Social Science Department Names

Descriptive Overview

Instructional departments offering social science classes have gone through a number of significant changes over the course of UNI history. When the institution was founded in 1876, courses in government and history were offered in the History Department. This department name continued until 1892, when the school went through its first major administrative re-organization and subject matter differentiation. In the fall of 1892, the History Department became the History and Geography Department. In 1894, the History and Geography Department was modified and divided into the History Department, the Civics Department, the Political Science Department, and the Geography Department. The Civics Department lasted just one year; it did not appear in the catalogue list of departments for 1895. The Geography Department and the Political Department lasted just two years. In 1896, geography courses were shifted to the Science Department, where they remained for many years to come, and the Political Science Department became part of the History and Political Science Department.

The History and Political Science Department existed until 1909, when the school began its second major administrative re-organization. In 1909 the department became the History and Politics Department, perhaps a distinction without a difference from its preceding name. In 1910 the History and Politics Department divided to become the History Department and the Government Department. The Government Department existed until 1921 when it became the Government and Economics Department. That department lasted just one year, until 1922, when it was folded into the all-encompassing Social Science Department. The History Department also joined the Social Science Department in 1922.

The Social Science Department, which included courses of study in history, political science, economics, and geography, lasted until 1969, when UNI, having gained university status in 1967, organized its collegiate structure. The Social Science Department shell was something of a model for the College of Business and Behavioral Sciences. Individual social science departments surfaced in the new college: Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology and Anthropology. The Psychology Department had actually emerged from its association with Education in 1968. In addition, Business, Business Education and Office Administration, and Home Economics were included in the new college.

The Geography, History, Political Science, and Psychology Departments have retained their original names and their collegiate affiliation to this day. The Home Economics Department changed to the Design, Family and Consumer Sciences Department in 1992. The Economics Department has kept its name, though it did join the School of Business in 1985. The Sociology and Anthropology Department changed to Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work in 1975. In 1982 the Social Work Department was established and the host department reverted to Sociology and Anthropology. In 1997, the Sociology and Anthropology Department changed to Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology.​



History and Geography

Political Science

Political Science

History and Political Science

History and Politics


Government and Economics

Social Science

1969-present, College of Business and Behavioral Sciences, 1969-1980; College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 1980-
Economics (Moved to School of Business, now the College of Business Administration, 1985)
Home Economics, 1969-1992; Design, Family and Consumer Sciences, 1992-
Political Science
Psychology (Came from Education and Psychology Department, 1968.)
Social Work, 1982-
Sociology and Anthropology, 1969-1975; Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work, 1975-1982; Sociology and Anthropology, 1982-1997; Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology, 1997-