Social Sciences

UMA’s Social Science program provides students with a curriculum and supports to increase their knowledge and skills in the social sciences. The program offers courses supporting UMA’s General Education requirements and in depth training for social science majors. The program is committed to supporting institution wide research literacy and engaging in applied social science research projects. The program delivers its curriculum using a range of hybrid designs, to students on campuses and at a distance. UMA's Social Science program is an online degree program.

Degree Offered: B.A.

Social Sciences

The Social Media Certificate at the University of Maine at Augusta


What is the Social Media Certificate?


The Social Media Certificate at the University of Maine at Augusta is designed for individuals who aspire to work with social media as content creators, marketers, analysts or administrators in the business, non-profit, governmental or educational sector.  Certificate courses impart knowledge and develop skills needed for the successful deployment of strategic social media programs. These courses are also applicable toward an associate's or bachelor's degree in a number of academic programs.

Students completing the certificate will have developed:

  • a working knowledge of current social media platforms as they are used in workplace, consumer and informal settings
  • familiarity with strategies of social media deployment
  • a command of quantitative and qualitative measures of social networks
  • the ability to analyze patterns in social media
  • experience delivering verbal and written reports on analysis and management of social media
  • a portfolio of work demonstrating these capabilities as applied to real-world social media
  • an awareness of professional opportunities in the social media field

To connect to us socially, visit the Social Media Certificate on Google+ and Facebook.



Why Study Social Media?

Why Study Social Media?

In the 21st century we face a new media landscape.  Older, more traditional forms of media such as books, radio, television and film are only social in a unidirectional sense: creators share work with an audience that is not expected to respond.  New media forms such as blogs, wikis, discussion boards, Facebook and Twitter not only incorporate two-way interaction but often involve the collaboration of aggregates or groups. For this reason, they are social media, an appropriate object of sociological analysis.

On the other hand, as findings from the Pew Internet and American Life Study demonstrate, not all people are engaged participants on the Internet, and as intensity of engagement with social media increases the portion of the American population so engaged decreases. Students who end up on the active side of the digital divide and who are not just surfing the Internet but making waves on it will have more choices in their post-baccalaureate lives.

Findings from the Pew Internet & American Life Study, 2011

As control over information is more broadly disseminated and the expression of sentiment is democratized, key players in business, politics and the non-profit sector increasingly ask questions regarding the impact of independent communications and the extent to which their own messages have diffused through online social structures. Understanding social media is key to answering these questions. Upon completion of the social media certificate, students should be both intellectually enriched and prepared to enter the workforce with a marketable skill.


Careers in Social Media

The fields available to baccalaureate graduates with a social media certificate vary widely according to the student's choice of a primary major, and social media skills can prove useful in nearly any professional environment.  However, primary jobs with responsibility for social media include:

  • Account management
  • Analyst
  • Business intelligence
  • Data management
  • Implementation consulting
  • Marketing
  • Media production and editing
  • Program evaluation
  • Public relations
  • Sales management
  • Technical support

This list is only a start. A search of currently available social media jobs produces a list numbering in the tens of thousands.


UMA Courses in Social Media

One of the strengths of the UMA Social Media Certificate is its integration with a complete undergraduate education, building capability from intellectual foundations to particular competencies. Current and prospective students may click here to review the social media certificate checksheet.  Our social media certificate can be obtained by taking the following classes:

Foundation Courses

  • MAT 100 Mathematics and its Applications
  • PSY 100 Introduction to Psychology
  • ENG 101 College Writing
  • SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology
  • CIS 131 Web Applications


Application Courses

  • BUA 263 Marketing
  • SSC 320 Research Methods in the Social Sciences
  • COM/SOC 375 Social Networks
  • COM/SOC 475 Analyzing Social Media
  • Either CIS 460/INT 460 Computers and Culture or HUM 380 Comments, Tweets and Text



Recent Research in Social Media

Research in Social Media

Evaluative feedback spaces for cultural mental models

Gary L. Klein, Craig A. Bonaceto, Alison A. Dingwall, Jill L. Drury, Mark S. Pfaff

Introduction: Feedback from either social context or personalized information can result in more effective changes in mental models and consequent behavior changes. Techniques for collecting mental models on a group or societal scale could improve communications for social change or collaborative decision making. Method: A social media application is being developed that will allow users to personalize a cultural model ...

Published in 2013

Towards Context-Aware Search and Analysis on Social Media Data

Sympathetic decisions: Incorporating impacts on others into emergency response decision spaces

Jill L. Drury, Gary L. Klein, Jennifer Mathieu, Yikun Liu, Mark S. Pfaff

We designed two decision support tools and employed them during a one-week, simulation-driven experiment that included emergency responders acting in their real-life roles. Each of these tools provides a visualization of a “decision space”: a diagrammatic depiction of the relative desirability of one option versus another that also visualizes the inherent uncertainty in the potential outcomes. One ...

Published in 2013

The Utilization of Social Networking as Promotion Media (Case Study: Handicraft Business in Palembang)

Dedi Rianto Rahadi, Leon Andretti Abdillah view publication

Nowadays social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), not only simply as communication media, but also for promotion. Social networking media offers many business benefits for companies and organizations. Research purposes is to determine the model of social network media utilization as a promotional media for handicraft business in Palembang city. Qualitative and quantitative research design are used to know how handicraft ...

Published in 2013

A comparison of Foursquare and Instagram to the study of city dynamics and urban social behavior

Thiago H. Silva, Pedro O. S. Vaz de Melo, Jussara M. Almeida, Juliana Salles, Antonio A. F. Loureiro view publication

Social media systems allow a user connected to the Internet to pro- vide useful data about the context in which they are at any given moment, such as Instagram and Foursquare, which are called par- ticipatory sensing systems. Location sharing services are examples of participatory sensing systems. The sensed data is a check-in of a particular place that indicates, ...

Published in 2013