Sociology examines human society with an emphasis on social structure, social interaction, and social change. From the analysis of passing encounters between strangers on the street to the investigation of broad-based global social movements, sociology examines the subtle, yet complex, ways individual lives interact and intersect with the collective experience of others. One of the sociology program’s special emphases is understanding social inequalities and their implication for social justice. Comparative, cross-national, and cross-cultural perspectives are also offered in many courses.
The analytic frameworks sociologists employ encourage students to think about complex situations in a new way by showing how the social environment influences people’s life options, advantages and disadvantages. Sociologists are interested not only in understanding social issues and social organization, but also in resolving social problems and improving social conditions for human populations. With sociological knowledge we become more aware of ourselves, of other people, and of the world we all live in.
To study sociology, a student needs to acquire information (what we know), methodology (how we know), and theory (how we explain). A major in sociology will require students to develop background and strength in each of these domains. The insights gained from a sociological perspective include the ability to perceive the structures and patterns upon which everyday life rests, to understand the interaction between individual agency and social forces, to interpret events from diverse perspectives, and to examine existing social arrangements critically.
The sociology major prepares students to work in education, research, government, business, human services, community organizing, program development, policy analysis, youth services, criminal justice, crime and violence prevention, and victim services. Sociology also prepares students for graduate studies in sociology or related social sciences, for applied research careers, or for professional degree programs in law, social work, public administration and other fields.
The major is organized to provide a firm foundation in theory and research methods while allowing students to tailor their major to their specific subject interests.
A sociology major leads to either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree.
- Completion of 36 credit hours of sociology coursework is required for the major. All sociology majors will work with a faculty advisor who will assist in the selection of courses to complete academic requirements.
- A minimum grade of C is required in all sociology courses counting toward either the sociology major or the sociology minor.
Specific Requirements for the BA or BS Sociology Major
|SOC 101||Introduction to Sociology||3|
|SOC 205||Research Methods||3|
|SOC 310||Social and Cultural Theory||3|
|Select 27 credits of sociology electives||27|
A total of 27 credit hours of sociology electives are required for the major, including a minimum of 18 credit hours of upper-division (300 or 400-level courses) electives. Electives accepted toward the major can include a maximum of 6.0 credit hours of anthropology and/or criminology. These courses must be approved by a sociology faculty advisor.
|SOC 101||Introduction to Sociology||3|
|SOC 201||Social Problems||3|
|SOC 203||The Criminal Justice System||3|
|SOC/PSYCH/WS 231||Marriage and Family Relationships||3|
|SOC 248||Environmental Sociology||3|
|SOC 261||Cannabis and Society||3|
|SOC 291||Special Topics (CREDITS VARY)||1-3|
|SOC 302||Collective Behavior and Social Movements||3|
|SOC 303||Crime and Deviance||3|
|SOC 304||Race and Crime||3|
|SOC/WS 305||Women and Crime||3|
|SOC 306||Delinquency and Juvenile Justice||3|
|SOC 308||Popular Culture||3|
|SOC/ANTHR 314||Religion, Culture and Society||3|
|SOC/ANTHR 315||Health, Culture and Society||3|
|SOC/ANTHR 316||Age, Culture and Society||3|
|SOC 321||Cross-Cultural Perspective on Crime||3|
|SOC 324||Race and Ethnic Relation||3|
|SOC 325||Gender And Society||3|
|SOC 326||Social Stratification||3|
|SOC/PSYCH 352||Social Psychology||3|
|SOC 358||Film and Society||3|
|SOC 361||Cannabis Policy||3|
|SOC 374||Crime in Film||3|
|SOC 376||Crime & Society in Science Fiction||3|
|SOC 378||Rock 'n' Roll and Rebellion||3|
|SOC 404||Poverty and Inequality in the U.S.||3|
|SOC 405||Law and Society||3|
|SOC 408||Science, Technology, and The Future||3|
|SOC 418||Crime, Drugs and Social Policy||3|
|SOC 426||Collective Violence and Rioting||3|
|SOC/HIST/WS 428||Women & Work||3|
|SOC 432||Organization Theory||3|
|SOC 435||The Interviewer's Craft||3|
|SOC 450||Soc of Mental Health and Suicide||3|
|SOC 452||Sociology of the Self||3|
|SOC 453||Inside-Out Prisoner Exchange||3|
|SOC 490||Special Projects (CREDITS VARY)||1-3|
|SOC 491||Special Topics (CREDITS VARY)||1-3|
|SOC 492||Research (CREDITS VARY)||1-3|
|SOC 494||Field Experience (CREDITS VARY)||1-12|
|SOC 495||Independent Study (CREDITS VARY)||1-10|
The general education requirement for graduation includes a total of 35 semester credits in two categories: Skills Component and Knowledge Component. Please see the General Education Requirement section under Academic Policies for more information.
Student Learning Outcomes
The student learning outcomes apply for both the BS and BA degrees in Sociology:
- Students will be able to comprehend and criticize the major theoretical perspectives that inform modern sociological thought. Specifically, students will be able to:
- show what these perspectives have in common and how they differ and
- critique these different perspectives in terms of their explanatory strengths and weaknesses for purposes of understanding what each reveals and obscures about the subjects of sociological inquiry.
- Students will learn to apply a range of research methods in conjunction with sociological theory in order to explain and analyze complex social relations and organization. Specifically, students will be able to demonstrate that they can
- identify, define, and give examples of various methods used in sociological research on contemporary societies, and
- recognize and interpret research methodologies used in sociological literature.
- Students will learn to apply social analysis to substantive social issues and problems, including such areas as race, gender, power, inequality, and globalization. Specifically, they will be able to apply sociological theories and methods in these substantive areas in order to understand social problems and inform social policy.
- Students will be able to engage in critical thinking about various aspects of social life and organization.