Social Science

Social Science

Central's social science program encourages you to develop knowledge and skills in several disciplines. If you desire a broadly based experience in the social sciences, this major may be where you belong! A critical element of the program is recognizing relationships among the disciplines, including history, economics, political science, sociology and psychology.

A social science major gives you a solid background for many career options. Graduates have become social studies teachers, deputy sheriffs and youth leaders. The major offers you the opportunity to take courses across a number of areas, creating a customized plan of study that best suits your academic needs. It is particularly appropriate for prospective social studies teachers at the secondary level.

The Central Difference

Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to study abroad with Central College to enhance their development as global citizens. Academic opportunities and internship programs also are available in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and New York City. Learn more about Central’s study abroad programs.


Softball player Sara Tallman ’20 finds success in everything she does.


Central College is one of the most beautiful college campuses you'll find. A perfect mix of old and new, our buildings reflect our history and our future. Central's distinctive library is a spacious and popular haven with more than 230,000 volumes, computer stations, a multimedia collection and extensive online catalog.

Beyond Central

Putting the “Hire” in Higher Education

  • Science teacher, Pella Community Schools, Pella
  • Social studies teacher and basketball coach, North Central Community School, Manly, Iowa
  • Deputy sheriff, Davis County Sheriff Department, Bloomfield, Iowa
  • 9-12 special education teacher, West Des Moines Community Schools, West Des Moines, Iowa
  • 9-12 social studies teacher, St. Joseph School District, St. Joseph, Mo.
  • High school P.E. teacher, Grinnell High School, Grinnell, Iowa
  • Youth leader, Third Reformed Church, Pella
  • Lawyer, Oskaloosa, Iowa

Forever Dutch®: More Than a Tagline

What does it mean to be Forever Dutch®? Central students share their experiences on what being Forever Dutch means to them.


  • History Club
  • Sociology and Anthropology Club
  • Economics Club
  • Culture Club
  • Phi Alpha Theta (history)
  • Pi Sigma Alpha (political science)
  • Mock trial
  • Political Science Club
  • Pre-law Club
  • Psi Chi (psychology)
  • Psychology Club

Graduate Placement

Majors go on to graduate school in a number of fields, studying education, sociology and more.


Social science students also gain experience through internships that prepare them for future employment or entrance into graduate school.

Central College student

Courses & Faculty

The social science program offers you the opportunity to take courses in a variety of disciplines. You will select courses in areas including history, politics, economics, psychology and sociology.

Learn more about this discipline in the course catalog.

Meet the Faculty

  • Mark Barloon, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Senior Lecturer of History
  • Anya Butt, B.A., M.S., Ph.D., Professor of Biology
  • Andrew Green, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Professor of Political Science
  • Keith Jones, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Mark and Kay De Cook Endowed Chair in Character and Leadership Development and Professor of Psychology
  • Shelby Messerschmitt-Coen, B.A., M.C., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology
  • Tuan Nguyen, B.B.A., M.S., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Economics
  • Chia Ning, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Professor of History
  • Jeremia Njeru, B.S., M.A., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Sociology/Anthropology
  • George Nwaogu, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Economics
  • Timothy Olin, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of History
  • Dawn Reece, B.A., M.S., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Sociology
  • Randall Renstrom, B.S., M.A., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology
  • Ashley Scolaro, B.S., M.S., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology
  • Elena Vishnevskaya, B.A., M. Div., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Religion
  • Shawn Wick, B.A., M.S., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Sociology
  • Jon Witt, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Professor of Sociology
  • Lori Witt, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Associate Professor of History
  • Keith Yanner, B.A., Ph.D., Professor of Political Science
  • Jim Zaffiro, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Professor of Political Science


Learn More

Want to find out more about Social Science at Central? Contact us to learn more about this discipline and our other strong academic programs.

Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.

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