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UW To Offer New Online Degree In Social Sciences


The University of Washington is launching a new online degree in integrated social sciences aimed at people who want to complete their education.

The move is the university’s latest push into the competitive world of online education.

If you’re wondering what a degree in the social sciences involves, it covers a broad array of topics, from political science and psychology to microeconomics. The program is for students who already have a few years of school and want to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Matt Sparke, the program’s director, says this is aimed at individuals who, for one reason or another, can’t come to campus.

“This is really opening the doors to UW for people who may live in a very remote part of the state, or the country for that matter — a remote part of Alaska, say — people who are disabled, who can’t travel easily to campus,” Sparke said.

Classes will start in the fall. The cost for in-state residents will be about $9,000 per year — almost half of what traditional students pay. They are totally different from so-called massive open online courses that are free and have grown in popularity.

Classes for this new program will be small at an average of about 45 students and require participation.

The program joins the university’s other online offerings, which range from stand-alone courses to master degrees.

A handful of other universities offer online social science degrees. The biggest is Arizona State University, which is currently running ads in the Northwest, trying to recruit new students.

Jennifer Wing is a former KNKX reporter and producer who worked on the show Sound Effect and Transmission podcast.