Bachelor of Arts
The primary objective of the major is to provide students with a better understanding of human behavior, particularly in the context of social groups, organizations, and society. The major offers a sound education in the discipline of sociology and, consistent with its location in a liberal arts curriculum, stresses the acquisition of skills that go beyond the confines of the discipline.
Courses in the major emphasize those skills important to students’ careers: critical thinking, the ability to read and write analytically, to problem-solve, and to communicate orally. More specifically, the major’s objectives are to encourage students to appreciate the unique contribution of the sociological perspective; learn about the history and/or content of the discipline; develop an awareness of sociology and its relationship to the other social sciences and the liberal arts; develop methodological skills necessary to gather and evaluate sociological information; learn how sociological questions and answers influence social policy; develop a level of academic training necessary to pursue advanced studies in graduate and professional school in a variety of fields such as criminal justice, the law, counseling, social service, marketing, public relations, and business; develop a better understanding of their social environments, with special regard to race, class, gender, and other bases of inclusion/exclusion in American society and in other societies; and consequently to provide heightened insight into one’s life, society, and the critical problems of the times.
In addition to traditional and innovative classroom experiences, sociology majors can avail themselves of opportunities for independent study, internships, service experiences in the community, research and senior thesis courses under the supervision of a faculty mentor, and invitations to our annual sociology lecture and recognition series.
Students who major in sociology complete a minimum of 10 courses, including four “core” courses:
SOC 101 - Introductory Sociology ,
SOC 209 - Social Research Methods
SOC 403 - History of Social Thought ,
SOC 417 - Contemporary Sociological Theory
SOC 480 - Senior Capstone Seminar
Students also must complete six electives and are encouraged to spread their electives over the department’s six areas of concentration. Those students interested in research-related fields or in attending graduate or professional schools are strongly encouraged to take Social Statistics. Ordinarily, the Research Methods and Theory courses must be completed by the end of the junior year.