Bachelors in Social & Political Thought

Duration: 3 years full-time or 6 years part-time

Inaugural Start Date: September, 2018

Degree awarded by GCAS-RII


Set up to provide students are broad and overarching set of skills and knowledges, the BA in Social & Political Thought is designed for students from a variety of backgrounds to participate in. Similar in its breadth to a BA in Liberal Arts, this program will give students the ability to look critically at the world around them and to engage with the issues of today. In this way, the program is set out in three stages: Foundations of Thought; Social & Political Theory; and Praxis in the Contemporary World. Each of these stages is laid out throughout a full year of courses. These courses are structured in such a way as to provide students and instructors to focus on what is of most importance to the group while also ensuring that each student leaves the class with a core set of skills or knowledges. 

In addition to coursework, each student will spend the last portion of their degree doing a supervised Thesis. They will work one-on-one with their advisor to write and defend a substantive piece of work on a topic chosen in consultation with their advisor. 

Program Structure
As laid out below, the program is fairly structured, providing students a guided program, while also allowing them various chances to take electives and focus their program. Throughout the program students will have to take 180 ECTS. 30 ECTS of this will be open for students to take electives that are offered over the three years of their program as well as in our annual Summer Institute. Students are also invited, though not mandated to join for the Summer Institute (tuition free for enrolled students) that is held in a different location each year. During this Institute three courses will be offered and students will have the chance to gain 15 ECTS. These classes will be taught by top tier scholars from around the globe. Students will also have to undertake a Senior Thesis. During the second and third year the thesis amounts to 30 ECTS. 

All modules listed below are mandatory for all BA students to take. To discuss electives students should contact members of faculty or the Dean of Academic Affairs. 


Year 1 Courses:

· Academic Orientation & Fundamentals: Academic Writing & Thinking

· Ancient Thought: Pre-Socratics, Plato & Aristotle

· Medieval Thought to the Scientific Revolution

· Foundations of Western Philosophy: Descartes, Spinoza, and Kant

· Ancient Thought: Pre-Socratics, Plato & Aristotle

· Beginning Political Philosophy: Hobbes, Rousseau, Hume & Locke

· Classical Sociology Theory · Contemporary Sociological Theory

· Modern Political Philosophy: Hegel, Marx, and Early Marxians

· Psychoanalysis: Freud & Beyond

Year 2 Courses:

· Comparative Politics & International Relations

· Social Science Research Methods I

· Humanities Research Methods

· French Theory

· Critical Theory: Frankfurt School

· Ethics in Society

· Sociological & Anthropological Perspectives

· Decolonial Theory

· Social Science Research Methods II

· Thesis I

Year 3 Courses:

· Media, Technology, and Politics

· Critical Race Theory

· Gender Studies

· Thesis II

· Thesis III


· Feminist Theory

· Philosophical Anthropology

·Critical Pedagogy

·Trauma Studies

· Comparative Masculinities

·Marxist Theory: Gramsci, Althusser, Harvey and Hardt & Negri

·Law & Legal Theory

·Democracy & Democratic Theory

·Environmental Ethics

· Moving Parts: Experiments in Teaching

· Political Theory of Capitalism and Post-Capitalism

· Responsible Research and Innovation

· Queer Reading: Theory, Text, and Time

·Logic & Reasoning

·Critical Development Thinking

·Emotions and Cognition

·Topics in Non-Western Philosophies (Topics Change)

· European Intellectual History

·Literary Theory

· Cosmological Models and Philosophy

· Sociology & Anthropology of Education

·Asian Theory & Politics

·Economy & Society

· Love

·Politics of Science

·Philosophy Through Literature and Film

· Sociality & Sexuality: Heteronormativity in Context(s)

· Myths, Cults, and Philosophy

·Reconstructing the Apocalypse

**Electives offered vary by faculty and term

Placement Information

We anticipate graduates from GCAS’s BA in Social & Political Thought program to go onto a variety of careers and positions post-degree. These include working on policy, for non-profits and NGOs, for themselves by starting a business as well as continuing their education. The degree’s emphasis on critical thinking makes it useful for entrance into almost any position. Data shows that more businesses are looking for people with degrees in Liberal Arts or Philosophy. We believe that graduates from this program will be similarly highly sought after.