The Department of Sociology offers an A.B. in Sociology and a minor in Sociology.

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.

SStudents 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 Core Topics Lectures, Special Topics Lectures, and Advanced Seminars. 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. Majors should consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies about studying abroad or any unusual plans for completing the requirements.  

Course offerings

Courses in the Sociology Department are divided into four categories, including the Required Core Courses which all majors must take.

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. The below list is not exhaustive:

Capitalism: Culture, Markets and Power
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 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. The below list is not exhaustive:

Barack Obama and Race
Black Writers on White Identity
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
Happiness and Society
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 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 below list is not exhaustive:

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

REQUIREMENTS for the a. b. in sociology (Beginning with the Class of 2020)

  • 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)
  • Two (2) Core Topics Lectures
  • Two (2) Advanced Seminars
  • One (1) Additional Elective from Core Topics Lectures, Advanced Seminars, and Special Topics Lectures 


The Department of Sociology offers a wide array of courses which fulfill the integrated writing requirement. After taking a first General Education course focused on writing, the second such course which sociology majors will take must come from among selected sociology offerings.  Our majors get to choose from among those courses we designate as Integrated Writing courses (occasionally abbreviated below as “IW”).  

Sociology Courses with Integrated-Writing (IW) Strategies:  Race,Color, Culture; Sociology of Sexualities; Capitalism: Culture, Markets, and Power; Methods of Social Research; Sociological Theory; and many of the Advanced Seminars.

Minor in Sociology

Requirements for the minor are Introduction to Sociology, either Methods of Sociological Research or Sociological Theory, plus four electives, two of which should be Core Topics Lectures and one of which should be an Advanced Seminar. It is recommended that the four electives be selected from at least two areas of specialization.

Requirements for the minor

  • Introduction to Sociology (SOCI-001)
  • Methods of Sociological Research (SOCI-201) or Sociological Theory (SOCI-202)
  • 4 electives. Of those four, two should be from the Core Topics Lectures above, and one also an Advanced Seminar.

(For course listings for Sociology see