Areas of Study


Students planning to major in sociology must have a grade of "C" or better in SOC 101. For continuation in the major, students can have no more than one grade of "D+" or lower in a major required course or major elective course.

Courses & Requirements

Summary of Requirements

2022- 2023
Core Curriculum 43
Pre-Major Courses 3
Major and Related 37
Free Elective 37

Required pre-major course 3 hours

Sociology attempts to understand how societies function. The course explores how social forces influence our lives and our chances for success. It also examines social groups, the relationships among social groups, and the ways groups get and maintain power.

Required Sociology courses 22 hours

Problems of research planning; collection, analysis, and presentation of research data. Significant studies from various fields of sociology and related disciplines exemplifying different research approaches will be analyzed.

An introduction to descriptive statistics and methods of organizing, presenting, and interpreting data. Covers measures of central tendency, measures of association for two variables, and some multivariate analyses. Includes computer analysis of real data.

This course will analyze the causes and consequences of major social problems of our time. Applying sociological theories, problems such as group conflict, family disorganization. poverty, violence, and hunger are examined.

This course will cover major sociological and criminological theories, both from classical and contemporary writers. It will then consider whether these theories can help us better understand controversial social situations, such as union organizing, the pro-choice/pro-live movement, and gang rape.

Students will apply knowledge and skills gained in the classroom to an internship in a site agreed upon with the internship professor. For four credits, the student will work 120 hours in the internship and attend a 1-hour class weekly. Students will be required to complete reading assignments and write papers applying the concepts and ideas in the readings and classroom sessions to their workplaces. This course is offered during the fall semester only. Students must have confirmation of an internship placement that starts by the first Friday of the semester.

This course is designed to encourage students to integrate previous course-work into a conception of sociology as an approach to inquiry and a useful tool. This is the first half of a year-long course. Students will develop a topic, discuss relevant theories, do a literature review, and write a brief proposal which includes discussion of hypotheses, variables, methods, and sampling techniques.

This course continues the work of SOC 491. Students will collect data, do qualitative and quantitative analyses, and write a project report. Students will also present their results to their classmates.

Elective courses 15 hours

SOC 405: Topic to be specified

Choose five courses:

This course will begin with developing an understanding of the concept of 'culture' and then will focus on the complexities and varieties of Deaf cultural experiences. Students will be asked to engage course materials through multi-disciplinary approaches in order to gain a critical appreciation of Deaf lives within historical, political and global contexts.

This course is an experiential seminar. Students learn about the criminal justice system through a combination of weekly field trips, discussions with guest lecturers, and classroom discussions. Highly recommended as a first course in criminology for students who are considering working in the criminal justice system, as well as for students who would just like an insider''s view of police departments, courts, and correctional institutions in the United States.

The course will examine each of the different parts of the American criminal justice system (policing, courts, and corrections), the procedural laws governing the system, and the ways the various parts of the system are interrelated and interdependent. The interaction between the Deaf community and the criminal justice system will be used as a special case, and students will learn about their rights as deaf individuals and how to protect those rights.

While our responses to death and dying would seem to be very personal and therefore individually determined, they are, in fact, greatly influenced by the beliefs of society. Therefore, this course will not only examine the physiology of death and dying, but will primarily emphasize the sociology of death and dying. Focus will be on social factors related to causes of death and routines and rituals related to dying, death, funeral and burial practices, and grieving.

A study of racial and ethnic relations in the United States. The course focuses on the characteristics of various American racial and ethnic groups, some of the causes of racial/ethnic group oppression, and racial/ethnic group responses to oppression.

A survey of selected sociological topics related to deafness and deaf people. Socialization, education, inequality, diversity, and disability-related issues are among the topics discussed in this course.

This course examines the social construction of deviance. That is, it examines how society makes rules for behavior, how those rules change over time, and who tends to benefit (and who tends to be limited) because of society's rules. The question of whether deviance is ''good'' or ''bad'' for society will also be examined. Finally, the course will consider what happens to people who break society's rules, both in terms of how society views rule-breakers and how they view themselves.

This introductory course explains sociological perspectives on gender. Focusing on American experiences with gender, the course covers gender socialization, gender roles, and gender inequality. This course also addresses ''nature vs. nurture'' debates, which seek to understand to what extend gender roles are formed by biology or society.

A study of the problems of human origin, the nature of race, the social structure of preliterate societies, and the development of social institutions.

Special Topics in the discipline, designed primarily for sophomores. Students may enroll in 295 Special Topics multiple times, as long as the topics differ.

This course examines how work is related to societal and technological changes. Topics include long-term trends in the nature of work and the differences in work among major segments of the labor force, including differences by race, gender and disability. The course also examines how globalization is affecting work and workers in the United States as well as in selected other countries.

The course considers social structure, cultural, and demographic components of physical and mental illness. Stages of illness behavior, from prevalence of symptoms and recognition of them to recovery or death, will be identified, and the social and cultural determinants of each stage will be discussed. The health care system and problems in health care delivery will be considered.

This course examines how society treats young people who break the law, the social causes of juvenile delinquency, and rates of juvenile delinquency.

Covers inferential statistics, hypothesis testing, and advanced topics in data analysis. Includes computer analysis of real data and emphasizes appropriate usage, presentation, and interpretation of results.

Special topics in the discipline, designed primarily for juniors. Students may enroll in 395 Special Topics multiple times, as long as the topics differ.

This course will examine a specific issue that poses current problems in the criminal justice system. Examples include: the exploding prison population, the challenges of policing post-9/11, and deaf people in the criminal justice system. This course may be repeated as topics change.

A study of gender and social class inequality. The course emphasizes theoretical and conceptual issues related to inequality, characteristics of various social stratification systems, and minority group responses to social inequality.

Special topics in the discipline, designed primarily for seniors who are majors or minors. Students may enroll in 495 Special Topics multiple times, as long as the topics differ.

Intensive supervised study and research on topics of the student's selection.

Program Outcomes

Students will be able to:


1. Explain and apply the sociological imagination.


  a. Explain how society and culture affect individuals lives and experiences.


  b. Explain how individuals create society.


2. Articulate sociological theories.


  a. Describe, compare, and contrast the major sociological perspectives (including conflict theory, structural functionalism, and symbolic interaction).


  b. Apply relevant social theories to their own research questions.


3. Develop sociological research questions and literature reviews.


  a. Develop independent sociological research questions.


  b. Find relevant sociological literature, summarize that work, and analyze it.


  c. Determine what questions need to be answered about a sociological topic.


4. Explain and apply different sociological research methods.


  a. Learn and apply basic statistical (quantitative) methods.


  b. Learn and apply basic interview and ethnographic (qualitative) methods.


  c. Evaluate a study’s methodological strengths and weaknesses.


  d. Determine which method is most appropriate for answering a research question.


  e. Analyze self-collected data.


5. Discuss social inequality and its effects.


  a. Explain the importance of power inequalities in social institutions and social interactions.


  b. Use sociological research to support different potential solutions to social problems.


  6. Develop career skills.


  a. Participate in and analyze a work internship.


  b. Produce an independent sociological research report.


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B.A. in Sociology

Erin Farley

Julie Fennell

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