Social Science

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?

The breadth of research in Social Science at NYU Abu Dhabi uses data to help historians, economists, NGOs, and governments better understand human behavior — and improve people’s lives.

Research Highlights

Family Business Histories

Family Business Histories

In the Middle East and North Africa, it is estimated that more than 80 percent of businesses are family-owned and run.  This interdisciplinary project brings together scholars to compile, document, and analyze the history of selected regional family businesses to better understand past challenges and decision-making, as well as commercial legacies.

Academic Programs

Social Science at NYUAD is intentionally cross-disciplinary. 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.

Undergraduate Programs Degree Major / minor
Economics BA Major
Economics   Minor
Political Science BA Major
Political Science   Minor
Social Research and Public Policy BA Major
Social Research and Public Policy   Minor

Undergraduate Multidisciplinary Programs Major / minor
African Studies Minor
Anthropology Minor
Arab Crossroads Studies Major
Arab Crossroads Studies Minor
The Environment Minor
Legal Studies Minor
Peace Studies Minor
Urbanization Minor

News Highlights

NYU Abu Dhabi is Research “Headquarters” For Improving Life in African Communities

Empowering Lives in Ghana

Ghana is battling very high rates of youth unemployment. NYU Abu Dhabi social scientists are conducting research there, aiming to improve life for thousands of people.

Experts Test Game Theory On World's Top Tennis Players

Testing Game Theory

Experts test Nash's game theory on the world's top tennis players with surprising results.

Crowdseeding in the Congo: Using Cell Phones to Collect Conflict Data

Crowdseeding in the Congo

High quality information about what happens on the ground during war is difficult to collect. In the attempt to solve this problem, researchers have developed a system that uses cell phones to collect real-time data from areas plagued by violence.