Contemporary Civilization/Social Science

Courses in the social sciences provide students with a basis for understanding social systems and the interactions of individuals and societies. Students are required to take two courses selected from the social sciences offerings.

Students must select two social science courses from the following departments and programs or aforementioned interdisciplinary programs to fulfill the social sciences core requirement:

  • Anthropology
  • Economics
  • History*
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
    • Columbia psychology courses at the 2600-, 3600-, or 4600- level
    • Barnard College psychology courses except Statistics (PSYC BC1101)
  • Sociology
  • Challenges of Sustainable Development (SDEV UN2300); check with your advisor about other courses listed under this interdisciplinary program that may fulfill the social sciences requirement

GS students may elect to take the two-semester course Introduction to Contemporary Civilization, COCI GS1101-COCI CC1102, commonly called "Contemporary Civilization" or "CC" to fulfill the GS social science requirement. Alternatively, Contemporary Civilization can be used to fulfill one GS social science requirement and one GS humanities requirement.  Refer to/Print the 2016-2017 syllabus for Contemporary Civilization.

Note: Only the first semester of Contemporary Civilization may be applied to either the humanities requirement or the social science requirement (but not both). The second semester may only be applied to the social science requirement. 


Courses from the Department of History may be counted toward the GS social science or theGS humanities requirement, but in no case may more than two courses from one department be used to fulfill the GS core requirements.

Interdisciplinary Programs

The following interdisciplinary programs offer courses in both humanities and social sciences. GS advisors must determine the appropriate category for a course when taken to satisfy a GS core requirement.

  • African-American Studies
  • American Studies
  • Comparative Ethnic Studies
  • Comparative Literature and Society
  • East Asian Languages and Cultures
  • Ethnicity and Race Studies
  • Hispanic Studies
  • Human Rights
  • Jewish Studies
  • Latin American and Caribbean Studies
  • Middle East, South Asian, and African Studies
  • Women's and Gender Studies

Registration and Petitioning

Students interested in registering for Contemporary Civilization should review the Core Registration and Petitions page.