Sociology Major and Minor

What is Sociology?

Sociology is a systematic, scientific attempt to explain, predict, and understand human behavior. For sociologists, the social group is the unit of analysis. Sociologists study human behavior as it is shaped by group life. Sociological insights are valuable tools, which can apply to virtually every type of group setting, ranging from families, marriages, and small groups to institutions, organizations, and nations. Students of sociology are in a special position to help to improve the quality of human life.

What do Sociologists Do? 

Sociologists study social organization. For some, this is to examine societies – how they are structured, how they work, and how they change. The world is a global laboratory with interesting and challenging phenomena. Other sociologists study how small social groups work and how they change. This study includes social networks that people form as part of their social life. Issues of race, class, and gender demand analyses. Sociologists study how people belong to families, groups, and organizations – how people develop identities and how their social organizations become real. Others focus on broad patterns of social organization – socialization, education, welfare, healthcare, and the legal system, for example. In short, the social world is endlessly fascinating.

Required Courses for the Sociology Major

The sociology major requires the completion of 27 credits in sociology and four credits in statistics, distributed as follows. A printable PDF with a check list is available. It contains all of the information you see on this page.

One of the following:

  • SOC 0002 Sociology of Everyday Life
  • SOC 0005 Societies
  • SOC 0010 Introduction to Sociology

Both of the following: 

  • SOC 0150 Social Theory
  • SOC 0230 Social Research Methods

One of the following:

  • STAT 0200 Basic Applied Statistics
  • STAT 1000 Applied Statistical Methods       

    Note: The above courses are prerequisites for the research practicum, and all of the listed courses must be completed prior to taking it.

Research Practicum

SOC 1500 Capstone Research Practicum for Majors

Elective courses

Students are required to complete a minimum of 15 elective credits in SOC, six of which must be at the 1000 level. Internships and directed research do not count toward the six 1000-level elective credits.

Grade Requirements

A minimum GPA of 2.0 or higher in departmental courses is required for graduation.

Satisfactory/No Credit option

No more than six credits in SOC can be taken on an S/NC basis. After declaring the major, SOC 0150 and SOC 0230 may not be taken on an S/NC basis.

Writing (W) Requirement

Students must complete at least one W-course in the major.

Thematic Cluster Certificate

For sociology majors wishing to pursue specific themes within the discipline, the Department of Sociology currently offers five thematic clusters: global and area studies; social movements/ inequality; race, gender, and sexuality; the helping professions; and health, environment, and technology.

Upon graduation, students who have completed three approved courses in one of these clusters will be awarded a certificate of achievement by the Department of Sociology.

Courses for Sociology Minor

One of the following:

  • SOC 0002
  • SOC 0005
  • SOC 0010

All of the following:

  • SOC 0150
  • SOC 0230
  • SOC (elective)
  • SOC 1 (1000-level elective)

Note: Students must apply for any official minor they will complete or have completed at the time they apply for graduation.