Program Information


The Yearlong Exploration of Social Sciences (YESS) program takes an interdisciplinary approach to some of the biggest challenges in our region and the world -- challenges revolving around inequality, power, identity, and social change. You will learn about the varied and interrelated perspectives of anthropology, geography, law & justice, political sciences, psychology, sociology, and other social sciences. In small classes, YESS will allow you to sample all of these fields and understand their interconnections in understanding society and our place within it.

The goals of YESS are to cultivate excitement for social science discovery and to introduce students to the many opportunities in the social sciences. YESS is not just about profound discussions in a classroom and research in a computer lab or library. You will also explore key social issues on the ground in the Kittitas Valley and beyond through field trips and meetings with local community members.

YESS students develop their skills and talents, including effective communication, research and analysis, and intellectual engagement in the social sciences. Students express their ideas and discoveries through writing, debate, video-production, or other creative forms. The program will challenge and deepen your ability to examine fundamental issues in a clear, comprehensive, and critical fashion; and to relate the social science to everyday life and your other academic experiences.

YESS Students with Handbags



Applying to YESS


Due to enrollment challenges and faculty resources, the YESS program will not be operated in the academic year 2023/2024. It may launch in a subsequent year.

Admission to YESS is by application to the program. YESS is open to students interested in pursuing a degree in the social sciences, with preference given to new first-year students and existing CWU students who have fewer than 90 credits. Applications are especially encouraged from first-generation students and students from historically underrepresented backgrounds.

YESS is meant for students who are majoring or planning to major in Anthropology and Museum Studies, Geography, Interdisciplinary Studies - Social Sciences, Law and Justice, Political Science, Primate Behavior and Ecology, Psychology, Sociology, or Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies.



YESS Core Sequence


Students who are selected for the YESS program will participate in a three-quarter (Fall, Winter, and Spring) sequence of courses that have been specially designed by social science faculty members:

  • YESS 101 Social Science Perspectives & Research (4 credits, Fall)
  • YESS 102 Social Science & Community Engagement (4 credits, Winter)
  • YESS 103 Social Science Career Paths (2 credits, Spring)

YESS 101 and YESS 102 satisfy general education knowledge area requirements: YESS 101 is in the Individual & Society knowledge area and YESS 102 is in the Community, Culture & Citizenship knowledge area.

YESS first-year freshmen students may also enroll in optional YESS-specific English 101, English 102, and University 101 courses specifically developed for YESS students. English 101 and 102 satisfy the CWU Basic Skills requirement in English, and University 101 satisfies a CWU General Education requirement.

YESS Teacher with students

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Yearlong Exploration in the Social Sciences Program

Science II, 111E

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