The Social Thought minor provides an opportunity for students to take a series of courses that focus on modern social and intellectual thought from the 17th through the 20th century. The minor builds on lower division introductory exposure to the history of modern ideas as embodied in a number of key texts by significant thinkers such as Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Smith, Rousseau, Wollstonecraft, Mill, Marx, Weber, Darwin, Nietzsche, Freud, Du Bois, de Beauvoir, and others and promotes more intense and broad exposure to the great ideas and modern thinkers of the contemporary world.

The minor is intended to supplement the liberal arts education of undergraduates who, through their major, are interested in finding an area of specialization related to career objectives and who seek broad and systematic training in the major ideas of the modern world. The minor culminates in a two-term capstone project under the direction of a UCLA faculty mentor.