College of Social Sciences Overview


Faculty and Staff

Bachelor Degrees

The college offers the bachelor of arts degree in criminal justice, mass communication, political science, and sociology; bachelor of liberal studies in social sciences (for part-time students); bachelor of criminal justice; and bachelor of science in nursing for registered nurses returning to school. Students who wish to earn a bachelor’s degree through programs not regularly available in the College of Social Sciences may consult the associate dean about the possibility of a contract degree.

College Requirements For Degree

The following requirements must be met for a degree from the College of Social Sciences:

  1. Successful completion of an approved degree program within the college.
  2. At least a 2.0 Loyola cumulative average, major average, and minor average, if minor is pursued. (Some departments may have more stringent requirements.)
  3. Completion of the Common or Core Curriculum requirements, depending upon the student’s program of study.
  4. Completion of the foreign language requirement (not applicable to professional studies students).
  5. Completion of all course requirements specified by major department.
  6. Completion of at least 30 hours in the major (some departments require more.)
  7. Certification for graduation by the student’s department.
  8. Completion of a comprehensive or exit examination in the major for those departments requiring a comprehensive/exit examination. Such departments will establish and publish in advance the nature of the comprehensive/exit examination and the standard for acceptable performance.
  9. Completion of the last 30 hours of course work at Loyola.
  10. Residency requirements: a minimum of 30 hours at Loyola University; a minimum of 12 hours in the major and 9 hours in the minor (if pursued); a minimum of 12 hours in the Common or Core Curriculum requirements depending upon the student's program of study.

Curriculum Design

The curriculum is designed to provide students with a broad education in the social sciences and the professions in the Jesuit, Catholic tradition. It is also aimed at providing them with depth in at least one area of study, their major. And, in all, it seeks to sharpen their abilities to think critically and to act justly in the modern world.

The curriculum is divided into four parts.

Part One-Major

The major consists of a series of courses in one subject area—usually 30 to 40 credit hours. Majors are described in the department sections.

Part Two-Adjunct/Minor Courses

Some fields may require a limited set of courses in areas that are allied to the major and complement it. Sociology, for example, is considered necessary for the criminal justice major and psychology for the nursing student. Some of these courses are specifically named under degree programs; others are selected in consultation with the student’s advisor or chairperson. Students in Mass Communication are required take to minor in another field—usually 18 to 21 hours of course work specified by individual departments; students taking other majors may select a minor.

Part Three-Common Curriculum

Common Curriculum: The Common Curriculum complements the major and adjunct courses by providing a broad humanistic dimension to every undergraduate’s program. The program contains introductory, advanced and language courses.

Part Four–General Electives

Electives: It is important that students have considerable freedom to choose those courses or series of courses that interest them so that their education may be rich and full. The number of hours students may elect depends to a large extent on the major. See statements below for limitations on elective credit.

Core Curriculum for Professional Studies Students

For more information regarding program components of the Professional and Continuing Studies Division please click here.

Social Sciences Limitations On Credit Toward Degrees

Transfer work:

  1. Remedial work taken at Loyola or at other institutions will not apply to Social Sciences degree programs.

  2. The dean’s office will determine the applicability of the student’s transfer credit as accepted by the Office of Admissions to the Social Sciences degree programs.


  1. Students may not go back and complete freshman-level work in a subject in which they have already successfully completed a more advanced course.
  2. No more than 20 hours (12 hours for professional studies students) may be taken in any one semester without the authorization of the dean.
  3. No more than six hours may be taken in any one summer term without authorization of the dean.
  4. Social Sciences students must obtain prior written permission of their advisor and/or department chair and the dean in order to take courses at another university (summer school, study abroad, etc.). Permission will not be given to students on academic probation.
  5. Courses in physical education will not apply to the degree programs in Social Sciences.

Double Majors

Qualified students who have completed two full semesters of their freshman year and have earned a minimum GPA of 3.0 may pursue two majors. Such students must successfully complete the Common Curriculum requirements of the first major as well as the major and named adjunct requirements for both declared degree programs of study as set forth in the Undergraduate Bulletin. Students must successfully complete the comprehensive or exit examination requirements for both majors if the departments require a comprehensive or exit examination. Students who complete the requirements for two majors will receive only one degree from Loyola. The transcript, however, will indicate which bachelor’s degree was awarded as well as the two majors that were completed. Students interested in pursuing a double major should consult with the associate dean.

General Studies

Many students enter college undecided about the field of study they would like to pursue. For students unsure of their educational and/or career goals, Loyola University offers the General Studies Program. In this program, students work toward the completion of the Common Curriculum requirements while exploring major courses offered in a variety of disciplines at Loyola.

During their first semester General Studies freshmen are assigned a General Studies advisor who will continue as their advisor until a major is declared. General Studies advisors are knowledgeable about all the degree programs in the college, and help guide students in determining a major that best suits their interests. Courses taken in this exploration process generally fulfill requirements for the major, adjunct, or general electives once the student selects a particular degree program.

Students may remain in the General Studies Program for a maximum of 55 hours. Since the University does not grant a degree in General Studies, students must officially declare a major by the end of their sophomore year.

Early Law School Admissions

Students who enter law school generally do so after having completed a bachelor’s degree. However, the Loyola College of Law may accept students after they have completed three years of exceptional undergraduate work and have earned an appropriate score on the LSAT.  Students in the College of  Social Sciences who wish to attempt early admission into the Loyola School of Law after three years must have completed all but the last 30 hours of their degree program, including all Common Curriculum, major, named adjunct, and foreign language requirements. The first 30 hours earned in law school will be applied as general elective credits for completion of the undergraduate degree.

A student of the College of Social Sciences who completes the hour requirements as outlined above is not guaranteed acceptance into the Loyola College of Law. The College of Law has final authority on all admissions decisions. Interested students should consult the Loyola College of Law Office of Admissions for information concerning admissions standards.