Message from Chairperson

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Welcome to the Department of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts. We hope you will take some time to explore our site to learn more about our vision and mission, our faculty, the kinds of programs and courses we offer, and the service and leadership opportunities available to you through the department and through IBA.

I want to take a moment, though, to focus on aspects of our program that might not be immediately apparent. Unlike many other universities that offer degrees either in the social sciences or in specific social science disciplines, the program at IBA is structured to provide students with an integrated understanding of the field, and to do so within the context of a traditional liberal arts and sciences education. Our unique, two-year core curriculum required for all students enrolled in the department will introduce you to a range of social science subjects: social and cultural anthropology, history, sociology, urban studies, linguistics, and economics. We couple these with courses in English writing and rhetoric, intellectual and South Asian history, quantitative reasoning, and four semesters of a foreign language. This interdisciplinary approach should give you a sound understanding of the social sciences, and a solid foundation on which to build once you select a major.

In your third and fourth year, you will focus your attention on one social science discipline—either Media & Communications Studies, Political Science, or Psychology. In addition to the core courses in your selected discipline, you will need to design and complete a nine-credit culminating project that includes both experiential and written components. This project will challenge you to ask a complex question, and then bring together all you have learned in order to answer it. In addition to the courses in your major, you will also take a range of elective courses in the natural and human sciences. These might include subjects like the environmental sciences, Urdu poetry, physics, art history, comparative religions, and English literature. These courses are designed to help you develop increasingly more complex critical thinking, analytical, and creative problem-solving skills, and to give you an expansive understanding of the contexts within which the work of the social sciences happens.

Our faculty and staff are committed to providing an undergraduate experience second to none. Together, surely, we can figure out how to make a smarter, more equitable, more peaceful, more humane world.

Dr. Faiza Mushtaq
Chair, Department of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts