Sociology Major

Program Director: Nicole DeLoatch, Ph.D

Sociology is the scientific study of society and its institutions, organizations, and groups.  By observing the broad range of activities in society, and exploring topics such as social class, race, gender, deviance, family, religion, the workplace, and demographic trends, sociologists provide important information and perspectives on our social order and the causes and impacts of social change.  Sociology provides important information useful both to personal life and public policy decisions.  Sociology is among the broadest of the social sciences and is characterized by considerable pluralism in theoretical and methodological approaches, substantive specializations, and in units of analysis.

Students major in Sociology for a variety of reasons.  Some emphasize sociology's relevance to understanding a broad range of social issues that interest them out of intellectual curiosity, personal life relevance, or usefulness for ameliorative social change efforts.  Other majors emphasize acquisition of sociological knowledge and skills useful in a variety of career paths where understanding societal problems and trends, group dynamics, and personnel issues are critical.  For a small core of majors the purpose of the undergraduate program is preparation and training for admissions to graduate programs and eventual careers as sociologists in teaching and research and/or policy development.  Majors may also use sociology as a basis for graduate study in related fields, including law, social work, public policy, and human resource management.   

Courses offered by this department may be found under the acronym: SOCY.

Program Objectives

The overall goals of the program are:

  • To provide meaningful and challenging courses within the university general education program
  • To provide meaningful and challenging courses as electives for non-majors
  • To provide a coherent program of courses for Sociology majors which enables majors to attain:
    1. general sociological knowledge and understanding of our society
    2. sociological knowledge and skills relevant to a variety of career paths
    3. sociological knowledge and skills relevant to application and success within competitive sociology graduate programs
    4. to provide a Sociology Honors component for selected students who have the capability and motivation to work at the most challenging level

Program Learning Outcomes

Having completed the degree program, students should have acquired the following knowledge and skills:

  1. Demonstrate a comprehensive grasp of the sociological perspective, encompassing its broad definition and core principles, to analyze society's structure and dynamics.
  2. Apply sociological theories effectively to explain and analyze complex social problems, to foster a deeper understanding of the underlying causes and consequences of social inequality.
  3. Identify and formulate recommendations, using both theoretical and/or empirical considerations, to address contemporary social problems.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to interpret, locate, evaluate, generate and use sociologically relevant data to test hypotheses and draw evidence-based conclusions.
  5. Integrate sociological theory, research, and data in order to assess various explanations of social phenomena and to assess social policy.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to work in diverse groups to explain systemic, cultural, and behavioral practices that increase or decrease diversity, equity and inclusion in society. Demonstrate the ability to analyze social integration and assess social policies that mitigate exclusionary practices.

As part of the 120 credits and other requirements for a Bachelor of Arts degree, sociology majors must complete a minimum of 32 credits in Sociology and 3 credits in MATH107/MATH111/MATH120/MATH140, or STAT100 All these credits must be completed with a minimum grade of "C-" or better in each course, and students must earn at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA for all courses in the major. The 35 credits in Sociology must include the following:

Course Title Credits
College Requirements
Foundation Course Requirement
MATH107Introduction to Math Modeling and Probability3
SOCY100Introduction to Sociology3
SOCY201Introductory Statistics for Sociology4
SOCY202Introduction to Research Methods in Sociology4
SOCY203Sociological Theory3
SOCY230Sociological Social Psychology3
SOCY200Innovation, Exploration and the Evolution of Human Societies3
or SOCY241 Inequality in American Society
or SOCY441 Social Stratification and Inequality
Substantive Course Requirement: 1
Select one 300 or 400 level SOCY course3
Select one 400 level SOCY course3
Select two 400 level SOCY Research Courses 26
Total Credits35

Before taking Substantive Course requirements, students must have completed 6 credits of SOCY courses.


A list of methods or research courses selected from a list maintained by the Sociology Undergraduate Advising Office. Students must take SOCY201 and SOCY202 before taking the required 400 level research courses.

Students should note the following in reference to Sociology requirements:

  1. SOCY201 has a prerequisite of MATH107 or higher with a minimum grade of "C-";
  2. Some of the courses necessary to fulfill substantive requirements, and/or the methods/research course requirement may have prerequisites such as SOCY201, SOCY202, and SOCY203;
  3. Special topics courses may be repeatable for credit if its content differs from when previously taken;
  4. SOCY498 courses may be used to fulfill substantive course requirements; the Sociology Undergraduate Office maintains current lists of special topics courses (SOCY498); and
  5. Each course counted as meeting sociology requirements must be passed with a grade of "C-" or better.

Other Requirements for the Major

Students must earn a minimum grade of "C-" in MATH107 and all major requirements. Students must have a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average across all courses used to satisfy major requirements.

Click here for roadmaps for graduation plans in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.

Additional information on developing a graduation plan can be found on the following pages: