St. Ignatius

Social Science


The Social Science Department

If you have any questions about the Social Science Department, please feel free to email Mr. Owen Maguire, the Department Chair.

In the 2017-2018 academic year, the Social Science Department conducted a signification restructuring of the Course Catalog.  To learn more about the process behind the changes, please read this article from the Winter 2016-2017 edition of Genesis Magazine: 

As explained in the Genesis article, our Social Science Department has revised its graduation requirements after more than a year of investigation which included multiple surveys and interviews of students, teachers, parents, alumni, university professors, and employers.  Incoming freshmen take a semester course called Introduction to Ethnic Studies followed by Modern World History (currently known as World History II) sophomore year, U.S. Histories and Cultures in 11th grade, and a range of one-semester courses for seniors including Constitutional Law, Crime Law and the Constitution, Race, Gender and Power, and San Francisco Case Studies.  Other senior electives include Social Cognitive Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience, Economics, and Social Movements and Social Justice.  This approach based upon the research conducted by teachers in the department maximizes student choice while preparing students for future studies and careers.

We have also modified our Social Science AP/Honors program.  Instead of following a constrained AP curriculum dictated by the College Board, junior and senior students will have the option to apply for honors-level work while remaining in a heterogeneous class. If accepted, honors program students will be given additional rigorous assignments and will receive bumps in their GPA, which is consistent with many honors programs at the university level.  With support from their teachers, honors program students will still have the option to take the AP exams to receive college credit.  We feel that this approach will allow teachers to engage students in an exciting curriculum that aligns with our Jesuit mission instead of being beholden to a standardized test.

The Social Science Department endeavors to produce a learning environment where young men and women, in the tradition of Saint Ignatius, become aware of their responsibilities to God, themselves, and their fellow human beings and creation.

The learning environment is designed to teach students to develop a lifelong love of the social sciences and to learn both as individuals and in learning communities.  Recognition of individuals’ obligations to contribute to the common good – the essence of Catholic teachings on social justice – is enhanced by a firm foundation in the social sciences.