Social Science, Behavioral Science, Education & More

Students talking

The social and behavioral sciences draw from an interdisciplinary combination of disciplines that focus on understanding  the human experience, the behaviors of groups and individuals, human development, the relationship between people and their environment, and so much more.

Check out each of the disciplines below to learn more about this diverse and varied pathway:

  • Addiction Studies

    Addiction Studies Program is the theoretical and practical foundation for students wanting to learn about substance abuse disorders and work in the field of alcohol, drug, and tobacco counseling. Students learn about the addiction process, substance abuse disorders, addiction pharmacology, strategies to prevent relapse,  intervention techniques, ethics, communication skills and addiction treatment care management.

    COCC Addictions Studies Program
    COCC graduates are well-suited for employment in drug and alcohol treatment centers. Graduates of the two-year certificate program are qualified to take the State of Oregon Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor CADC I exam, preparing them to lead both group and individual treatment sessions. The Associate of Applied Science degree builds on the certificate program and prepares students for the CADC II certification.

    COCC Peer Support Specialist training (4 weeks): A Peer Support Specialist is an individual with shared, lived experience with substance use and/or mental health who provides supportive services to a current or former consumer of mental health or addiction treatment. A PSS is also a consumer advocate who facilitates connections between individuals and needed services and activities.

    Click Here to learn more about career paths in addiction studies as well as Bachelor and graduate degrees in this field.

  • Anthropology
    Anthropology is the study of humankind. Physical anthropology focuses on where we came from and how we evolved into the rich variety of people we are today. Archaeology examines cultures and civilizations of the past to illuminate the present. Cultural anthropology explores the differences and similarities in humans from the Yanomamo of the Amazon Jungle to the Amish of Pennsylvania.

    Anthropology prepares students to understand and work with people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. It provides a solid foundation for careers in international relations, social service,counseling, and teaching. It is also useful for pre-legal and pre-medical students. 

    COCC Anthropology program

    Related OSU-Cascades programs:

    American Studies

    Social Science

    Explore more career ideas using the What Can I Do With My Major? tool below.
  • Counseling, Social Work, and Human Services
  • Economics
    Economics is the study of how society allocates its scarce resources to satisfy its many needs and wants. It draws upon history, philosophy, and mathematics to deal with subjects ranging from how an individual household or business can make sound decisions, to societal issues such as unemployment, inflation, and environmental decay.

    Macroeconomics studies the role of government in the economy, both in promoting social objectives and in keeping the economy healthy through fiscal and monetary policies.

    Microeconomics provides an understanding of consumption, production, and distribution of goods and services subject to the forces of supply and demand.

    International Economics provides an introductory survey of economic, political, social and cultural dimensions of globalization.

    Political Economy covers various micro and macro topics related to the United States economy from a systems and institutional perspective. 

    COCC Economics program

    OSU-Cascades Economics program

    Explore more career ideas using the What Can I Do With My Major? tool below.
  • Education & Teaching
  • Geography
    An awareness of landscape, plus the investigation of economic, physical and cultural processes that form and impact upon the landscape, are integral parts of study in geography. Factors included in the analysis of world and regional geography are location and structure of settlements, cultural influences, atmospheric processes, water resources, landforms, and climatic regions of the world. Sample courses include: Cultural Geography, Cartographic Methods, Environmental Geography, and several world and regional geography classes.

    Geography provides excellent preparation for advanced studies in such fields as environmental studies, public health, economics, economic development, city and regional planning, tourism and recreation, landscape architecture, and cartography. 

    COCC Geography program

    COCC Geographic Information Systems (GIS) program: Encompasses the studies of geography and real-time information. With training in computer mapping, drones, and an emphasis on analyzing information, students learn how to capture, interpret and display geographic data from the world around them. Prepares students for diverse, well-paying careers that include urban planning, public health, forestry, trail mapping, academic research, historic preservation, and real estate. 

    COCC Geospatial Science, Associate of Science (OSU Transfer): Designed for students interested in completing the first two years of coursework before transferring to a baccalaureate program in geography, geographic information systems (GIS), geospatial science, geomatics, or similar program. It is specifically aligned with the fully online Bachelor of Science in Geography and Geospatial Science degree at Oregon State University.

    Related OSU-Cascades programs:


    Social Science

    Explore more career ideas using the What Can I Do With My Major? tool below.
  • Political Science
    Political Science studies the critical issue of governance in modern times. From federal institutions to local businesses, political structures exist to provide means and processes through which public needs are met. A study of political science will introduce you to political values, processes, institutions, and strategies for analyzing equity within society. Instruction includes classes in American Government, state and local government, and international relations.

    A background in political science may lead to employment in local, state and national government, law, journalism, special interest groups, teaching, and research. Knowledge of political science can enhance your role as a citizen in community service and/or public office and for those interested in a law degree, political science may be an excellent undergraduate major. 

    COCC Political Science program

    OSU-Cascades Political Science program

    Explore more career ideas using the What Can I Do With My Major? tool below.
  • Psychology

    Psychology is the scientific study of behavior. The social, emotional and physical development and functioning of humans and non-humans are investigated to help you understand yourself, other people and the organisms with which you inhabit the earth. You will learn how you and others make behavioral choices and how these are influenced by the interaction of genetic inheritance with the physical and social environment. Coursework includes topics covering brain function and drug effects to motivation, memory, and learning to human sexuality, social influence, human development, abnormal behavior, and therapy methods.

    Psychology provides access to employment in counseling, social services, personnel, marketing and teaching. A psychology degree also prepares you for graduate work in experimental and clinical psychology and related areas, such as special education, social work, business, communications, law school and the health care field.

    COCC Psychology program

    Related programs at OSU-Cascades:

    OSU-Cascades Psychology program

    Human Development & Family Sciences program

    Explore more career ideas using the What Can I Do With My Major? tool below.

  • Sociology
    Sociology is the study of the relationship between humans and society. Students examine how economics, politics, religion, race, gender, family and the environment interact to shape people's lives. Students will learn to analyze social problems such as poverty, war and drugs to discover their causes and possible solutions. Possible courses include Race, Class and Ethnicity; Social Psychology, and Social Deviance.

    Sociology prepares you for employment in social service, counseling, recreation, teaching, public health, health care, social justice, law, and so much more.

    COCC Sociology program

    Related OSU-Cascades programs:

    American Studies

    Social Science

    Explore more career ideas using the What Can I Do With My Major? tool below.
  • Public Health

    Grounded in the tenets of disease prevention, health promotion, health and social equity, and environmental sustainability, Public Health encourages students to promote personal and population health using a systems-thinking approach to understand the health connections between people, places, and policies. Areas of study may include: health promotion, disease prevention, health psychology, health care policy, health equity, and environmental sustainability.

    COCC Public Health program

Related Areas of Study: Africana Studies, American Studies, Child & Family Studies, Global International Studies, Ethnic Studies, Latin American Studies, Native American Studies, Public Administration, Religious Studies, Women's Studies, Public Health, and more.

What Can I Do With This Major?

Learn about typical career areas and types of employers that hire people with each major, as well as strategies to make you a more marketable candidate.

Click on the logo below to start. The link will take you to the University of Oregon Career Center.  There you can click on the link again to get to the main website.  Click on the "All Majors" icon and explore from there (scroll down to the bottom of each page for more career specific links).

What Can I Do With This Major? icon

Earn College Credits in High School

High school students can jump start their college education by taking college classes while still in high school. At COCC, high school students can earn college credit through two options: College Now and Concurrent Enrollment (including Expanded Options):


Research Occupations & Watch Career Videos

Understand Educational Paths: Degrees & Certificates