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Sociology B.A.

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Sociology, B.A.



The mission of the sociology program is to consider the notion of power and the complex ways in which humans make meaning. Sociology students explore the relationships between individuals and social institutions, with a focus on societal diversity. At the core of the program is the emphasis on human rights, and the belief that all individuals deserve a life of dignity and equality. From the investigation of daily interactions to the study of broadbased global social movements, the program accentuates a concern for social justice along lines of social class, race, ethnicity, gender and so forth. The program stresses the importance of devising solutions to social problems. Students are exposed to the substantiative areas within the discipline, and within courses they develop skills in critical thinking, data collection and interpretation, policy analysis and oral and written communication. They graduate from the program with a deeper sense of self and a richer and more meaningful sense of one's place in society.

Students pursue careers and graduate school in areas in which they can be of service to others. Graduates pursue a wide range of careers, for example, in government, public policy, criminal justice, social activism, law, human services, health care administration, counseling and human resources. A degree in sociology also provides excellent preparation for graduate study in sociology and a variety of applied or related areas including law, public policy, urban and community planning, health care administration, social work, social research, health research, market research and education.

The sociology major is organized to provide a firm grounding in the discipline. The sociology courses at the 100-level introduce students to the basic concepts and analytical tools used in sociology. Courses at the 200-level provide exposure to theory, methods of research and concentration upon particular social processes. The upper-level courses present opportunities for in-depth investigation of particular social problems, institutions or sub-fields. The Special Topics 420 course is always changing in terms of focus to reflect current issues. Every student must complete an internship in either their junior or senior year. Students have worked on internships for instance in public health policy, human rights, education, government, public service and in medical institutions. Unique to the program, at the upper course level, the major offers an applied urban case study opportunity in which students undertake an intense, micro-sty of problems in a specific urban center.

To complete the program, students must fulfill a 27-credit sociology sequence composed of SOC 101, 102, 203, 211, 215, 342, 410, 444, and 490. In addition, students must satisfy 12 credits of sociology electives, and have a related field or minor of at least 12 credits. A minimum grade of C+ must be earned in each required course in the sociology major or the course must be repeated.


Course Requirements

Degree: B.A.

Course Requirements for the Major:

In the specific areas of concentration:

Course Number Course Name Credits
SOC 101

Principles of Sociology

This course examines interactions among individuals and groups within institutions. Attention is paid to the role of the state and the super-state in perpetuating social stratification in both North America and globally,and how unequal power relations organize society and shape identities. The ways in which individuals negotiate their lives in different social and economic contexts are also considered. Fundamental sociological concepts are investigated, such as culture,socialization, stratification,social structure,social institutions,and social interactions.

Prerequisites: None

SOC 102

Social Problems

This course is designed as an introduction to major social problems,and sociological concepts and theories used to understand them. Attention is paid to problems such as inequalities related to social class,race/ethnicity,gender, employment and environmental issues. Focus is also put on social change. Sociologists contend the existence of social problems cannot be understood simply by looking at individual-level behavior. Rather,in order fully to understand society problems and how to solve them, larger structural,cultural,and historical forces are examined. Solutions at the individual,social movement,and policy-making level are considered.

Prerequisites: None

SOC 203

Social Theory

The course is a survey of the development of sociological theories since the nineteenth century. How theory influences society and the sociocultural influences which shape theory are also explored. Emphasis is on theory in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Prerequisites: None

SOC 211

Our Changing Social World

This course is designed to help make sense of a rapidly changing world of increasing global interdependence,violence,expanding knowledge and telecommunications, changing values,clashes between religious and secular agendas,transforming family relations and shifting patterns of social inequalities. A number of explanations of social change will be identified and discussed. Special focus is placed on how major social trends influence individuals,intergroup relations and various organizations such as family,work and community. Students will enhance their abilities to plan and shape their own lives in the world around them.
Offered in: Fall Only
Prerequisites: None

SOC 215

Research Methods in Sociology

In this course,students are introduced to qualitative methods and the basics of interpreting statistics. Students learn how to analyze and evaluate existing research,construct a research project,conduct focus groups and in-depth interviews,and analyze policy and primary documents. Ethical considerations regarding conducting research and uses of research are discussed.
Offered in: Fall Only
Prerequisites: SOC-101 or SOC-102

SOC 342

Sociology of Human Rights

This course is designed as an investigation of human rights concerns in contemporary society. Attention is paid to human rights abuses experienced by women,men and children in both North America and a global context.Key documents are related to the human rights movement are analyzed as are major debates in their field.15
Offered in: Spring Only
Prerequisites: None

SOC 410

Senior Project

The senior project involves a major research paper and is highly recommended for students planning on graduate school in sociology or related field.

Prerequisites: None

SOC 444


The Sociology internship is a variable credit (3-12 hours), required course that encourages juniors/seniors to investigate a career through a placement in a professional setting or in the development of future projects (graduate study). This allows students to work under the guidance of an immediate supervisor and a college faculty sponsor.
SOC 408

Collective Behavior

This course is designed to present the study of collective behavior,collective action and social movements. Attention is given to various sociological theories used to explain these behaviors. The focus includes fads and fashion,sports fans,crowds/mobs that form and dissolve quickly, formal organizations and interest groups that spring up in the aftermath of disasters,outbreaks of social protest, and full-blown social movements. Students will consider the particular circumstances which bring about collectivity, the actions taken by the group,media and public response, and the political impact of the behavior.
Offered in: Spring Only
Prerequisites: None


Four Electives

Choose four electives from SOC

Four Electives from a related field or minor

Choose four electives from a related field or minor.
Total 51-60

Major: 51-60
Core requirements and electives: 69
Total: 120-129


Admission Requirements

Freshman Admission

Applicants must meet the following three criteria:

  1. Combined SAT scores of at least 980 (or ACT equivalent score of 19)
  2. A high school average of at least 80 percent
  3. A high school rank in the upper half of the class

Transfer Admission

Students must have a minimum G.P.A. of 2.33. Transfer credits will be determined on a case-by-case basis to assess adaptability to curriculum requirements.

Each student accepted into the program must submit a letter of intent prior to course registration.


Liberal Arts Department

A student seeking to become a liberally educated person needs exposure, in breadth and in depth, to the humanities and the social sciences.

These studies, concerned not merely with information but with values, help the student’s development as a total person. This implies not only intellectual and social development, but also maturity in assessing the values essential to a sound philosophy of life. The department of liberal arts offers degrees in English, global studies, history, liberal studies for education, psychology, sociology and philosophy. Requirements for these programs are listed in the courses of instruction section of this catalog. Courses are also offered in foreign languages, fine arts and religious studies.

Students within the department must maintain a minimum 2.00 grade point average in courses taken at D’Youville in their major subject area.