Academic program

The curriculum in sociology is designed to introduce students to a sociological perspective, which explores social structures and their intersections with individual lives. Courses address a wide range of social phenomena, from patterns of everyday interaction to social and political revolutions. Sociology as a discipline focuses on recognizing and analyzing social determinants that shape our lives. That focus offers a unique potential not only for understanding society, but also for social action and social change.

The courses offered in sociology include a variety of 100- and 200-level courses introducing sociology and many of the specific topics and issues addressed by sociologists. Most 200-level courses are open to first-year students and have no prerequisites. The core courses for the major also begin at the 200 level. These core courses focus on developing the skills and tools necessary for a more advanced application of a sociological perspective, preparing students for junior-senior research seminars at the 300 level.

The methods and substantive areas of sociology provide an excellent background for a wide range of careers in fields such as government, public policy, law, social research, community work, social activism, health, human services, social work, counseling, education, business, personnel, advertising, and market research, as well as a strong foundation for graduate study in sociology and a variety of applied or related areas including law, criminal justice, social work, business, public policy and public administration, urban and community planning, health care administration, public health, education, survey research administration, and journalism.

A handbook describing the major and minor in greater detail, including additional career information, is available from the department chair. More information on the department and an electronic version of the handbook are also available on the website (

Major Requirements. Students majoring in sociology must complete eleven courses:

1) All of the following:
SOC 204. Theoretical Foundations of Sociology.
SOC 205. Research Methods for Sociology.
SOC 405. Senior Capstone in Sociology.
SOC 457 or 458. Senior Thesis.

2) Two junior-senior research seminars (SOC 395).

3) Five sociology courses, which may include one Short Term sociology course; an independent study in sociology also may be taken to fulfill the major.

Majors planning to study abroad should consult the FAQs for study abroad on the department's website (

Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may not be elected for courses applied toward the major.