits.

To earn the degree, students must meet the College of Professional and Continuing Studies’ General Education & Core Requirements, taking four core courses and six distribution courses: two in art, two in the humanities, and two in Social Science. Students must take foundation courses before advanced elective courses and take their two capstone courses in their final year. Other courses required for the Social Science major can be taken in any order depending on availability.

Transfer Credits

Students are eligible to transfer up to 90 credits from a regionally accredited four-year college and up to 64 credits from a two-year institution. CPCS evaluates transcripts upon student request to determine whether credits are transferable. Please refer to our Transfer Credits page for more information.

Prior Learning Credits

CPCS is proud to provide adult learners with access to education not only through flexible learning formats, but also through its Prior Learning program. Many of our students have completed undergraduate coursework or gained valuable knowledge outside the classroom. If these experiences have provided you with relevant college-level knowledge, they may apply as credit toward your degree and reduce the cost and time it takes to complete the program.

Regardless of how many prior learning credits you qualify for, you must complete your final 30 credits of coursework at Adelphi to graduate.

Life Experience Credits

Many of our students are awarded credits for life experience including professional training, teaching, foreign language proficiency, entrepreneurship and volunteer activities. Qualified students may be permitted to apply up to 60 life experience credits toward their degree. Visit the Life Experience Credits page for more information about these credits and the evaluation process.

Online Learning Environment

All online BA in Social Science courses are delivered on the Moodle learning management system. The program is entirely asynchronous, meaning you complete coursework on your schedule, provided you adhere to deadlines for class assignments. Coursework includes reading; viewing lectures, videos and other presentations; participating in discussion forums; and engaging in other interactive online learning activities. Students typically devote 8 to 10 hours per week to coursework.

To learn more about how Adelphi University brings its online course content to life, visit About Adelphi Online.

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Courses Descriptions

All BA in Social Science students are required to meet the CPCS General Education and Core Requirements. Students also are required to complete:

  • Three foundation courses
  • A minimum of 16 credits of advanced electives
  • Capstone I and II

Required Foundation Courses

The central question of this course is: What is personality, and how does it develop? The class will read and discuss various theorists who try, in different ways, to answer this question. The paradigms of personality explored include behavioral, psychoanalytic, trait, and existential.

This requirement can also be met with PIA (0501) 101 – General Psychology (3 credits)
An introduction to the study of behavior, this course includes the investigation of sensation and perception, motivation and learning, physiological psychology, developmental and comparative psychology and measurement. Some major theorists and practitioners to be studied are James, Watson, Skinner and Freud.

Additional Social Science Foundation Course (4 credits)

An analysis of the contributions minorities have made to American life, their quest for political power and economic security, and the tensions they experience between the effort to preserve their cultural identity and the desire to become assimilated.

Required Capstone Sequence

The Baccalaureate Capstone is an interdisciplinary seminar that examines how the ideas of the modern age have challenged and altered traditional ways of thinking. As an analysis of the seminal ideas of modernity as defined by the thinkers who originated them, the Baccalaureate Capstone will empower students to think about the world in new and exciting ways.

This course is designed to help students develop ideas and pursue avenues of interest inspired by the readings in the Baccalaureate Capstone I. Students will do this through one of the standard forms of academic discourse: independent research and the completion of a project based upon the insights from that research. Capstone II is designed to allow students to use knowledge and methodologies gained through their undergraduate course work in evaluating a major ethical or moral problem in American life.

Advanced Electives (16 credits)

Students may be allowed to substitute advanced electives with other electives with approval from their academic advisor.

This course examines the effects of self-control, covert conditioning, and thinking and group controls, such as media, government, and religion. Among the thinkers are Skinner and Watson.

This is an examination of human development from conception to old age, focusing on the psychological response of the individual to environmental pressures, as well as the individual’s efforts to perceive and restructure the environment. The writings of Freud, Erikson, Hartmann, and Adler are given particular attention.

Prerequisite 1 – ASO 171
This course will focus on interpersonal communication skills and how they can be strengthened by understanding some of the foundational concepts seen in communication.

Prerequisite 1 – ASO 171
This course will examine the theoretical background and the ethical and philosophical foundations of counseling and will focus on the methods of training, development of skills, and implementation of goals.

This course is an introduction to the research and applications of social perception, social influence, attraction, and group behavior. The course also offers a foundation in the practical application of theory in everyday dynamic situations, such as on the public street and in the courtroom.

The course will explore social and personality development in terms of discovering the causes, processes, and complexities that underlie developmental change. Students will learn why biological and environmental factors, contextual factors such as cross-cultural, familial, neighborhood, school, and peer-group influences impact personality development in children, adolescents and adults. The course will include an overview of major perspectives on personality development, including more recent approaches to conceptualizing personality. The course will use the discipline of Positive Psychology as a foundation for discussing the normal/healthy personality as a contrast to most personality theory which focuses on pathology and maladaptive functioning. Topics discussed include human strengths, positive emotions and affect, happiness and life satisfaction, attachment and love, and creating positive personality development and positive life environments.

This course examines the various aspects of abnormal behavior. The most prominent theories of psychopathology will be reviewed, and the resolution of individual as well as public mental health problems will be studied.

Prerequisite 1 – ASO 108
This course explores addiction as a learned behavior with social and psychological causes.

Prerequisite 1: ASO 108
This course examines the different methods of resolving conflict between children, parents, and schools, and community organizations; radical or ethnic groups; public agencies and officials; police and citizens.

Explores the relationship of a disability B physical, sensory, emotional, cognitive or health B to the individual’s ability to participate in our culture.

Psychology of health is the study of relationships between psychological factors, e.g. stress and attitudes, and the occurrence or prevention of illness. This field investigates how attitudes and the mind impact the potential of getting ill and how the mind can aid in the healing process. Psychoneuroimmunology will be explored.