Sociology

Sociology provides the foundation for understanding how societies function and how they change over time. Sociological research involves the study of individual behavior and group outcomes, such as educational attainment, jobs and careers, health outcomes, religious commitment, and political involvement; of interpersonal processes, such as intimate relationships, sexuality, social interaction in groups, social networks, economic transactions, and behavior of organizations and institutions; causes and consequences of group differences and social inequality; and social change at the societal and global level.

The Sociology major provides a solid foundation for students interested in careers in the social sciences, but knowledge about social processes and how societies work is also relevant for students in other fields. Recent graduates have attended law school, medical school, or graduate programs in public health, business, education, urban planning, public policy, criminology, and sociology. Others work in advertising, finance, consulting, publishing, marketing, city planning, teaching, research, and advocacy.

The Sociology department offers a standard program, a concentration in markets and society, a concentration in health and society, and a combined program that pairs sociology with another subject. Students in the markets and society concentration take intermediate economics and use sociological tools to study economic behavior. Those in the health and society concentration do course work in sociological analysis and take courses recommended for the MCAT. Interested students are encouraged to contact the director of undergraduate studies (DUS) early in their academic careers to discuss program options.

Freshman seminars in Sociology include:

  • SOCY 018, The Sociological Imagination

Introductory courses that provide a broad overview of sociological thinking include:

  • SOCY 126, Health of the Public
  • SOCY 151, Foundations of Modern Social Theory

Other courses focus on particular topics:

  • SOCY 133, Computers, Networks, and Society
  • SOCY 147, Introduction to Social Policy Analysis
  • SOCY 167, Social Networks and Society
  • SOCY 208, Guns in the United States