Since the establishment of the Tsinghua School (Xuetang) in 1911, courses in political science and economics were offered. In 1925, the school launched its four-year undergraduate program. The Departments of sociology, political science, economics and educational psychology were among the seventeen first founded departments in 1926. In 1928, the authorities officially changed the name to National Tsinghua University, and established fifteen departments in the School of Liberal Arts, the School of Science and the School of Law. The Department of Sociology was in the School of Liberal Arts; the Department of Psychology was in the School of Science; and the Departments of Political Science and Economics in the School of Law.

The study of social science at Tsinghua University has a long tradition of promoting interaction between Chinese and Western cultures and encouraging interdisciplinary communications between the Arts and the Sciences. Advocating for the application of modern science methodologies in exploring political, economic and social phenomena, we learned from studies in foreign countries and followed international academic standards, with an emphasis on understanding current realistic problems in China. Founded with the ultimate goal to support the independent academic development of the nation and the construction of a new China, the school has made significant achievements in nurturing students and research.

Many world-class scholars and social activists taught or studied in Tsinghua’s social science departments, including Fei Xiaotong(Fei Hsiao-Tung), Chen Daisun, Zhang Xiruo, Pan Guangdan, Qian Duansheng(Ch'ien Tuan-Sheng), Xiao Gongquan, Wang Tieya, Wang Yanan, Chen Da, Zhu Junyi, Wu Qiyuan, Zhao Yuanren(Chao Yuen Ren), Dai Shiguang, Xiao Qu, Wu Jingchao, Li Jinghan, Chen Tiqiang, and Tang Yue. They were pioneers of all Tsinghua faculties and students in social sciences disciplines who contributed to the modern political and economical revival and social construction of China.

In 1952, a nationwide restructuring of institutes of higher education began, and Tsinghua University became a multidisciplinary polytechnic university specializing in training engineers. Social science departments in Tsinghua University were shut down and faculties and students in the field left for other universities or institutions. Since 1978, however, Tsinghua University has strengthened its teaching in the sciences, economic management, humanities and law fields. Resuscitating its studies and research in social science disciplines, the Department of Social Science was rebuilt in 1984 and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences was rebuilt in 1993, which included the Department of Philosophy and Sociology, Department of Chinese Language and Literature, Department of History, the Institute of Ideology and Culture, the Institute of Science, Technology and Society, the Institute of Economics, the Institute of Education, and the Institute of Art Education. In 1997, the Institute of international studies was set up. In 2000, the Department of Sociology and the Department of Political Science were re-established. Finally, in 2008, the Department of Psychology was re-established.

In 2012, the first year after the centenary anniversary of Tsinghua University, the School of Humanities and the School of Social Sciences were founded separately on the basis of the original School of Humanities and Social Sciences. The School of Social Sciences includes the Department of Political Science, Department of International Relations, Department of Sociology, Department of Psychology, Institute of Economics. The School aims to meet the academic frontiers of the world and the strategic demands of our nation, and tries its best to attain new achievements in social sciences at Tsinghua University.