Welcome to Humanities and Social Sciences

Welcome to Youngstown State University and the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS). The newly formed department is comprised of the former departments of Anthropology and Sociology, Geography and Urban Studies, History, Philosophy and Religious Studies, and Politics and International Relations and also includes MA programs in History and in American Studies. Our department embodies the YSU mission of inspiring individuals, enhancing futures, and enriching lives. Graduates from the programs in this department are lifelong learners who go on to be leaders in their communities and work places, as well as attend some of the best graduate and professional programs in the world.   

The programs in HSS help students develop useful and marketable skills and perspectives that are broadly applicable and always in demand despite an ever-changing world. These include critical thinking, analytical and research techniques, cogent argumentation and communication in both traditional and digital formats, and a deeper understanding of the human condition from multiple perspectives. We emphasize hands-on, experiential learning in methodology and research--as well as in traditional content and analysis--at all curriculum levels.

The faculty of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences are committed to the educational mission of YSU and to enhancing the lives of YSU students and the wider community. Faculty in the department are engaged in important and impactful research on historical and contemporary social, ethical, and environmental issues. They also serve pivotal roles as officers in the regional and national organizations associated with their fields of expertise and offer that expertise in service to local, national, and global communities. For example, you will find members of our department active in curating museum exhibits, serving on Ethics Boards in local hospitals, speaking before Congress, commenting on local and national politics, listing and curating important historical sites,​ on archeological digs in multiple countries, helping local and regional coroners, and helping to plan the cities we call home. We offer a large variety of courses; regularly bring speakers to campus; have multiple student organizations; and are the home for many centers with a variety of focus areas.  

We invite you to learn more about the diverse areas we represent at YSU by taking a look at our specific programs below. If you have even been motivated to look into the following questions, you are in the right place.

  • How did we get to now and how can that knowledge help us in the future?
  • What is the proper role of government?
  • How should we understand the space in which we all operate?
  • How do groups of people relate?
  • What is it to be Human?
  • What role does religion play in our lives and how does it impact the decisions we make?
  • What is the right thing to do?
  • What is our role in government in a democratic society?
  • How can we create a more equitable community?
  • How should we address social injustices?
  • What forms of activism are most effective in creating change?
  • How can I best serve my local, national, and global communities?

  We look forward to talking with you and seeing you in our courses.

     -Alan Tomhave, Chair, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences

Departmental Majors       

More information can be found about the department by looking at the specific programs we encompass:

Contact Information

Alan Tomhave, Department Chair – aetomhave@ysu.edu – (330) 941-3447

Rosa Vega, Administrative Assistant – rmvega@ysu.edu – (330) 941-3456

520 DeBartolo Hall

(330) 941-3456