Undergraduate Programs

Program Requirements

Students who complete the major requirements for a bachelor of arts (BA) in sociology will be able to analyze patterns of human relationships in complex societies—both in the United States and beyond—as they prepare for graduate school or careers in a wide range of field

Major Requirements

36 credits of major coursework
120 total credits for graduation

Minor Requirements:

20 semester hours

Academic Catalog  Core Curriculum

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Course Descriptions

The following descriptions are a sample of courses you may take as a sociology major. For a complete list of required courses, please review the academic catalog.

Introduction to applied statistical analysis. Descriptive, correlational, and inferential statistics; concepts of population, sample, sampling distribution; elements of probability; parameters of discrete distributions; hypothesis testing: analysis of proportions, means, and variance; linear regression. Computer applications required. Cross-listed with MATH 1490.

Critical examination of the theoretical foundations of the study of society and culture. Historical evolution of social and anthropological thought as well as contemporary analysis. Required of all students majoring in sociology.

An introduction to the logic of scientific inquiry and its implication for social research. Research strategy, definition of research goals, methods of data collection, and analysis. Required of all students majoring in sociology.

Hands-on and practical, this class introduces students to the qualitative methods of research such as observation and interview as students support Chicago institutions through service learning. Team work around common interests, learning outside the classroom, and application of existing talents and skills sets this course apart. Required of all students majoring in sociology, but not limited to sociology majors.

Directed research will integrate students' knowledge in sociology. The research project will facilitate use of students' reasoning and writing skills and their insights of sociology. Required of all students majoring in sociology. The sociology comprehensive examination is administered in conjunction with SOC 4010.

Characteristics and definitions of race and ethnicity in various cultures and societies. Significance for cultural pluralism.

Exploration of male and female gender roles in culture and society. Importance of gender in workplace, family, education, and belief systems. Analysis of power. Assessment of the contribution of feminist theories to study of gender. Cross-listed with WGS 2150.

This course, utilizing the disciplines of history, sociology, and anthropology, will present, discuss, and analyze the African-American experience from pre-slavery West Africa to contemporary U.S., with particular emphasis on current cultural, theological, social, economic, and political issues that exist within the African-American community. Cross-listed with AS 2500.

Relationship of culture and society to religion. Analysis of social, political, and economic forces with religious belief, expression, and practice.

Study of dynamics of immigrants, adaptation, intercultural acculturation, education of next generations, family life, interracial marriage, ethnic conflict with business, religion, economic, and political functions.

A multi-disciplinary approach to the study of Mexico from pre-Colombian societies to the present. Taught in English. Cross-listed with SPAN 2130.

The family is an important social institution that profoundly affects us. This course is designed to study the diversity of families and explore the historical changes in marriage patterns. Topics covered include dating and mate selection, family structures, marital satisfaction, parenting, divorce and remarriage, alternative lifestyles, and the diversity of meaning that the institution has in the United States and cross-culturally.

Initiatives to establish community are what make the United States what it is today. This class explores how voluntary association, the visions of utopian planners, and the networking of migrants and minorities have all contributed to this country's political and spatial peculiarities. It also asks students to consider whether "community" is still possible today, and, if so, at what cost? Through service learning excursions, students will get their own answers to these questions.

90% of urbanization taking place today is in the developing world-Latin America, Africa, and Asia. How can Western classical theories of urbanization developed in the 19th and 20th Centuries inform contemporary experiences of migration, individualism, social control, social movements, and redevelopment in non-Western countries in the 21st Century Lectures, reading and case studies from local authors provide ample opportunity for cross-cultural comparisons.

Examination of class, status, and power; their origin, change, and interrelationship with other aspects of society; societal distribution of resources and rewards. Analysis of forces influencing individual and group mobility.

A variety of social issues have assumed enough prominence to be labeled "problems". This course is intended to provide the student with a conceptual framework within which to examine social problems. Emphasis will be on issues such as poverty, crime and punishment, affordable housing, education and deviance.

An overview of the criminal justice system in the United States emphasizing key issues in the process of arrest through trial and sentencing and imprisonment, an analysis of the roles of the police, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and courts, and the various theories of punishment and crime causation. Representative Supreme Court decisions in the law of arrest, right to counsel, capital punishment, search and seizure, and self-incrimination will be analyzed.

Emphasizes the period from 1954 through the 1970s as a time of social turmoil and change in American society during which African-Americans insisted on inclusion in the nation's mainstream and power in their own right. Employs social movement theory in examining the history, progress, and effects of the Civil Rights Movement in general and in studying such organizations as the NAACP and such leaders as Martin Luther King in particular. Cross-listed with AS 3030.

What does it mean to be modern? This course explores the political and social dynamics of creating a modern state in China and Japan in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Focusing on historic initiatives that led to each society's transformation, we examine the push for industrialization, nationhood and the ideal citizen. Readings draw on the perspectives of ordinary people responding to state-sponsored social change.

Who fights for change? Why? And how? Answers tend to vary with historical circumstance. Increasingly today we find trans-border problem solving to deal with problems that cross borders-problems like environmental degradation, migrant rights, and criminal or health issues. This course looks at the transformation of old and the emergence of new institutions as people try not only to cope but realize their vision of a "just" society.

Global Village or Global Pillage? Focusing on the experiences of the United States and China, this class provides a theoretical framework and historical perspective to understanding globalization as both an economic and cultural process. Lectures, reading and case studies of local responses to globalization illustrate how this process reorders, integrates and transforms societies.

Prospective students must submit a research proposal two weeks prior to the last day of the spring semester of their third year. To graduate with Departmental Honors in Sociology a student must successfully complete 8 semester hours of SOC 4000 in addition to their major requirements.