Jul 20, 2024  
Undergraduate Record 2023-2024 
    
Undergraduate Record 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

Sociology


Requirements for Major


Sociology majors are required to complete 30 credits of coursework approved by their faculty advisors or the Director of Undergraduate Programs (DUP). Normally, students meet this requirement by completing ten courses. Courses taken before declaring the major can be counted.

Before declaring a major in Sociology, a student must first complete SOC 1010-Introductory Sociology and one other course (three credits) in Sociology, with a grade of “C” or better in each course. SOC 3020-Introduction to Social Theory or SOC 3120-Sociology Research Workshop may be used to fulfill the second prerequisite requirement.

Third-year transfer students may declare a major in Sociology if they have completed a course in Introductory Sociology and one other Sociology course at their previous institution, with a grade of “C” or better in each course.

 

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 3120 should be taken in the fall of the third year.
  • SOC 3130-Introduction to Social Statistics
    • Note that SOC 3120 is a prerequisite for SOC 3130.

Majors must also complete six elective courses (18 credits). Four of these elective courses (12 credits) must be at the 3000 level or above, including two courses (6 credits) at the 4000 or 5000 level. Students should note that all 4000- and 5000-level courses require at least two prior Sociology courses (6 credits) as prerequisites. Courses in the Distinguished Majors Program (SOC 4980 and SOC 4981) do not count toward the elective requirements. 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 necessary in every course to be counted toward the major. Students receiving less than a “C” in one of the four required courses must retake the course and receive a grade of “C” or better. Students receiving less than a “C” in an elective course will be required to take another Sociology course for the major. (Elective courses where a student receives an unsatisfactory but passing grade still count toward the College’s requirement of 120 credits for graduation even though they do not count toward the major. Because the College will not give credit for taking a course twice, re-taken required Sociology courses do not count toward the 120- credit requirement.)

Students are required to maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher in Sociology courses. In addition, students may not receive grades of “C minus” or lower in three or more Sociology courses. Students who fail to meet these requirements are required to petition the Director of Undergraduate Programs for permission to remain in the major. Any such petition must include both (a) an explanation of what occurred and (b) a plan for avoiding further low grades in the future. Students who do not submit a satisfactory petition will be dropped from the major

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.

J-Term courses do not count toward the major.


Exemptions and Waivers

Exemption from SOC 1010

Transfer students who have transferred credits for a course in Introductory Sociology taken at another institution prior to matriculation at the University are exempt from the requirement to take SOC 1010. However, the Introductory Sociology course taken at the previous institution does not count toward the 30 credits required for the completion of the sociology major. Thus transfer students must take an additional Sociology course at any level.

 

Exemption from SOC 3130

Students may be exempted from the requirement to take SOC 3130 - Introduction to Social Statistics, if one of the following circumstances applies:

  1. The student has completed PSYC 2005 & 3006 with a “C” or better and either (a) is double-majoring in Psychology or (b) completed those courses prior to declaring a major in sociology.
  2. The student has completed ECON 3710 with a “C” or better and either (a) is double majoring in Economics or (b) completed that course prior to declaring a major in sociology.
  3. The student has completed STAT 2020, STAT 2120, or STAT 3120 and either (a) is double-majoring in Statistics or (b) completed that course prior to declaring a major in sociology.

Exemption from SOC 3130 does not reduce the total 30 credits required for completion of the major. Thus, exempted students must complete an additional Sociology course at any level.

Students in unusual circumstances may petition the DUP and the Undergraduate StudiesCommittee for an exemption from a requirement or a waiver of any departmental policy relating to the major. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure that the Committee has all appropriate materials. 

 


Deferring the Declaration of Major

Before declaring a major in sociology, a student must first complete the prerequisite courses.  (See the section above on “Requirements for the Major” for details.). Students entering their fifth semester who have not completed the prerequisites to declaring the major must defer their declaration for one semester while they complete the prerequisites.  The Declaration of Major Deferral Form is available from the College website (https://college.as.virginia.edu/forms).  On the form, list the Director of Undergraduate Programs as your “major contact” in the Department.  You should also contact the Department’s Academic Assistant, Ms. Joyce Holleran, to let her know you plan to submit the deferral form.  Otherwise, if you submit the form incorrectly, the Department may not know about it.

Concentrations


The Department offers two concentrations as options for sociology majors: “Crime, Law and Power” and “Global Economy, Organizations and Work.” Although a concentration is not required, students with an interest in one of these areas may find it valuable. A concentration enables students to pursue a coherent course of study focused on a particular theme and guides them in selecting the courses that allow for an in-depth exploration of that topic. Moreover, because concentrations are noted on students’ transcripts, they signal a specific course of study to graduate programs and employers.

Crime, Law and Power


The Crime, Law and Power concentration may be of interest to students planning careers in law, criminal justice, politics, government, and related non-profit agencies. It provides students with a rigorous study of social theory and research to aid them in developing an understanding of crime and violence, law and the legal system, and legal and non-legal modes of exercising power in society.

This concentration requires the completion of three  courses (9 credits) focused on issues in crime. criminology, justice, law and the legal system, or power and authority. Students may use courses from the pre- approved list below, or may request the use of a course not listed. Any courses not on the pre-approved list, including cross-listed courses, which a student might wish to have count towards the concentration, must be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Programs. The request can be shown on the Declaration Form or communicated separately, in writing, to the Director of Undergraduate Programs.

Global Economy, Organizations and Work Requirements


The Global Economy, Organizations, and Work concentration may be of interest to students planning careers in business, government, law, human resources, and market research. It provides students with the opportunity to study the economic sphere of social life from within the liberal arts and sciences, utilizing a social-science point of view.

This concentration requires the completion of three courses (9 credits) focused on issues in Global Economy, Organizations and Work by selecting at least three of the six electives allowed in the Sociology major from a list of approved courses that address markets, money, consumption, development, organizations, work and other topics in economic sociology. Students may use courses from the pre-approved list below, or may request the use of a course not listed. Any courses not on the pre-approved list, including cross-listed courses, which a student might wish to have count towards the concentration, must be approved by the Director of the Undergraduate Programs. The request can be shown on the Declaration Form or communicated separately, in writing, to the Director of Undergraduate Programs.

Health and Medicine


The Health and Medicine concentration requires the completion of three (3) courses focused on issues in health, medicine, the body, the psyche, or sexual health. Students may use courses from the preapproved list below or may request the use of a course not listed. Any courses not on the preapproved list, including cross-listed courses, which a student might wish to have count towards the concentration, must be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Programs. The request can be shown on the Declaration Form or communicated separately, in writing, to the Director of Undergraduate Programs.

The Distinguished Majors Programs


The Department of Sociology participates in the College’s Distinguished Majors Program (DMP). The DMP provides qualified and motivated students with the opportunity to design and carry out an original research project under the supervision of a faculty member over the course of two semesters. This effort culminates in writing an honors thesis.

Eligibility for Admission to the Program

• Students wishing to join the Program should have a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher. Students with a slightly lower GPA may be admitted, with the expectation that grades will be raised by the time of graduation (see the section on “Levels of Distinction” below).

• Students must have completed SOC 3120-Sociology Research Workshop before enrolling in the Program.

The Application Process

Applications to the DMP should be submitted in the Spring semester of the student’s third year for participation during the fourth year. In unusual circumstances, a student may request to apply in the Fall of the third year for participation during the Spring of the third year and the Fall of the fourth year. Students who are interested in this option should consult with the Director of Undergraduate Programs.

Requirements

Participation in the Distinguished Majors Program requires the completion of two additional courses (six credits) beyond the 10 courses normally required for major.

In the first semester of the Program, normally the Fall semester of the fourth year, students must register for SOC 4980, Distinguished Majors Thesis Research. In this course, students formulate a clear research question, design their research, prepare a detailed research proposal or thesis draft, and begin data collection. If the number of Distinguished Majors is sufficient, the 9 Department will offer a weekly Distinguished Majors seminar taught by the DUP or another faculty member. In any case, students will meet regularly with their faculty advisors.

In the second semester of the Program, normally the Spring semester of the fourth year, students must register for SOC 4981, Distinguished Majors Thesis Writing. In this course, students complete data collection and analysis and write a finished thesis under the supervision of their faculty advisors. The thesis will be jointly graded by the student’s faculty advisor and a member of the Undergraduate Committee.

Levels of Distinction

Students who successfully complete the requirements of the DMP may receive their degrees with distinction. There are three levels of honors: distinction, high distinction, and highest distinction. The level of distinction awarded depends on: (1) the grade for the thesis, (2) overall performance in the Sociology major, and (3) overall College record. The College of Arts and Sciences requires that students completing a Distinguished Majors Program earn an overall College GPA of 3.4 or higher. Importantly, the College does not round GPAs. Any student who completes the thesis but does not have an overall GPA of 3.4 or higher will receive credit for SOC 4980 and SOC 4981, but will not be able to graduate with distinction

Requirements for Minor


Academic Requirements


Students must complete the following course with a grade of “C” or higher:

Elective Courses


Minors must also complete two elective courses (6 credits) at the 4000 or 5000 level. The remaining three elective courses (9 credits) can be taken at any level.

Grade Requirements


All courses used to meet the 18- credit requirement must be letter-graded.   Courses taken on a Credit/No Credit or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis do not count toward the major.

A grade of “C” or better is necessary in every course to be counted toward the minor. Students receiving less than a “C” in SOC 1010-Introductory Sociology must retake the course and receive a grade of “C” or better.  Students receiving less than a “C” in an elective course will be required to take another Sociology course to complete the minor.  (Elective courses where a student receives an unsatisfactory but passing grade still count toward the College’s requirement of 120 credits for graduation even though they do not count toward the major. Because the College will not give credit for taking a course twice, if SOC 1010 is re-taken, the second time will not count toward the 120-credit requirement.)

 

In addition, students are required to maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher in Sociology.  Students who fail to do so will be dropped from the minor.

Exemptions and Waivers


Exemption from SOC 1010

Transfer students who have transferred credits for a course in Introductory Sociology taken at another institution prior to matriculation at the University are exempt from the requirement to take SOC 1010-Introductory Sociology.  However, the Introductory Sociology course taken at the previous institution does not count toward the 18 credits required for the completion of the sociology minor. Thus transfer students must take an additional sociology course at any level.

Other Exemptions and Waivers

Students in unusual circumstances may petition the DUP and the Undergraduate Studies Committee for an exemption from a requirement or a waiver of any departmental policy relating to the minor. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure that the Committee has all appropriate materials.

Prizes


The Department annually awards two undergraduate prizes: The Commonwealth Prize for the Best Undergraduate Paper in a Sociology course, and the Prize for the Outstanding Distinguished Majors Thesis.  Faculty members nominate student papers for these awards.

Facilities


The department is located at Randall Hall 101, 130 Ruppel Drive, Charlottesville VA 22904.

Research


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.

Additional Information


For more information, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Sociology, 130 Ruppel Drive, P.O. Box 400766, Charlottesville, VA 22904; (434) 924-7293. soc-undergraduatestudies@virginia.edu, http://sociology.as.virginia.edu.

Course Descriptions