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The sociology major is concerned with the scientific study of culture, social structure, social processes, social interaction, and social change, from the largest to the smallest scale. Many courses focus on important social issues, including public health, environmental degradation, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, social class, and inequality.
A degree in sociology prepares students for a wide range of careers in educational institutions, private industry, NGO’s (non-governmental organizations) and government agencies, as well as further, postgraduate study in the discipline. For students with more specific career goals in mind, appropriate programs to meet their particular needs may be designed in consultation with the sociology faculty.
The sociological perspective can provide clarification to troubles and issues in social life and improve the quality of everyday life. Learning outcomes include:
- Explain major sociological theories and research methods
- Apply statistics to analyze sociological data
- Evaluate published research in sociology
- Design a sociological plan to investigate a social issue
- Collect and analyze sociological data to investigate a social issue
- Demonstrate effective written and oral articulation of ideas in sociology
Degree Requirements for the Sociology Major
General College Requirements
General College Requirements (see “Curriculum” section), including the following requirements to satisfy the major:
Thirty-six credit hours of coursework carrying sociology credit and distributed as follows:
Required Courses (16 credit hours):
- SOCI 101: Introduction to Sociology
- SOCI 201: Social Statistics
- SOCI 350: Sociological Theory
- SOCI 385: Research Methods
Twenty additional credit hours of coursework designated SOCI.
In their senior year, majors may elect to complete eight credit hours of a St. Mary’s Project (SOCI 493 and 494), or complete the Sociology Senior Seminar (SOCI 490) and one additional four-credit hour course in sociology at the 300 or 400 level.
- The 44 credit hours of major requirements may include field experience and independent study as approved by the department chair.
- All courses counting toward a major in sociology must have a grade of C-.
Sequence of Study
All students majoring in sociology shall plan an individual program with their adviser to arrive at a combination of courses that will meet the requirements for the major as well as satisfying their goals and interests. The sociology faculty strongly recommends that students choose an adviser from among the sociology faculty by the beginning of their junior year.
The following schedule is suggested as a model for satisfying the requirements of the sociology major:
- First Year:
SOCI 101; one additional sociology course
- Second Year:
SOCI 201; two additional sociology courses
- Junior Year:
SOCI 385; three additional sociology courses
- Senior Year:
St. Mary’s Project or SOCI 490 Senior Seminar and one sociology course (300 or 400 level)
Degree Requirements for the Sociology Minor
General College Requirements
General College requirements (see “Curriculum” sections).
At least 20 credit hours in sociology as specified under the required and elective courses.
- Required core course (four credit hours): SOCI 101: Introduction to Sociology
- Elective courses (16 credit hours) in sociology, 12 of which must be taken at the 300-400 level.
A grade of C- or better must be received in each course of the minor.
Requirements for Teacher Certification
Students interested in Maryland state certification in social studies should study the description of the College’s Teacher Education Program in the catalog. In addition, they should, by the end of the first semester of their sophomore year, consult with the chair of the Department of Educational Studies, and the education advisers in their major fields.
Andrew Cognard-Black, Helen Ginn Daugherty (Emerita), Louis Hicks (department chair), Elizabeth Osborn, Kristi Tredway