Power and Society (Certificate)

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The certificate program in power and society prepares students to think critically and practically about the relationship between power and society. Courses in the program use multiple perspectives to explore the sources, exercise and consequences of power.

The certificate program in power and society prepares students to think critically and practically about the relationship between power and society.

Courses in the program use multiple perspectives to explore the sources, exercise and consequences of power across a variety of social and historical settings. A special focus on gender is available across the spectrum of courses listed.

At A Glance

Power and Society (Certificate)

Application requirements

All students are required to meet general university admission requirements:

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Program requirements

The certificate in power and society requires a minimum of 15 credit hours (at least 12 must be upper division). Six credit hours must be completed through the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. A maximum of six credit hours may be shared between the certificate and a major. A maximum of three credit hours of individualized instruction or internship may be applied toward the certificate. Electives are not limited to the certificate elective list; see academic advisor prior to enrollment. Students are encouraged to take courses that develop breadth rather than limiting their selection to courses in one particular discipline. Only courses in which a student received a grade of "C" (2.00 on a 4.00 scale) or higher may be used to meet the certificate requirements.
Required Core Course -- 3 credit hours
Electives (minimum 9 upper-division credit hours) -- 12 credit hours
Students will select 12 credit hours from relevant courses on power and society. Selected courses must come from at least two of the following prefixes to develop breadth across disciplines: ASB, JHR, POS, SBS or SOC.
Depending on a student's undergraduate program of study, prerequisite courses may be needed in order to complete the requirements of this certificate.

Degree requirements

The power and society certificate requires a minimum of 15 credit hours (at least 12 must be upper-division), as outlined below. Students are encouraged to take courses that develop breadth rather than limiting their selection to courses in one particular discipline.

Additional certificate requirements:

  • All 15 credit hours must be completed through the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.
  • A maximum of six credit hours may be shared between a certificate and a New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences major.
  • Only courses in which a student receives a grade of "C" (2.00 on a 4.00 scale) or higher may be used to meet the certificate requirements.
  • A maximum of three credit hours of individualized instruction or internship may be applied toward the certificate.

Required Core Courses (3 credit hours)
Students will select one of the following:
POS/SBS 335 Power and American Democracy (3)
SOC 456 Political Sociology (3)

Certificate Elective Courses (12 credit hours)
Students will select 12 credit hours from relevant courses on power and society. Selected courses must come from at least two of the following prefixes to develop breadth across disciplines: ASB, POS, SBS or SOC.

Examples of electives include, but are not limited to:
ASB/SBS/SOC 342 Mexico-US Borderlands, SB and C (3)
ASB/POS/SBS/SOC 394/494 Special Topics (1-4)
ASB 442/SBS 460 Global Cities, SB and G (3)
ASB/POS/SBS/SOC 484 Internship (1-12)
ASB/POS/SBS/SOC 499 Individualized Instruction (1-3)
POS 150 Comparative Government, SB and G (3)
POS 160 Global Politics, SB and G (3)
POS/SBS 335 Power and American Democracy (3) (if not taken for core)
POS 350 Comparative Politics, SB and G (3)
POS 360 World Politics, SB and G (3)
POS 361 American Foreign Policy, SB and G (3)
POS 436 Gender Sexuality, Nation-States (3)
POS 437 Women, Power, and Politics, G (3)
POS 470 Law and the Political Order, SB (3)
POS 480 Global Justice, G (3)
POS 486 International Political Economy, SB and G (3)
SBS/SOC/POS/ASB 339 Grassroots Social Movements, SB (3)
SBS/ASB/POS 447 Citizenship, Nationalism and Identity, SB and C (3)
SOC 371 Inequality and Sustainability (3)
SOC 426 Social Inequality, SB (3)
SOC 456 Political Sociology (3) (if not taken for core)
SOC 457 Global Social Movements, SB and G (3)

Depending upon a student's undergraduate program of study, prerequisite courses may be needed in order to complete the requirements of this certificate.

Enrollment requirements

This certificate is open to students in any major. Students should contact an advisor in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences for more information.

A student pursuing an undergraduate certificate must be enrolled as a degree-seeking student at ASU. Undergraduate certificates are not awarded prior to the award of an undergraduate degree. A student already holding an undergraduate degree may pursue an undergraduate certificate as a nondegree-seeking graduate student.

Career outlook

The certificate program is recommended for students with academic or career interests in politics, government, economics, organizing and advocacy, public affairs and public policy, journalism, social work, human rights, social justice, education and sustainability. Career paths include social work, public administration, public policy and criminal justice.

Example careers

Students who complete this degree program may be prepared for the following careers. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for academic or clinical positions. Career examples include but are not limited to:


Career*growth*median salary
Chief Executives-3.9%$183,270
Economists6.3%$102,490
Training and Development Managers 10.3%$108,250
History Teachers, Postsecondary 10.3%$72,690
Lawyers8.2%$119,250
Reporters and Correspondents -10%$39,370
Political Scientists2.8%$115,110
Political Science Teachers, Postsecondary 10.6%$81,430
Legislators7.1%$25,630
Urban and Regional Planners 12.8%$71,490

* Data obtained from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

  • Bright Outlook
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