Sociology Requirements

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

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

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 America, 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 in Sociology Students seeking to 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. 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.

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 among the the Core Topics Lectures, Special Topics Lectures, and Advanced Semincars. The five required core courses are as follows: Introduction to Sociology, Methods of Social Research, Sociological Theory, Statistics for Social Research, and Senior Seminar. 

Sociological Theory and Social Statistics should be taken during the junior year. Methods of Social Research should be taken in the fall semester of the senior year. In the Methods course students write a proposal for the research that will be the basis for their senior thesis, which is completed in the Senior Seminar in the Spring semester of the senior year. Major should consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies about studying abroad or any unusual plans for completing the requirements. 

Required core courses

  • SOCI-001 Introduction to Sociology (before junior year)
  • SOCI-201 Methods of Social Research (fall of senior year)
  • SOCI-202 Sociological Theory (before spring of senior year)
  • SOCI-203 Statistics for Social Research (before spring of senior year)
  • SOCI-304 Senior Seminar (spring of senior year)

Core Topic Lectures

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

Advanced Seminars

  • Martin Luther King  and American Society
  • Barack Obama and Race
  • Black Writers on White Identity
  • Brazilian Society
  • Economy and Society in East Asia
  • Consumer Culture in East Asia
  • Education Policy
  • Engaging Difference: Race and Ethnicity
  • Environmental and Food Justice Movements 
  • Family Diversity in America 
  • Foods, Farms and Society
  • Gentrification, Justice and the Future of Cities
  • Global Development and Social Justice 
  • Global Power Elites
  • Happiness and Society 
  • Innovation and Change 
  • Interpersonal Violence
  • Latino Sociology
  • 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

Special Topics Lectures

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


Requirements for the minor are Introduction to Sociology, either Methods of Sociological Research or Sociological Theory, plus four electives. It is recommended that the four electives be selected from at least two areas of specialization.

Minor Requirements

  • 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

(For course listings for Sociology see