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The Sociology Major

Note: The following is a summary of program requirements. For full details, see the Undergraduate Handbook.


Before you can declare a major in Sociology, you must first complete SOC 1010-Introductory Sociology and one other course in Sociology, with a grade of “C” or better in each course.

If you are a third-year transfer student, you may declare a major in Sociology if you have already completed a course in Introductory Sociology and one other Sociology course at your previous institution, with a grade of “C” or better in each course.  If not, you will need to defer your declaration until you have completed the prerequisites.  See “Transfer Students.”


When you are ready to declare, follow these procedures for declaring the major.


Credit Requirements
To complete the major, you must earn 30 credits of coursework in Sociology.  Normally, students meet this requirement by completing ten courses in the Department. 

Required Courses
Four core courses are required for the Sociology major:

SOC 1010: Introductory Sociology (3-credit course)
Introduces the fundamental concepts and principles of sociology and the major subfields of the discipline. This course must be taken before declaring the major, but it counts towards the major.

SOC 3020: Introduction to Social Theory (3-credit course)
Considers important classical and contemporary perspectives in social theory. Take this course in the Fall or Spring of the third year.

SOC 3120: Sociology Research Workshop (4-credit course)
Introduces students to the conceptualization of sociological research questions and to quantitative and qualitative approaches to data collection and analysis. Take this course in the Fall of the third year.

SOC 3130: Introduction to Social Statistics (4-credit course)
Introduction to elementary methods of statistical analysis. No special mathematical background or aptitude is required. Take this course in the Spring of the third year. Keep in mind that SOC 3120 is a prerequisite for this course.

Elective Courses
You must also complete six elective courses. Two of these elective courses must be at the 2000 level. Four of these elective courses must be at the 3000 level or above, including two courses at the 4000 or 5000 level. Keep in mind that all 4000 and 5000-level courses require at least two prior Sociology courses as prerequisites (or instructor permission). Up to two courses taken outside the Department may be counted toward the elective requirement; see the Undergraduate Handbook for details.

Grade Requirements
All courses used to meet the 30- credit requirement must be letter-graded. Courses taken on a Credit/No Credit or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis do not count toward the major.

Note: The Sociology Department waived this rule during the 2020-2021 academic year and the Fall semester of 2022, following the Provost’s grading policy during those terms. Courses completed during the 2020-2021 academic year or the fall semester of 2022 with grades of CR will be counted toward the major.

A grade of “C” or better is necessary in every course to be counted toward the major.


The Department has established three official concentrations that can be noted on your transcript: Crime, Law and Power; Global Economy, Organizations and Work; and Health and Medicine.  In addition, to help you navigate your way through the major, the Department has identified several informal clusters of courses that focus on themes such as health, family, culture, and social inequalities.


Qualified Sociology majors may participate in the Distinguished Majors Program which involves conducting an original research project under the supervision of a faculty member and writing it up as a “senior thesis.” Students who successfully complete the program receive their college degrees with honors.

“The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at”