Requirements for Major
Sociology majors are required to complete thirty credits in the program approved by a member of the Sociology Faculty. These thirty credits may include courses taken before declaring the major.
Before declaring a sociology major students must complete SOC 1010-Introductory Sociology and one other sociology course for a total of six credits with at least a “C” or better in each course. Prospective majors are also urged to take SOC 3020-Introduction to Social Theory and/or SOC 3120- Sociology Research Workshop before declaring.
Four core courses are required of all sociology majors as part of the thirty credit program and are expected to be completed by the end of the third year. They are:
- SOC 1010-Introductory Sociology
- SOC 3020-Introduction to Social Theory
- SOC 3120-Sociology Research Workshop
- SOC 3130-Introduction to Social Statistics
In addition, all majors must also complete twelve credits (4 courses) at the 3000 level or above, including 6 credits (two courses) at the 4000 or 5000 level. The remaining minimum four credits (normally 2 courses) can be taken at any level; however, only 3 credits of SOC 4970-Special Studies in Sociology may be included in the thirty-hour major requirements.
A grade of “C” or better is required in every course counted toward the major. Students receiving grades of “C-” or lower in three courses, or falling below a 2.000 GPA in the department will not be permitted to continue as a major. Students receiving less than a “C” in a required course must retake the course and receive a grade of “C” or better.
With approval of the Undergraduate Studies Committee, up to six credits (2 courses) of course work in related fields may be used to fulfill the thirty credit requirement as elective credit (any level). These two courses should fulfill a concentration or study objective and should be completed with a “C” or better. Only sociology courses can be used to satisfy the course requirements at the 4000 or 5000 levels.
- Sociology majors double majoring in Psychology who have completed PSYC 2005 and 3006 with a ‘C’ or better may be granted an exemption of SOC 3130 – Introduction to Social Statistics.
- Sociology majors double majoring in Economics who have completed ECON 3710 with a ‘C’ or better may be granted an exemption of SOC 3130 – Introduction to Social Statistics.
Transferred credits for SOC 3130 exempt a student from taking this course in the department; however, this exemption does not reduce the total 30 credit hours required for the completion of the sociology major. Students must complete an additional Sociology course at any level to make up the credit hours.
Exceptions to any of these requirements will be made only upon a written petition to the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
The Distinguished Majors Programs and Prizes
In order to provide an enriched academic experience for highly motivated students, the Department of Sociology participates in the College’s Distinguished Majors Program (DMP). Students wishing to join the Program should be Sociology majors and have a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher. Students are strongly urged to have completed (or be taking) SOC 3120, Sociology Research Workshop, by the time they apply to the Program. Applicants to the DMP must secure the agreement of a faculty member that he or she will take on the responsibility of supervising the thesis. An application form and a copy of the most recent transcript should be submitted to the Sociology Office in the semester prior to entering the DMP.
The DMP should be completed over two consecutive semesters, generally during the student’s fourth year (Fall and Spring of the 4th year). However, students may wish to begin the DMP in their 6th semester instead. The choice of the timeframe should be discussed with a faculty adviser.
In addition to the general requirements for the sociology major, students in the DMP are required to write a thesis, earning 6 credits over the course of two semesters. In the first semester of the DMP students should register for SOC 4980, Distinguished Majors Thesis Research. In this course, students design and conduct their research under the supervision of a faculty adviser. In the second semester, students register for SOC 4981, Distinguished Majors Thesis Writing, and produce a finished thesis under the supervision of a faculty adviser. A full draft of the thesis is due to the faculty advisor in mid-April. The final thesis is due at the end of classes and will be graded by a member of the Undergraduate Committee in conjunction with the faculty advisor.
Students who successfully complete the requirements of the DMP can graduate with distinction, high distinction, or highest distinction depending on the following: (1) grade for the thesis, (2) overall performance in the sociology major, (3) overall College record.
The Department annually awards two prizes: the Commonwealth Prize for the Best Undergraduate Paper in a sociology course, and the Prize for the Outstanding Distinguished Majors Thesis.
For more information, or to petition for any exceptions to the requirements of the DMP, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
Undergraduate Internship Program
The Undergraduate Internship Program is a joint project of the sociology department and the Center for Public Service, which grants course credit for supervised fieldwork in a wide range of local government, voluntary, and business organizations. Regular class meetings, in which interns analyze their experiences under faculty supervision, are required.
In addition to encouraging independent student projects, the department has occasional opportunities for students to work as paid assistants on faculty research projects. Inquiries should be addressed to the Director of Undergraduate Studies.