Inquiry in the Social Sciences [SSCI]

Inquiry in the Social Sciences teaches students how social sciences apply empirical principles and methods to understand human beings as social agents in cultural, group, and individual contexts.

Students choose one SSCI course (3 credits) to satisfy part of the UCORE Inquiry: Ways of Knowing graduation requirements.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students, regardless of major, who successfully complete a [SSCI] course should be able to:

  • Recognize the difference between quantitative and qualitative evidence for use in social scientific research, including when each is appropriate to support claims (critical thinking).
  • Evaluate, at an appropriate level, evidence-based claims and conclusions that are rooted in social scientific research methods (information literacy).
  • Communicate social scientific information or findings in written forms appropriate to the discipline (written communication).
  • Understand fundamental knowledge and concepts in social science as appropriate to the discipline (breadth of learning).

Revised outcomes approved Spring 2022.

View approved SSCI courses

For Faculty

Whether submitting a new course for approval for the first time or submitting an updated course as part of UCORE’s renewal process, faculty should submit a completed SSCI Learning Outcomes Grid along with the course syllabus and supporting assignment prompts/activity descriptions. This grid should clearly demonstrate the relationship among UCORE designator learning outcomes, course learning outcomes, and activities and assignments that support those outcomes.

Faculty are not required to insert this learning outcomes grid into the body of the syllabus. However, per WSU syllabus policy, all syllabi must communicate the course’s student learning outcomes to students. If the course holds a UCORE designation, then that communication should occur with in the context of the UCORE designation’s required learning outcomes (e.g. critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, understanding diversity, etc.).

All UCORE-designated courses are required to include in the syllabus a statement of how the course fulfills the specific UCORE requirement.

Please adapt this SSCI course description for use in your syllabus. If possible, integrate with course specific description.

XXXX XXX satisfies the Social Science [SSCI] requirement for WSU’s University Common Requirements (UCORE), which is designed to help you acquire broad understanding, develop intellectual and civic competencies, and apply knowledge and skills in real world settings. Upon completion of UCORE, you will have the tools needed to seek out information, interpret it, share it, and make reasoned and ethical judgements on a wide array of issues. Within this framework, XXXX XXX helps you apply evidence-based social science principles and methods, including both qualitative and quantitative methods, to understand human beings as social agents in cultural, group, and individual contexts.

Departments and schools should consider how UCORE student learning outcomes (skill development) map to course level (100, 200, 300, or 400) and design assignments and activities accordingly.

CoursesCourses often taught at 100 & 200 level; some “shared” with other departments or UCORE, or community colleges (external context)Courses generally at 300 and 400 level, often taught by the major department (or across depts, especially in interdisciplinary programs)
Introduce (I)Practice (P)Refine (R)Competent (C)
Levels of Program Learning Outcomes: Content, Skills, and ComplexityIntroduce skills and knowledge Practice basics (methods, skills, content knowledge)
Beginner, collegiate level.  
Practice components to solidify foundational skills and knowledge, build comfort and proficiency (includes practice w/ feedback)Additional development to refine skills & deepen knowledge; use in more complex, demanding contexts (includes practice w/ feedback)Apply methods, skills, and knowledge in multiple contexts at an advanced, complex level; know when and where to apply; Graduating senior major level.

Propose or renew a SSCI course

Additional Resources


Provost Office’s Teach page
Explore this content area of the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President’s website, which contains resources, tips, tools, and techniques to support excellence and innovation in teaching.


Assignment Design Resources
Read guidance from the Office of Assessment for Curricular Effectiveness on developing powerful, clear assignments to impact teaching, learning, and assessment.


Required Learning Outcomes
Depending on the designation, your UCORE course will carry additional learning outcomes requirements.


UCORE Policy
View departmental responsibilities for class size, graduate student instructors, shared syllabi, and more.


Library Instruction
Emphasize information literacy by scheduling with a librarian a session that is specifically tailored to your course.


Syllabus Website
Use this website to confirm required syllabus elements and recommended syllabus elements before teaching a course.


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