Although it is a diverse field, sociology is united in (1) its acknowledgment that race, gender and class deeply affect our perceptions and lived experiences, (2) its focus on intergroup comparisons and (3) recognition that the sociological imagination lies at the heart of the discipline. The sociology major is designed to help students critically examine the mutual linkages between daily experiences and larger social structures. Courses address sociological understandings of crime and criminal justice; the centrality of work and issues of inequality in contemporary employment; the ways that race, ethnicity, and gender are constructed along interlocking hierarchies and how they are reproduced and challenged; how social class is reproduced and maintained in the United States; and children’s peer cultures as a site where inequalities are both challenged and reaffirmed. Courses on other topics are often offered.

Students seeking a major in Sociology will complete the requirements for the BA degree. The major in Sociology is built around a cumulative curriculum. SOC34-314 Research Methods, SOC34-344 Sociological Theory, SOC34-394, Sociological Research Practicum and SOC34-964 Senior Research Seminar must all be taken at Southwestern to fulfill the degree. Majors considering graduate school or careers in social work or public health are strongly encouraged to register for an academic internship.

Note on course numbering: 100 level courses are introductory. 200-700 level courses are upper level and most require prerequisites. 900 level courses are capstone, tutorial, independent study, internship and honors. 

Major in Sociology

Eight courses (Majors consist of a minimum of 30 credits.)

  • SOC34-114 Introduction to Sociology or SOC34-124 Social Problems
  • ANT35-104 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • SOC34-314 Research Methods (recommended for sophomores; must be taken prior to the senior year)
  • SOC34-344 Sociological Theory (recommended for juniors but may be taken by sophomores to facilitate study abroad plans; must be taken prior to the senior year)
  • SOC34-394 Sociological Research Practicum (recommended for spring of junior year)
  • SOC34-964 Senior Research Seminar (Capstone, to be taken in the fall of the senior year)
  • Two additional courses that are either in or contribute to Sociology, at least one of which is upper level, and one of which may be an upper-level Anthropology course

Required supporting course in the Sociology major
  • MAT52-114 Introduction to Statistics

Minor in Sociology

Five courses (Minors consist of a minimum of 18 credits.)

  • SOC34-114 Introduction to Sociology or SOC34-124 Social Problems
  • Four additional courses in or contributing to Sociology, three of which must be above the introductory level

Courses outside of Sociology that Contribute to the Major and Minor
  • PSC32-184 Politics Of Latin America and the Caribbean