The central concern in sociology is the social lives of people, groups, and societies and the connections between them.

The major provides students important context, critical frameworks, and research skills to better understand and explore these issues.

Our core requirements for sociology majors are as follows:

  • SOCI 105 introduces students to classical social theory via the study of Marx, Durkheim, Weber, and DuBois and the application of their insights to the contemporary world.
  • SOCI 301 introduces them to quantitative and qualitative research methods including project formulation, basic techniques, and research ethics.
  • SOCI 305 introduces them to the evolution of sociological theory as well as contemporary debates.
  • SOCI 400-level seminars focus students on a particular issue and enable them to produce substantial research projects.
  • SOAN 700 is an optional senior research project requiring one to three semesters, on a topic chosen by the student and in consultation with a faculty advisor.

To complete the major, students also take five electives. These courses represent the wide range of social issues and institutions, questions and answers, of interest to the field of sociology. Electives allow students to learn some of the many different ways sociology seeks to understand, explore, and explain the social world.

We expect our students to learn the following:

  • Basic sociological concepts;
  • The centrality of class, race, and gender in most situations;
  • The value of comparative analysis;
  • The need to evaluate all sources of information critically;
  • The value of questioning received wisdom or common sense;
  • Research methods that will enable them to pursue their own investigations in whatever field they choose.