Sociology majors typically take the following courses in the fall semester of their first year:

First-Year Experience Learning Community Courses

We will register you in these courses.

  1. Philosophy (PHIL 201)
  2. English Composition (ENG 101) OR Theology (TRS 201)

Why am I taking these classes?   Honors students take equivalent honors courses.

Major and Elective Courses

You will need to choose and register for these courses.

  1. Introduction to Sociology (SOC 101) or Global Social Problems and Social Justice (SOC 102)
  2. A foreign language
  3. A course of your own choosing

Our sociology program is designed to enable students to think systematically and critically about society, and to help students develop analytical, research and writing skills relevant to a variety of careers. Our courses cover such topics as crime and terrorism, race, ethnicity and gender, culture and religion, inequality and social change, migration, and international development issues from a liberal arts perspective. Since first year courses are rooted in this liberal arts perspective, courses in Sociology and the First-Year Experience complement each other well.

1 st Semester Courses

Although our major does not follow an explicit course sequence, students are encouraged to take Soc. 101 or 102 in which they will be exposed to the contemporary intellectual trends and issues in the field.

Sociology 101. Introduction to Sociology

The major objective of this course is to introduce students to sociology – the scientific study of human society and social behavior. All areas of social life will be examined including work, community, religion, schools, family, gender, race, class, stratification/inequality, and crime/deviance. Both the theories and methods of sociology will be reviewed. Primary concerns of the course will include the ways in which our behavior is influenced by groups, the nature and functions of the social institutions which we have created, and the relationship that exists between the individual and society. We will explore the uses of evidence-based sociological perspectives in providing new and surprising insights into a topic with which all of us have some familiarity already: the study of society. These objectives will be accomplished through lectures, discussions and small group research projects. Throughout the course a major goal will be to approach the study of society from a social justice perspective.

Sociology 102. Global Social Problems

This course examines a set of social problems from a sociological perspective. Students will learn to analyze the causes and consequences of some of the most troubling social problems today—both locally and globally—and also critically evaluate their own perceptions of these problems. Topics examined this year include: (1) the pervasive stigma against mental illness, and how prisons have become warehouses for the mentally ill in America; (2) how eviction is a cause, and not just a consequence, of poverty; (3) contemporary slavery in the forms of bonded labor and sex trafficking in Asia; (4) what leads young men into (and out of) violent gangs in Latin America; and (5) why young women in Africa suffer from disproportionately high rates of HIV infection; and (6) the causes and consequences of consumerism around the world.

Students are also encouraged to take courses reinforcing writing, analytical, and research skills.

Know which courses you want? Get registered.