Undergraduate Program

Sociology Major and Minor Information

The Department of Sociology offers a major and a minor in Sociology. 

Students applying to the major in Sociology with a grade of C+ or better in the introductory course will normally be accepted as majors in the department. At its discretion, the department may provisionally admit a student who fails to meet this requirement and then review its decision after the student completes the required theory (SOCI-202) and methods (SOCI-201) classes.

The Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUGS) is the advisor for all department majors. Prospective majors must arrange for an interview with the DUGS.

Sociology Major. Students majoring in Sociology are required to take ten courses in the department: five major core courses, two Core Topic Lectures, two Advanced Seminars and one additional elective course from any of the categories (Core Topics Lectures, Special Topics Lectures or Advanced Seminars). The major core courses consist of: Introduction to Sociology, Methods of Social Research, Sociological Theory, Statistics for Social Research, and Senior Seminar where students write a senior thesis.

The Research Methods course should be taken in the fall semester of the senior year.

Social Statistics is offered once a year. It should be taken the second semester of the junior year.

The Theory course may be taken in either fall or spring before the spring semester senior year.

The Senior Seminar is for seniors in their spring semester. The Seminar is a capstone course in which the primary effort is the conduct of a substantial social research project culminating with the writing of a significant senior thesis. The topic for the senior thesis must be chosen from a subject area in which the student has already taken some coursework.

Sociology Minor. Requirements for the minor are Introduction to Sociology, either Methods of Social Research or Sociological Theory, two Core Topic Lectures, one Advanced Seminar, and one additional elective course from any of the categories (Core Topics Lectures, Special Topics Lectures or Advanced Seminars).

We strongly recommend that students take Introduction to Sociology before enrolling in other sociology courses. Introduction to Sociology is listed as a prerequisite for some upper division courses. Please consult with the course descriptions.


Effective September 28, 2017, starting with the class of 2020. Sociology majors should take Methods of Social Research (SOCI 201) in the fall semester of their senior year. They should take Statistics for Social Research (SOCI 203) in the spring semester of their junior year. Social Theory (SOCI 202) will be available both semesters and should be taken before the spring semester of the senior year.

Sociology Major Requirements

Courses in the Sociology Department are divided into three categories.  Core Topics Lectures introduce students to the main subfields of Sociology, including gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, education, social inequality, social movements, crime and deviance, and demography.  Advanced Seminars enable students to develop in-depth knowledge of particular subjects through intensive seminars.  Recent advanced seminars include courses about gentrification, poverty in American, the changing American family, the Obama presidency, public housing, Brazilian society, transgender issues, food justice movements and social intelligence. Special Topics Lectures provide a lecture-style course that covers other special areas within the discipline, including courses on hip hop, death and dying, transnational crime and happiness.  The following is a partial list of courses in each category.

Major core courses

  • SOCI-001 Introduction to Sociology
  • SOCI-201 Methods of Social Research
  • SOCI-202 Sociological Theory
  • SOCI-203 Statistics for Social Research
  • SOCI-304 Senior Seminar

Core Topic Lectures

  • Capitalism: Culture, Markets and Power
  • Criminology
  • Culture and Consumption
  • Education and Society
  • Family and Society
  • Immigrants and New Society
  • Law and Society
  • Modernization and Development
  • Political Sociology
  • Population Dynamics
  • Privilege and Powerlessness
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Religion and Society
  • Social Inequality
  • Social Movements
  • Social Networks
  • Sociology of Gender
  • Sociology of Health and Illness
  • Sociology of Sexuality
  • The City: Approaches to Urban Studies

Advanced Seminars

  • Barack Obama and Race
  • Brazilian Society
  • Consumer Culture in East Asia
  • Education Policy
  • Foods, Farms and Society
  • Gentrification, Justice and the Future of Cities
  • Global Power Elites
  • Interpersonal Violence
  • Latino Sociology
  • New Perspectives on the Black Ghetto Poor
  • Public Housing: Theory and Practice
  • Race, Color and Culture
  • Race, Society and Cinema
  • Religion and Globalization
  • Sociology of Food
  • Sociology of the One Percent
  • The Politics of Community
  • Women and Development

Special Topics Lectures

  • American Culture and Social Structure
  • Comparative Law Enforcement
  • Death and Dying
  • Family and Gender in Japan
  • Sociology of Hip Hop
  • Social Problems
  • Sociology of Terrorism
  • Sociology of the Middle East
  • Sociology and Culture: Beyonce
  • Sports and Society

Minor Requirements in Sociology

SOCI-001 Introduction to Sociology
SOCI-201 Methods of Sociological Research or SOCI-202 Sociological Theory
Two Core Topic Lectures
One Advanced Seminar
One additional elective course from any of the categories

See the Course Offerings page to view the courses that are currently offered