Leila J. Rupp
Interim Dean of Social Sciences
Distinguished Professor of Feminist Studies
The Social Sciences at UCSB focuses on the scholarship and intellectual activities that are most engaged with public issues and conversations by bringing new data to the attention of the populace and policymakers; by providing critical perspectives on the many social, political, and economic issues that society struggles to understand; and by providing communities with insights and alternative visions of how to organize social life, organizations, society, and institutional structures.
Discoveries, Critical Perspectives, Alternative Visions
Welcome to the Division of Social Sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara, home of creative and interdisciplinary teaching, scholarship, and community service. We have a vision for the changing future: by focusing on the scholarship and intellectual activities that are most engaged with public issues, we bring new discoveries to the attention of the populace and policymakers; we supply critical perspectives on the many social, political, and economic issues that confront contemporary society; and we provide communities with alternative visions of how to bring about social change. This is our mission in the classroom, at our research sites, and in the world.
It is impossible to understand the past, present, and future of human society without knowledge of the social sciences. From questions of individual identities to group processes to institutional structures to global forces, the Division's twelve departments and programs address every aspect of social life. In what different ways are human societies organized? How do people make economic and political choices? What is the impact of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality on the lives of different social groups? What are the consequences of globalization for people around the world? These and other pressing questions are the ones that social scientists address in our teaching, research, and community involvements.
The hallmark of the Social Sciences at UC Santa Barbara is our commitment to interdisciplinary scholarship that encourages scholars to move easily across intellectual boundaries. The Division values interdisciplinary work because it both illuminates and expands upon central issues, debates, and concepts and has been institutionalized in fields that bring new and dynamic insights to understanding gender, sexuality, and race/ethnicity. Issues such as immigration, the environment, inequality and discrimination, economic development, political participation, and new modes of communication can only be fully understood if approached from multiple angles. The Division encompasses scholars and students who utilize diverse methodologies, theoretical traditions, and analytical perspectives in order to shine the brightest possible light on issues of social and public policy.
The Division of Social Sciences offers our undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to study with and learn from nationally and internationally recognized scholars, including a Nobel Prize winner in Economics. Across the Division, departments and areas of concentration have received top national rankings. We also pioneer, offering the first undergraduate degree in Asian American Studies, an innovative graduate program in Global Studies, and the first doctoral program in Chicana and Chicano Studies.
I am proud that our faculty and students are meeting the challenge of changing the face of knowledge for an ever-evolving world with enthusiasm, excellence, and engagement. Visit with us virtually or in person and experience the riches that the Division of Social Sciences at UC Santa Barbara has to offer.