College of Social & Behavioral Sciences

Meeting Society’s Need For Insightful and Dynamic Leaders

The questions are age old and thought provoking: Who am I? Why do I do what I do? What kind of mark will I make on this world? Since 1889, inquisitive students have come to Weber looking for answers.

What began 125 years ago as two classes in philosophy and geography has matured into an influential College of Social & Behavioral Sciences with programs in:

  • Anthropology
  • Aerospace studies
  • Criminal justice
  • Geography
  • Gerontology
  • History
  • Military science
  • Philosophy
  • Political science
  • Psychology
  • Social work
  • Sociology

An estimated 4,500 students pass through the doors of the Social Science Building in a typical day to attend classes, meet with professors and work in labs. They dream about earning degrees that lead to fulfilling careers. They dream about making the world a better place.

Small class sizes and personalized teaching are the hallmarks of a College of Social & Behavioral Sciences education. Faculty members provide hands-on, community-based learning opportunities, and work side by side with students on groundbreaking research projects.

Dedicated faculty members take time to learn the strengths and challenges of each promising student.

Weber State students present their research at the prestigious Posters on the Hill event more often than students from any other school in Utah.

Through the years, our college has racked up a notable list of credentials:

  • Utah’s first crime lab was housed at Weber State, and a criminal justice major served as the state’s commissioner of public safety.
  • After publishing a critically acclaimed book about homesickness, an outstanding history professor was invited to deliver the keynote address at an international conference in Germany.
  • An ROTC grad became the U.S. Army’s first and only Apache helicopter pilot/nurse.
  • A political science faculty member received the Utah Campus Compact’s 2012 Critically Engaged Scholar award for her leadership of the American Democracy Project.
  • Weber alumna Olene S. Walker, Utah’s first female governor, spearheaded successful efforts to establish an institute of politics on campus.

Every year, our accomplishments grow more impressive, and our dreams get bolder.

Students come to the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences with dreams and drive; they leave with a broader global perspective and sharper insight into social interaction. It all begins with a caring faculty mentor who knows what motivates the individual learner.

What We Can Accomplish Together

What we do at the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences matters. We play a vital role in the liberal arts education of every student, and serve the community through applied research and outreach programs.

But there are dreams yet to fulfill, and every day we challenge ourselves, asking, “What can we do even better?”

That’s why we’re embarking on this 125th anniversary campaign, setting lofty goals and inviting alumni and friends to invest in our efforts to boost our quality of education, and spread our sphere of influence internationally.

Provide Opportunity

Dean's Merit Scholarships

Many of our brightest students, especially nontraditional students with families to support and full-time jobs, could not afford higher education without financial help.

A $3,000 gift funds one merit scholarship for a single year; a $75,000 gift funds one annual merit scholarship year after year; a $750,000 gift would continuously fund all of the college's Dean’s Merit Scholarships.

Internships/Study Abroad

Our students need internships and study abroad programs that allow them to apply classroom knowledge in real-world settings. Political science major India Nielsen recently completed a "life-changing" internship in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Olene S. Walker Institute of Politics & Public Service. Your support would fund similar opportunities for other students.

Community Outreach

Our outreach efforts are stronger than ever. At George Washington Alternative High School, psychology students help at-risk youth improve their social skills and explore careers.

Jordan Giles recently spent eight hours a week teaching kids how to fill out job applications, handle stress, prepare for interviews and behave at work. Three years after this program was introduced, school officials are noting far-reaching effects.

Jordan calls his participation in this project his “most rewarding college experience.” With your support, we can continue to find real solutions to real problems that affect real people.

Advance Knowledge

Criminal Justice Forensics Lab Upgrade

Our forensics lab is 40 years old. It was built before DNA profiling was used to solve crimes. We’re still using 1970s-era lab benches, and some of our equipment is obsolete. But modern forensic equipment comes with a 21st-century price tag: a new microscope for ballistic comparisons costs $50,000. In order to teach a broader range of evidence gathering and processing methods, we need to upgrade our equipment and expand our current lab space.

Customized Labs

We’ve set ambitious goals to upgrade and customize three crucial labs:

  • Archaeology: Additional space and improved facilities would result in better preservation, storage and analysis of artifacts.
  • Geography: A high-tech, computer-based geographic information system would allow cartography and urban planning students to visualize, analyze and interpret data.
  • Social Work: An observation room and videotaping center would allow students to practice, record and critique interview and counseling techniques.

Faculty Vitality

To become the best, students must learn from the best. Endowed professorships and faculty research fellowships will give us powerful tools to attract, retain and reward eminent scholars, researchers and industry professionals. Specific campaign goals include:

  • Endowed professorships
  • Faculty/student research funds
  • Endowed faculty excellence awards

Distinguished Lecture Series Naming Opportunity

Our new Distinguished Lectures Series brings engaging speakers to campus to shed light on a variety of significant social issues. Our first speaker was WSU alumnus Brad Bushman, a national authority on the relationship between violent media and violent behavior. The lectures are free and open to the public.

Enhance Campus

New Social Science Building Naming Opportunity

Despite the phenomenal learning that has taken place in our Social Science Building over the past 40 years, it is worn out. The water is rusty, the electrical system is inadequate, the Internet wiring is outdated, the heating/cooling system is inefficient, and the building is noncompliant with seismic code. Students with disabilities find it extremely difficult to access and navigate the building.

With your help, we can give our students a learning environment that is worthy of their dreams.

Social Science Building Improvements

With Dream 125, we are looking to upgrade several key areas:

  • Multi-Purpose Room Naming Opportunity: Our college would greatly benefit from having its own large space for lectures, exhibits, workshops and meetings.
  • Student Study Lounge: Students often sit on hallway floors as they await their next classes. They could use this time much more productively in a space with tables and chairs.
  • Walker Institute Office and Meeting Room Suite: The Olene S. Walker Institute of Politics & Public Service is a statewide hub of political engagement. To better serve students and the community, the institute requires a larger, accessible suite where it can administer programs and host public events.