At its core, the multidisciplinary field of Social Science is about people — their individual and collective behaviors and the societies they create. The disciplines in this field seek to deepen our understanding of how people behave in a wide variety of contexts and to assess the consequences of individual, group, and societal decisions. Collectively, Social Science seeks to explain and investigate the functioning of society, and address the vast array of pressing contemporary issues that affect individual and societal well-being.

  • How does our broader environment affect how we develop as individuals and behave collectively in our communities?
  • Why do our societies look the way they do, and why do they differ?
  • What drives pervasive inequality within and across regions, and what policies and institutions affect this?

Research and Innovation


Recounting the Past

Global Distinguished Professor of Economic History Robert Allen is collecting data to understand the economic history of the Middle East.


Startup Burn Rates

Assistant Professor of Economics Pablo Hernandez talks about startup survival and how balanced burn rates influence success.


Resident Expert: Afghanistan at a Crossroads

Postdoctoral Associate Daniel Karell studies political sociology and post-conflict dynamics in Afghanistan and North Africa.

Undergraduate Programs

Three Social Science majors are available to students at NYU Abu Dhabi:

While each major has its own particular focus, there are important shared components in how these majors are designed. In each, students are exposed to the theories and controversies of the field, their historical roots, and the current debates. Students learn how ideas have been developed, altered, and refuted over time. In addition, each discipline emphasizes the development of critical analytical skills; students learn to use empirical methods to test their ideas and theories with data. The development and completion of a senior thesis enables students to work closely with NYUAD faculty.

Developing Knowledge Across Disciplines

Finally, Social Science at NYUAD is intentionally cross-disciplinary. Given the complexity of human behavior, our societies, and the issues we face, there is a shared pedagogical commitment that the ideal education should foster the development of knowledge across disciplines. Students within each of the social science majors are exposed to additional disciplines as part of the major itself. The Political Science major includes many courses that are cross-listed with Economics, Psychology, and Philosophy; and the Economics major requires two breadth courses outside the discipline that are relevant for a broader view of economic phenomena. Social Research and Public Policy is an interdisciplinary Social Science major, which draws on anthropology, sociology and demography as well as economics and political science.