Requirements for a Major in Sociology. A sociology major must complete 44 semester hours of required courses in sociology and anthropology and receive grades of C- or better. All majors must achieve at minimum a cumulative GPA of 2.00 in courses offered in the major. There are five compulsory courses. At least 12 of the remaining 24 hours must be taken at the 300 level or higher. In consultation with a department adviser, a sociology major may fulfill some of the major requirements by taking anthropology courses. The department recommends that SOCI-235/ANTH-235 Qualitative Research Methods, SOCI-245/ANTH-245 Quantitative Research Methods and SOCI-311 Sociological Theory be completed by the end of the junior year. The capstone requirement for a major in sociology is met by taking SOCI-500/ANTH-500 Seminar or, with the permission of the department chair, by taking SOCI-501/ANTH-501 Independent Research, which requires the production of a research paper.

Semester Hours View Full Course Catalog >>

20        Compulsory Courses for Sociology Major

4 SOCI-101 Principles of Sociology
4 SOCI-235 Qualitative Research Methods
4 SOCI-245 Quantitative Research Methods
4 SOCI-311 Sociological Theory
4 SOCI-500 Seminar

24        Electives

             Of the 24 remaining semester hours, at least 12 must be taken at the 300 level or higher.

Requirements for a Minor in Sociology. Students must complete 24 semester hours of required courses in sociology and receive grades of C- or better. All minors must achieve at minimum a cumulative GPA of 2.00 in courses credited toward the minor. Required courses include SOCI-101 Principles of Sociology, SOCI-235/ANTH-235 Qualitative Research Methods or SOCI-245/ANTH-245 Quantitative Research Methods, and SOCI-311 Sociological Theory. At least eight of the remaining 12 semester hours must be taken from courses offered at the 200 level or higher. Credit received for practica courses are not included in the 24 semester hours required of sociology minors.

SOCI-101 Principles of Sociology

Methods and approaches of scientific analysis applied to contemporary cultures and societies. Includes socialization, individual and group interaction, major social institutions, social organizations, social change, and collective behavior. 4 SH. CC: Diversity, Social Interactions.

SOCI-102 Social Problems

Basic concepts and principles of sociology applied to significant social problems. Examines social disorganization, cultural conflicts and personal deviations associated with the stress of industrialization, urban life and bureaucracy. 4 SH. CC: Social Interactions.

SOCI-202 Black Feminism I

Black feminism is the study of how gender, race and class issues are inextricably linked to oppression. Black feminism goes beyond mainstream feminisms and sees itself as a collective social movement. This course is primarily an activist response to intersecting oppressions that subordinate black women and others in terms of race, gender, class, sexuality, nation and the need for autonomy in the face of the privileged. Politics not only concerns personal experiences, however challenging and courageous, but must address larger agendas that go beyond individual temperament, choices and placement. There are no formal prerequisites for this course. 4 SH. CC: Diversity.

SOCI-206 Gendered Bodies and Social Control

Gender roles are delineated by the norms and behaviors that an individual is expected to perform in society. Such roles change over time. This course examines the social construction of gender, the mechanisms through which society controls "gendered" bodies, and how gender intersects with race, ethnicity, class, disability, sexuality, age and other dimensions of identity. Normative behavior and performance, group sexual misconduct, sexual politics and living with apparent contradiction in regards to gender are key topics. Prerequisite: SOCI-101, ANTH-162 or SOCI-102. 4 SH. CC: Diversity Intensive.

SOCI-210 Caribbean Culture and Society

This course considers the history, politics, economics and culture of the people of the Caribbean area. It focuses on issues of self-identity and expression within the context of hegemonic European values and institutions. Prerequisite: SOCI-101 or ANTH-162. 4 SH. CC: Diversity Intensive, Writing Intensive.

SOCI-235 Qualitative Research Methods

This course is designed to develop students' competence as social researchers. We will cover both theoretical issues-like the epistemology and ethics of qualitative research-and practical ones-the nuts and bolts of the research process, from data collection to analysis. The course will focus on the connection between researchers' theoretical goals and the practical resources and constraints of the research process. Students will be trained in some of the common forms of qualitative social research: ethnography, interviews, content analysis, case studies and the comparative method. Students will also be required to employ qualitative methods to collect and analyze original data, both for (near-weekly) short written assignments and a 15-20 page final research paper. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing and at least one introductory course in sociology or anthropology. Same as ANTH-235. 4 SH. CC: Ethics Intensive, Writing Intensive.

SOCI-245 Quantitative Research Methods

This course is intended to introduce students to common methods used in quantitative social science research. It is intended to help us conceptualize a research problem and how to collect evidence to address that research problem. Students will learn how to conduct basic quantitative social science research, evaluate relevant evidence and determine the best method to be used based on theoretical and practical considerations. The course also focuses attention on such issues as the time dimension, sampling design and ethical issues when conducting quantitative social research. Finally, we use SPSS and series of datasets to test and demonstrate our knowledge of the respective statistical procedures. Upon completion of this course, students should be better able to critically evaluate the quantitative research they encounter in their social science coursework and in the mass media, as well as be able to design a basic quantitative research project. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. Same as ANTH-245. 4 SH. CC: Ethics Intensive.

SOCI-255 Crime and Justice

This course explores the dimensions, causes, costs and correlates of the crime problem in the U.S. and considers the uses and limitations of the criminal justice system in dealing with it. To do this, the course is organized around three interdisciplinary literatures: criminology, law and society, and criminal justice studies. Focusing on issues of lawmaking, law breaking and state response to crime, students will review and critique classical and contemporary approaches to the study of these phenomena; identify a range of theoretical approaches and empirical findings in the literatures identified above; and assess the strengths and limitations of contemporary crime control policies in light of accumulated empirical evidence. Prerequisite: SOCI-101, SOCI-102 or ANTH-162. 4 SH.

SOCI-301 Topics in Sociology

Intermediate study of selected topics. Topics vary and depend on student and instructor interest. Possibilities include social policy analysis, sociology of dissent, juvenile delinquency and sex roles. Prerequisite: SOCI-101, ANTH-162 or instructor's permission. 2-4 SH.

SOCI-311 Sociological Theory

Western social theory from Comte to the present with emphasis on recent developments. Considers major schools, including positivism, conflict theory, symbolic interactionism, functionalism, social exchange theory, critical theory, phenomenological theory and postmodernism. Prerequisite: Three courses in sociology. 4 SH.

SOCI-315 Social Stratification in Contemporary Society

This course examines factors that contribute to social stratification in contemporary society. Specifically, the course looks at three dimensions of social stratification, namely the economic, political and ideological dimensions and interaction of race, class and gender in this process. Topics include theories of social stratification, occupational prestige and mobility, segregation, corporate welfare, social welfare, and the ideology of legitimization. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing and SOCI-101, SOCI-102 or ANTH-162. 4 SH. CC: Diversity Intensive, Interdisciplinary.

SOCI-316 Social Justice

Social Justice is a team-taught course focusing on the multiple forms of oppression that occur in any given society. The distribution of various advantages and disadvantages can be affected by capitalistic systems, greed, personal intention, social and/or political agendas, and even compromise. In this course, we will study the changing dynamics of oppression, earned and unearned privileges, and competing ethical and social theories of social justice and their interaction with race, ethnicity, nationality, ability, gender, class and sexuality. Students will have the opportunity to complete social justice projects requiring their collaborative engagement to identify and understand strategies for social transformation in areas as diverse as access to technology, globalization and ethics. Prerequisite: SOCI-101, ANTH-162 or SOCI-102 or instructor's permission. 4 SH. CC: Ethics Intensive, Team Intensive.

SOCI-333 Development, Globalization and Society

A study of the relationship between economic development paradigms, institutions and groups in society. The course focuses on international economic relationships, world order, and the resultant social and political conflict. More specifically, this course examines how global economic development policy since the 1960s has influenced relations between states, major institutions, organizations and social groupings in both the developed and developing world. Same as POLI:333. Prerequisite: Junior standing and either SOCI-101 or ANTH-162. 4 SH. CC: Interdisciplinary.

SOCI-341 Family and Kinship

A comparative study of family and kinship. Covers the structures and functions of family and kinship in different cultures. Emphasizes historical and contemporary changes in knowledge and practice focused on family, marriage, procreation and kinship in the United States with particular emphasis on the cultural construction of kinship, the naturalization of identity and difference, the politics of reproduction and new reproductive technologies. Prerequisite: SOCI-101 or ANTH-162. Same as ANTH-341. 4 SH. CC: Diversity Intensive, Writing Intensive.

SOCI-350 Punishment and Society

This course develops students' ability to understand and critique modern penal practices and to interrogate the relationship of punishment to criminal behavior, the rendering of justice, the promotion of public safety and the management of risk. In addition to examining the structure, practices and legal foundation of corrections in the United States, students will be exposed to a range of scholarship examining the social, moral, economic, political, ideological and historical contexts of punishment in the West, with an eye toward understanding how penal practices came to be as they are, their social implications and cultural meanings. Review and discussion of these materials will develop students' appreciation for the depth and complexity of the topic, as well as their ability to link punishment practices with broader sociocultural conditions and worldviews. Prerequisite: SOCI-101 or ANTH-162. SOCI-311 is recommended but not required. 4 SH.

SOCI-374 Social Work

Introduces and exposes students to the various aspects of social work and social welfare. Includes examples of casework, group work, community organizations and a combination of current practices. Explores how society provides services to meet human needs through public, voluntary and combined efforts. Prerequisite: SOCI-101 or PSYC:101. 4 SH.

SOCI-405 Law and Society

An introduction to the sociology of law. Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to understand the manner in which sociologists study law and empirically analyze relevant dynamics of law and law-related phenomena in a variety of social settings. Successive sections of this course will focus on: classical theoretical contributions to the sociology of law; selected modern approaches to the sociology of law; and an array of empirical themes of law and law-related processes and structures to which the sociological theories will be applied. Empirical topics include, but are not necessarily limited to, law and social structure; law and culture; notions of legality, legitimacy and legal consciousness; the legal profession; law, identity and inequalities; international and human rights law; and the impact of globalization on concepts and practices of law and legal change. Prerequisites: SOCI-101 or ANTH-162 and at least one other 200- or 300-level course in sociology or anthropology. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. 4 SH. CC: Interdisciplinary, Oral Intensive.

SOCI-410 Economic Sociology

This course looks at the factors that contribute to social stratification in the contemporary United States, as well as some dimensions of global social stratification. Students may find this course challenging because they are continually affected by social inequalities but are not encouraged to think about them. More specifically, this course will look at three dimensions of social stratification, namely the economic, political and ideological dimensions and the interaction of race, class and gender in this process. The course will explore the continued debate over inequality and the extent of income and wealth inequality in the United States and its causes and consequences, as well as the causes and consequences of global inequality. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing, SOCI-101 or ANTH-162 or SOCI-102, or instructor's permission. 4 SH. CC: Interdisciplinary.

SOCI-413 Race, Ethnicity and Minorities

Focuses on race and ethnic relations in contemporary society and popular understandings of race and ethnicity in the United States. Explores the boundaries and markers for membership in an ethnic, racial or minority group. Specifically, this course regards race as a social construct that has significance for structural opportunities, experiences, worldviews and conceptions of self and others. The course investigates the designations "race," "ethnicity" and "minorities," and locates them in foundational and current tensions concerning power and identity. Prerequisite: SOCI-101 or ANTH-162. Same as ANTH-413. 4 SH. CC: Diversity, Oral Intensive, Social Interactions, Writing Intensive.

SOCI-500 Seminar

Research workshop that fulfills the capstone requirement for majors. Prerequisites: SOCI/ANTH-235 or SOCI/ANTH-245 and two courses in sociology or anthropology, at least one of which has been taken at the 300 level or above. SOCI-311 or ANTH-400 recommended. 4 SH. Capstone. 

SOCI-501 Independent Research

Supervised readings and writings in advanced fields of sociological study. Prerequisites: SOCI-101, three courses in sociology, a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 in departmental courses and instructor's permission. 1-4 SH. Capstone. May fulfill the capstone requirement with permission of the department head and when taken for at least 2 semester hours. Students not majoring or minoring in sociology or anthropology who wish to use SOCI-501 for their capstone must also have successfully completed SOCI/ANTH-235 or SOCI/ANTH-245, receiving a C- or higher.

SOCI-510 Internship in Sociology

Individual student work in an appropriate setting. Open only when positions are available. 1-8 SH.

SOCI-570 Practicum

Supervised field work in selected social work agencies. Students will keep a log, meet with a faculty member to discuss work and write a paper. Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing, relevant coursework and the department's permission. 4 SH.

SOCI-571 Practicum

Supervised field work in selected social work agencies. Students will keep a log, meet with a faculty member to discuss work and write a paper. Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing, relevant coursework and the department's permission. 4 SH.

Teaching Certification.  Coursework required by the state of Pennsylvania for admission to the teacher certification program includes successful completion of ENGL-100 Writing and Thinking or equivalent course, at least 3 semester hours in British or American literature, at least 6 semester hours of mathematics coursework (or other courses which satisfy the Central Curriculum Analytic Thought requirement), and at least one 40-hour externship.

Education course requirements for secondary education are EDUC-101 Introduction to Education and Society, EDUC-102 Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Education, EDUC-250 Educational Psychology, EDUC-260 Introduction to Special Education, EDUC-270 Instruction of Exceptional Students, EDUC-330 Technology in Education, EDUC-350 English Language Learners: Theory and Instruction, EDUC-380 Instructional Design, EDUC-479 Principles of Learning and Teaching in Secondary Education, EDUC-483 Differentiated Instruction and Classroom Management in Secondary Education, and the EDUC-500 Student Teaching package (EDUC-501, EDUC-502, EDUC-503, and EDUC-600).

Sociology students who seek secondary education certification in social studies must take the following additional courses outside the Department of Sociology and Anthropology: EDUC-425 Methods of Curriculum Instruction and Assessment in Teaching Social Studies,  ECON-105 Elements of Economics, POLI-111 American Government and Politics, POLI-121 Comparative Government and Politics, PSYC-101 Principles of Psychology, HIST-322 Pennsylvania History or HIST-324 Pennsylvania's Pasts and Their Publics, and 1 course in U. S. history (HIST-111, HIST-112 or HIST-115).

Secondary education sociology students must also take the following courses within the Department of Sociology and Anthropology: ANTH-162 Introduction to Anthropology, SOCI-101 Principles of Sociology, SOCI-235 Qualitative Research Methods, SOCI-245 Quantitative Research Methods, SOCI-311 Sociological Theory, SOCI-333 Development, Globalization, and Society or ANTH-310 National, Transnational and Diasporic Communities,  SOCI-341 Family and Kinship, SOCI-413 Race, Ethnicity, and Minorities, SOCI-500 Seminar or SOCI-501 Independent Research, and 8 semester hours in sociology electives (student teaching may be substituted for the electives requirement).