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Maria Owen

McWhinnie Hall, Room 213

Dept. 3374, 1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-3274


Start Strong in Social Sciences

What will my social sciences class look like?

Umbrella of Social Sciences

Social sciences classes come in all different shapes, sizes, and departments

  • Social sciences or social studies is an broad umbrella category that includes numerous disciplines, including, but not limited to, history, political sciences/civics, geography, economics, psychology, sociology, anthropology, and American studies. The variety of disciplines means that every social sciences class have a slightly different format.
  • Many freshmen level social sciences courses are lecture based. Community colleges' social sciences courses are smaller, but expect larger classes at UW, anywhere from 100 to 300 students.
  • Social sciences classes are also offered online, or as a hybrid course (some online and some on-campus instruction). If you can pick which style of class to take, consider what works best for you. Do you learn better from reading books, or listening to lectures? Do you have access to the technology needed? Will you need to travel?

UW students at Anthropology dig

In-class time is limited, and out-of-class work is essential

  • In social sciences classes at the community college- or university- levels, students are expected to do more independent work outside of classes.  Work outside of class will include, but not be limited to, reading, writing, studying for quizzes and tests, and completing assignments.
  • Analyzing primary and secondary texts, critical thinking, writing skills, test comparisons, synthesizing, verbalizing, and research skills are essential for both in-class and out-of-class work, and instructors will expect you to practice and gain competency outside of class.

UW Psychology teacher and student during lab

Technology Matters

  • Almost all social sciences courses at the community college- and university- level use some sort of technology, from course platforms (like UW's WyoCourses), to electronic books, to online databases for research. To be successful in your course, it's important to know what sort of technology your instructor uses and how to gain access to it early in the semester.
  • Some of your freshmen social sciences courses might require you to do research on your own. Your college's library is a great place to find credible resources, especially it's databases. However, the databases are difficult to navigate, so it's important to reach out to your librarians. They're happy to help.

Top Tip: Expect Firm Deadlines


  • Grades are driven by exams, quizzes, and there may be a paper requirement. Exams are usually multiple choice or in-class essay writing.
  • Feedback is not typically given or accessible on final exams.

How can I get help in my social sciences classes?

Numerous ways to get help, if you reach out
  • At UW and the Wyoming community colleges, there are lots of ways to get help with your social sciences courses. As in-time class is limited, take advantage of help outside of class.
  • It is your responsibility to reach out to your instructors and other opportunities and ask for assistance.

UW History professor Phil Roberts with students


Some opportunities include:

Office Hours
Teacher Assistant (TA) or Graduate Assistant (GA) hours
Discussion sections
Online resources

Aspen Leaves


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Maria Owen

McWhinnie Hall, Room 213

Dept. 3374, 1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-3274


1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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