General Sociology Major
Students who are interested in the broad array of topics that can be addressed using a sociological approach and who do not seek to specialize in a more specific area should choose the basic sociology major program. The major program includes five core required courses plus six additional electives of the student’s choosing for a total of 36 credits. The required courses are designed to provide all majors with a strong grounding in the most important aspects of the discipline: the types of subjects we study, the methods that we use to study them and the theoretical perspectives that guide our analysis and understanding of that which we observe in society.
Introduction to Sociology (SOC100) is the core requirement that all majors should take first. This will introduce you to the basic concepts and approaches used in the discipline of sociology. This will prepare you for the more in-depth and rigorous analysis called for in more advanced courses. Introduction to Sociology is a prerequisite for all other sociology classes (except Social Inequality which can be taken at the same time as the introductory course).
Social Inequality (SOC220) builds on the introductory course by engaging in a more focused look at one of the central concerns of sociologists: the inequalities that plague society, including those based on class, race, and gender, among others.
Sociological Theory (SOC303) is where you will consider the ways in which sociologists have sought to conceptualize the social world. Careful observation using a range of techniques can provide us with facts, but theory is needed in order to make sense of those facts and to understand how they fit together. Theories are powerful analytical tools that enable us to make sense of the complex social phenomena that we observe throughout society.
Research Methods (SOC 306) provides students with the ability to systematically gather the data necessary to draw sound conclusions about how our society operates. This course will expose you to a wide range of ways in which sociologists collect and analyze information about society, be it through such methods as carefully observing a small group of people and participating in their activities or conducting a large survey and gathering responses from hundreds of individuals.
Social Statistics (SOC 307) expands on “quantitative” methodological approaches by exposing students to the mathematical techniques that enable us to make sense of large amounts of information. Research Methods is a prerequisite for Social Statistics.
Senior Seminar in Sociology (SOC490) is a capstone course that is designed to synthesize core material learned throughout the sociology program. It provides an opportunity to reflect on and apply all of the concepts and analytical skills that students have developed. Before enrolling in the Senior Seminar students must complete 21 credits of sociology including the required Sociological Theory (SOC 303) and Research Methods (SOC 306) courses.
Elective Courses address a wide array of specialized sociology topics. In addition to the core requirements, students should select at least six additional sociology courses that interest them and will enable them to become well-rounded sociologists. Thus, course schedules should be developed in consultation with your advisor (see Advising Info for more details).
Students who wish to specialize in either Human Services or Criminology should review the concentration programs associated with those areas. These concentrations have almost all the same core requirements as the major program along with some additional required coursework and a more focused study of the subject of the concentration. Students in the major program and those in either of the concentrations will receive a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Those who choose a concentration will have this additional credential noted on their student records.
Interested in a minor instead?
For more information on the sociology major requirements, please visit the undergraduate catalog.