UD-D Upper Division Social Sciences

III. Upper Division Social Sciences (Area UD – D)


Course Expectations for Upper Division Social Sciences (3 units)

To be certified by the Baccalaureate Requirements Committee as meeting the upper-division social sciences (UD – D) general education requirement,


1.  The course must be open to all students, regardless of major, who meet the prerequisites. Students shall not be held to prerequisites that are not specified in the current online University Bulletin. Prerequisites must not unduly restrict access and are restricted to upper division standing or one of the following:

  1. lower division general education course(s);
  2. other upper division general education courses when the courses are sequenced;
  3. individual course placement tests;
  4. generic course prerequisites (e.g., a psychology course, a biology course, a history course and so forth); or
  5. equivalents to the above.


2.  At least one of the assignments shall involve (a) utilizing a plan for acquiring and recording information employing advanced search strategies to examine a wide variety of potential sources, including library resources; (b) articulating and applying advanced criteria in evaluating information and sources, including distinguishing scholarly/non- scholarly information and primary/secondary sources; (c) properly using and citing the information in assignments; and (d) formulating arguments and/or theories supported by information from multiple sources.


3.  The course syllabus must include references to assignments that are described above as part of the course expectations.


4.  The course syllabus must list the university-approved student learning outcomes for upper division social science and link them to activities and/or assignments that students complete to demonstrate they have met the outcomes.


Student Learning Outcomes for Upper Division Social Sciences (3 units)

After completion of an upper division general education course in social sciences, students will be able to:


  1. apply the methods of inquiry and analysis characteristic of one or more of the behavioral and social science disciplines to the study of human behavior, institutions, or socio- economic systems as related to the appropriate economic, ethnic, geographic, historical, political, social, or cultural contexts;

  2. articulate how theories and practices in one or more of the behavioral and social science disciplines come to be accepted, contested, changed, or abandoned by the scholarly community;

  3. evaluate the quality of behavioral and social scientific information and claims on the basis of their sources and the methods used to generate that information;

  4. construct coherent and sound arguments with support from multiple sources, including library resources and proper citations, that communicate what students have discovered;

  5. analyze economic, political, social, or cultural issues as well as ethical dilemmas and choices that arise out of behavioral or social scientific research, discoveries, and applications; and

  6. analyze issues of equity and discrimination related to human behavior or to economic, political, social, or cultural institutions or systems, in the present or in the past, and, as appropriate, apply that knowledge to their own lives and to ways in which they could contribute purposefully to the well-being of their local communities, their nations, and the people of the world; to social justice; and/or to the sustainability of the natural environment.


Links between Educational Goals and Outcomes for Upper Division Social Sciences

The student learning outcomes were developed in relationship to the “Educational Goals for the Baccalaureate at San Francisco State University.” The chart below illustrates that relationship for upper division social sciences. The numbers correspond to the way the educational goals and student learning outcomes are numbered above.


Links Between Educational Goals and Learning Outcomes

Educational Goals

Student Learning Outcomes for Upper Division Social Sciences

1. Competencies for Lifelong Intellectual Endeavor

3, 4

2. Intellectual Attainments

1, 2

3. Appreciation of Diversity


4. Ethical Engagement


5. Integration and Application of Knowledge