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Sociologists study the organization of our collective life, ranging from intimate couples to entire societies and their interconnections. They focus on the patterned social relationships and shared ways of life that give these groups form. Recognizing that our lives are embedded in structural and cultural contexts, sociology provides a more holistic understanding of a vast range of social phenomena including relationships and interaction among people, the nature of and connections among social institutions (e.g., the economy, family, school), social change and stability, and, especially, social inequality.

By placing the individual in his or her social context, sociologists grasp that individual "personal troubles and concerns" (e.g., someone loses a job) often are "social issues and problems" (e.g., massive economic dislocation) that need thorough investigation and public dialogue (C. Wright Mills, 1959: 186). Systematic research methods coupled with rigorous conceptual frameworks guide sociological investigation.

Both scientific and humanistic in its subject matter, perspectives, methodologies, and aims, sociology is a classic, liberal-arts discipline. Its broad-based approach can be an important asset for students trying to understand better today’s changing, diverse social world. Students gain significant insights into social dynamics, but most importantly, they learn more about themselves and others. Research and statistical skills, combined with a traditional, liberal-arts emphasis on effective speaking, writing, and critical thinking, prepare sociology students for success in graduate school or careers in social service, nonprofit, and business fields, among others. Sociology majors are encouraged to enroll in internships to help explore and attain their career goals.

What can I do with a Sociology major?

Admission to the Program

Any undergraduate student can declare this major.

Program Requirements

Students in the sociology major pursue either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree, and must complete its requirements. The sociology major requires students to earn 33 credits in sociology. All majors must complete the required courses listed below, plus 18 credits hours of electives. Electives should be chosen based on student interest and career goals, in consultation with your sociology advisor.

Students must earn a "C" or higher grade in SOC 200, SOC 300, and SOC 310.

Required Coursework

  • SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology
  • SOC 200 Social Statistics*
  • SOC 300 Sociological Theory
  • SOC 310 Methods of Sociological Research

* NOTE: Students who substitute another statistics course for SOC 200 Social Statistics must take 21 credits of sociology electives.

Total Number of Credits: 33

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  1. Apply sociological theories to understand social phenomena
  2. Explain how culture and social structure shape individual experiences and opportunities
  3. Rigorously analyze social science data
  4. Effectively communicate sociological concepts and empirical findings