Social Science

REQUIREMENTS — Students are required to take at least six semesters of Social Science during their four years at St. Ignatius. The freshman requirement, Introduction to Ethnic Studies (one semester), is designed to develop a student’s understanding of identity formation and systemic inequalities. Sophomores will take Modern World History (one year course) which begins with the Age of Exploration and Conquest (late 1400s) and studies major world civilizations and events in the 20th century. In junior year, all students take U.S. Histories and Cultures for two semesters. Seniors may choose one or more of four Government Selectives, and they are highly encouraged to enroll in as many Government Selectives that interest them. In addition, juniors and seniors may take a variety of electives designed to introduce them to the wider world of the social sciences. Electives are currently offered in Social Cognitive Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience, Economics, and Social Movements and Social Justice.

Juniors and seniors have the opportunity to apply for Honors in any Social Science course. Designed for students with a demonstrated history of academic achievement, the Honors curriculum challenges students with college-level coursework (e.g. a college-level research paper) and real-world experiences (e.g. a city council meeting). Honors students receive honors weighting in SI weighted GPA and UC/CSU GPA calculations.

  • Incoming juniors are invited to apply for honors courses in the spring of their sophomore year as part of the registration process
  • Incoming seniors are invited to apply for honors courses in the spring of their junior year as part of the registration process

While the Social Science Department will not offer AP specific courses, students may sit for the following AP exams: Modern World History, U.S. History, U.S. Government, and Psychology. Social Science courses will still provide partial preparation for those AP tests, depending upon the availability and willingness of the teacher. In addition, students may choose to participate in optional preparation programs offered by the Social Science Department outside of regular class time.

The Social Science department provides our students with a four-year experience of inclusive, relevant, and flexible courses. By the end of four years, students will be better prepared to live out our school’s mission statement and “respond courageously to the opportunities and challenges of our time.”