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Sociology Course Sequence Structure

The goals of the undergraduate program in Sociology are to instruct students about the value of recognizing and understanding social difference and to provide theoretical and empirical frameworks for understanding social institutions and processes of social change. This mission includes the objectives of instructing students in analyzing and collecting data and connecting findings to the broader society, assisting them in learning how to ask sociological questions and how to answer them in systematic ways.

Students with an undergraduate degree in Sociology should acquire the following skills by graduation:

  • How to collect and analyze qualitative and quantitative data
  • How to present sociological data in writing and public presentations
  • How to work with people from different racial, ethnic, gender, sexuality, and class backgrounds
  • How to convey complex information and ideas effectively
  • How to make an effective evidence-based argument
  • How to read critically
  • How to understand components of complex social problems
  • How to understand other societies and international relations

To achieve these goals, the department offers a sequence of courses structured in the following manner:

  • 100-level courses explore the meaning and significance of social differences and social processes and why these are important social properties. These courses introduce the central terms, issues, and debates in the discipline, why and how they came into being, and how they are used.

  • 200-level courses engage students in sociological issues through experiential learning
    and dialogue - intensive courses and courses that inform about the sociological relevance to various social issues and concerns. These courses also provide initial insight into how the discipline may be relevant for further study and for the pursuit of careers and other life goals.

  • 300-level courses emphasize the teaching of research design, data interpretation, theoretical foundations, sociological claim-making, and the construction of sociological arguments. These courses also provide opportunities for more extensive writing in the discipline.

  • 400-level courses offer more intensive instruction about data interpretation, sociological claim-making, and the construction of sociological arguments.  These courses may also provide capstone experiences and opportunities to produce a research paper or engage research experience in a substantive manner.